Charabancs and Social Class in 1930s Britain

Law, Michael John 2015. Charabancs and Social Class in 1930s Britain. Journal of Transport History. 36 (1), pp. 41-57. doi:10.7227/TJTH.36.1.4

TitleCharabancs and Social Class in 1930s Britain
AuthorsLaw, Michael John
Abstract

The renowned writer J. B. Priestley suggested in 1934 that the motor-coach had annihilated the old distinction between rich and poor passengers in Britain. This article considers how true this was by examining the relationship between charabancs, motor coaches and class. It shows that this important vehicle of inter-war working class mobility had a complicated relationship with class, identifying three distinct forms of this method of travel. It positions the charabanc alongside historical responses to unwelcome steamer and railway day-trippers, and examines how resorts provided separate class-based entertainment for these holidaymakers. Using the case study of a new charabancwelcoming pub, the Prospect Inn, it proposes that, in the late 1930s, some pubs were beginning to offer charabanc customers facilities that were almost the match of their middle class equivalent. Motor coaches and charabancs contributed to the process of social convergence in inter-war Britain.

KeywordsAutomobility; Charabancs; leisure; motor coaches; social class
JournalJournal of Transport History
Journal citation36 (1), pp. 41-57
ISSN0022-5266
Year2015
PublisherSage
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.7227/TJTH.36.1.4
Publication dates
Published01 Jun 2015

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