One thing the railway companies were never short of was paperwork. Seemingly endless amounts of forms, labels and booklets. Plenty of this is still in existence, and if you have an interest in the running of the railways, they are easily affordable and can make an interesting collection.
Railway companies also produced their own publicity material, as well as in house paperwork. These two random examples from my collection show some of the material that was produced. This Donegal Railway waybill, dated 1945, is a form for transporting livestock – note that it includes all manner of livestock, including “other quadrupeds”
The British Rail publication “Holiday Haunts” is one of a series of regional books produced annually as a guide to UK holidays at a time when going overseas was almost unheard of. It’s a comprehensive guide to travel and accommodation, including camping coaches – converted redundant railway carriages parked in sidings at popular tourist spots and rented out to holidaymakers. Facilities were very basic, with compartments refitted as bunk bedrooms, and basic cooking and washing facilities. In the 1950’s there were over 100 locations across the UK.
Camping coaches survived on the mainline network until 1971 for public use, and for BR staff for a few more years. Some of these carriages were sold to heritage railways, where they survive as accommodation for volunteers. There are still coaches in various locations around the UK available for rental, through private companies and heritage railways.
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