Jings, This caught my eye as I was looking for a 650C tyre ....‘Railwayman’s Touring Club’!
> However in the foreword it mentions that Martins father was in the ‘Railwayman’s Touring Club’ which sounded interesting. I have found nothing online about it, apart from pin badges on eBay, that I couldn’t resist buying for 99p.<
My Dad worked on the railways all his life and retired as the Chief Ticket Inspector for Scotland. Most of my child hood holidays were spent on ‘Railwayman’s Touring Club’ holidays which I guess were the precursor to international package holidays back in the mid 60's.
At that time rail workers could apply for a number of free rail passes for them selfs and families that were valid on a reciprocal basis with European Railways and the ‘Railwayman’s Touring Club’ organised set tours by rail across Europe using these passes . This made continental holidays affordable and familiar (being on trains) for working class people who would never have considered traveling across Europe, a decade before UK even joined the EEC !
The interesting thing was that a fortnights tour might only have a night or two in a hotel every few days that had been pre booked. The rest of the time was spent on the trains utilising overnight sleepers with stops at Cities and resorts where we would change lines and carriers at main rail hubs from memory in places like Aachen and Interlaken .
It was often a mix of palatial luxury and freight class transport.
The thing I really remember was the camaraderie between the railmen on holiday and the railmen working on the trains and the look on the faces of the ordinary passengers as they tried to figure out what was special about our group as they were treated to meals when there was no dining car and had advance access to the coaches as they came in to the station.
I only wish I had been a bit older to appreciate all the places I have passed through on the train !
I remember a note being sent home to my folks after the summer holidays from school telling my parents to speak to me about making up stories about foreign travel and the delight of my dad writing back to say that I had been in Rome and Florence during the holidays as well as London and Ostend..... smug for a 7 year old does not cover it :-)
I have boxes of Kodachrome slides and a few of the enamelled badges that won't be going Ebay....