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  Day Trips, Treats and Excursions


Until post-1918, simple pleasures, such as day trips to local beauty spots or further afield, were considered ‘high days’ for the working classes, they had neither the time nor the money to take a holiday, which was seen as the prerogative of the rich. These outings were usually arranged by Sunday Schools, the local pub, organisations, such as the Scouts, or by coach and charabanc operators, and visits to Doncaster beauty spots, such as Hexthorpe Flatts, Sandall Beat and Beechfield Park, or further afield to Roche Abbey, Clumber Park and the Dukeries were all popular with Tickhill people.   

Steadman’s of Doncaster regularly organised trips by wagonette to the Dukeries and Roche Abbey, and as Tickhill was en route its local pubs were all popular stopping off places for refreshments 

At the beginning of the 20th century, increased wages and cheap travel made a visit to the seaside a distinct possibility for many people; railway companies realised there was a market in day trips for low-income families, and promoted the ‘cheap day return’, particularly at Bank Holiday weekends. Unprecedented crowds flocked to the seaside, with the east coast resorts of Cleethorpes, Mablethorpe, Bridlington, Filey and Scarborough firm favourites, and by the inter-war years, many families were beginning to extend their stay and enjoy a short holiday at the seaside. 

Sunday School Excursions

For many children the Sunday School ‘treat’ was, almost certainly, the first time they would leave the confines of their village, and the excitement and expectation of travelling by train or charabanc to the seaside was an experience never to be forgotten.    

July 6, 1909 saw the first passenger train excursion from the newly built Tickhill Station: 142 adults and 122 children from Tickhill Wesleyan Chapel paid 3/- (15p) and 1/6 (7p) respectively for a Sunday School outing to Cleethorpes. Although the weather was unfavourable, it did not diminish the excitement of the passengers who arrived at the station by horse-drawn wagonette and a variety of other horse-drawn vehicles.  

The success of this excursion led to the Great Central Railway running another ‘Sunday School Excursion’ the following year. Travel agents, Dean & Dawson’s organised the trip to Grimsby Docks and Cleethorpes on Wednesday, July 6; the fare was slightly cheaper than the previous year, with adults paying 2/9, children under three went free and those under twelve paid half fare. The train left Tickhill at 7.30am, and after almost twelve hours of sand, sea and amusements, the train steamed out of Cleethorpes Station at 7.05pm on its way home; it was long but nevertheless memorable day for all, especially the children.



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