Historic brewery trip was ‘a triumph of organisation’

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This week marks the 100th anniversary of an extraordinary staff trip to Scarborough when 10,000 brewery workers descended on the town.

The excursion, which took place on July 24 1914, was organised by Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton for staff and their families.

Floral Hall

Floral Hall

The meticulously planned trip required the use of 14 trains, the first departing Burton-on-Trent at 3.40am and the remainder leaving at 10-minute intervals.

It was almost a four-hour journey, covering a distance of 134 miles, with the final train due to arrive at the New Londesborough Excursion Station at 10am.

The trains comprised a total of 225 passenger vehicles and needed two miles of sidings to “stable” the engines and carriages between Barrowcliff and Northstead until the return journey.

An illustrated booklet was issued to each member of staff, which contained travel details and information about Scarborough attractions.

Places of interest included the Floral Hall, Spa Complex and promenade, South Bay, Aquarium Top, the Arcadia and Peasholm Park.

The guidebook contains some evocative descriptions of what Scarborough had to offer, describing the Floral Hall as “a beautiful palace of glass profusely decorated with flowers and hanging baskets”. It also refers to the recently erected beach chalets, likening them to “a garden suburb of dolls’ houses”.

Visitors were spoilt for choice, with information about sea cruises, Pierrot shows and musical entertainment all contained within the brochure.

A report in the Scarborough Evening News the following day read: “Bass folk should be given the button for behaviour.

“The orderly conduct of the thousands of excursionists at Scarborough yesterday was frequently commented on.

“This does not mean they took their pleasures sadly. The great outing was a triumph of organisation, the arrangements reflecting the result of years of experience in perfecting the big movement of industrial troops for pleasure purposes.”