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Molly Cule
154045.  Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:12 am Reply with quote

What was the first excursion organised by Thomas Cook?

A trip by train from Leicester to Loughborough to attend a temperance meeting in 1841. Cook (1808-1892) was a strict Baptist and member of his local temperance society, he worked as a cabinet maker and part time publisher of temperance pamphlets. He decided to lead the party to Loughborough. Travel on the new Midland Railway was a big deal for most people and seen as rather daring. Cook chartered the train and took the temperance members on the first public excursion in history. About 570 people on the trip paid a shilling for the train journey and lunch on board. This was a big success and he carried on with the business organising trips to Liverpool, then Scotland and then in 1850 he sorted out trips for 200,000 people to visit the Great Exhibition. In 1855 he took people to Antwerp and in 1872 he pioneered a Round-the-World trip for 200 guineas.

His motivation was to bring down the cost of traveling for the working man so he might be more inclined to spend his money on educational travel than on drink. He tried to have a look around the area before he took people on an excursion so he could tell them things about the place when they arrived. He kept a diary and noted down the interesting things abou each place.

Last edited by Molly Cule on Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:19 am; edited 1 time in total

154046.  Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:14 am Reply with quote

My fave temperance fact is the grape-juices for sale in the US with the labels:

CAUTION! Do not add these grapes to 5 gallons of water and five pounds of sugar with yeast, or it will ferment into wine, which is ILLEGAL.

Molly Cule
154049.  Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:20 am Reply with quote

Hi Mr Shopkeeper, do you have any yeast? I'd also like to buy 5 pounds of sugar. Er..... I'm making a cake. With yeast in it.

154050.  Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:23 am Reply with quote

Here is a bizarre custom which has grown in Spain in the last 20 years.

It's called "una caravana de mujeres" (a caravan of women) and the idea is that a village of men who aren't getting any, put out a request for women to come to their village for a bit of the other.

There seems to be a problem of too many men and not enough women in some rural spanish communities, younger members of the communities have quit the countryside in favor of jobs in towns

So up to 150 women jump in a couple of buses and drive up to these villages for a big love-in.


To show prospective partners their rural skills some of the men, who are mostly cattle farmers, leapt onto horses to demonstrate riding skills. The display was followed by a feast of regional culinary delicacies -- beans, a meat stew and locally-made sweets -- before a dance late into the night.

The organizers hope some couples will hit it off, settle here and eventually have children. The local school is already under threat of closure because there are not enough pupils.

"It seems to me that there are lot of older men who are interested but we younger women want our freedom and, here in the village, the men want to come straight down to business," she said, surrounded by a group of giggling girl friends.


I reckon there's plenty of yeasty grape-juice imbibed here.

154340.  Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:05 pm Reply with quote

That sounds a bit like the tradition (established since 1871 I believe) of the Irish town of Lisdoonvarna:

Quote: the month of September, Lisdoonvarna becomes filled with lonely, single men and women. This is an age-old tradition and occurs for the whole month of September, annually. The bachelors and the spinsters from all over Munster and beyond gather in the town to try and find themselves a suitable partner.


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