Western to the Coast

By Jeffery Grayer

The Western Region served a large number of holiday resorts ranging from Weymouth in Dorset through Devon and Cornwall, encompassing the aptly named English Riviera, and on into Somerset and across the Severn to South Wales, West and Mid Wales and stretching as far as Pwllheli in North Wales. Many of these towns had the luxury of having named expresses such as the Cornish Riviera, Royal Duchy, Torbay Express, Pembroke Coast Express and Cambrian Coast Express convey passengers to their destination with speed and in comfort. Reviewing the collections of a number of different photographers including Dick Riley, Leslie Freeman, A.E.Bennett, Neville Stead and Roy Vincent, held by the Transport Treasury, author Jeffery Grayer has selected over 50 resorts, showcased here in 160 images, dating from the 1930s through to the 1970s when services were still packed with holidaymakers especially in the peak months of July and August. So, don your rose - coloured spectacles and turn the clock back more than half a century to those halcyon days of summer when the sun always seemed to shine, trains were more often than not hauled by steam and a week’s holiday by the sea was in prospect.