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Scarborough railway poster

The Stockton & Darlington Railway – the world’s first steam-hauled passenger railway, opened in 1823. Following its success, rail networks rapidly spread across Britain. Areas of the country previously inaccessible were now easily within reach for ordinary people, and holiday resorts sprang up around the coastline. This, coupled with the introduction of the first Bank Holidays in 1871 saw thousands of people boarding trains for holidays and days out by the seaside. The ‘Holidays with Pay’ act in 1938 led to an even further increase in popularity and the introduction of holiday camps like Butlins.

Front cover of Scarborough publicity booklet
Scarborough railway poster, 1961

With this rapidly increasingly popularity, the rail companies recognised the need to advertise their services and harness their share of the passenger market. As a result, railway posters began to emerge, with accomplished artists employed to create striking images of cities and seaside destinations around the country. Many of these have become iconic images and design classics, worth thousands of pounds.

This Scarborough poster was printed in December 1961 by Chorley and Pickersgill of Leeds for British Railways North Eastern Region. See more railway posters in the Beside our seaside theme.

Find out more about the first trains and early rail travel in the Stockton & Darlington Railway theme.

Image courtesy of Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum

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