The Twickenham Museum
Exhibitions : People at Play

Outings were popular with people who worked long hours

Decorated trams outside Garrick's Villa Hampton

Outings are by their nature ephemeral and often little record of such organised events survives. This does not mean, however, that they were not eagerly anticipated, enthusiastically undertaken or long remembered. In Victorian and Edwardian times such a trip might be the only day out during the year for many people who had to work long hours for low wages and without statutory holidays.

The modes of transport used range from horse and cart, train, boat, charabanc (an early form of bus with bench seats from side to side) to tram, bus and, later, motor coaches. All manner of groups went on organised outings from clubs and pubs to groups from work and church and other social groupings.

Although little written evidence of the nature of these outings survives, a trawl through extracts from the Surrey Comet for Hampton provides information that is probably typical for the local area. The earliest example yet found is a recollection dating back to about 1840 noting that "old people and invalids were taken out for drives in four-wheeler traps with a boy postillion in charge". From around 1890 “Annual” excursions receive wider mention. For many people these really were days to remember.

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