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Working-Class Organisations and Popular Tourism, 1840-1970.

Working-Class Organisations and Popular Tourism, 1840-1970. Susan Barton. Manchester University Press. [pounds sterling]55.00. xii + 237 pages. ISBN 0-7190-6590-9. This fascinating study seeks to 'examine what the working class and its organisations did to achieve holidays independently of middle-class patronage', to make holidays 'less of an extraordinary experience'. Her concern is to 'demonstrate working-class agency in the development of popular tourism', not with the holidays per se but with how working people managed to have days off work and, eventually, paid holidays. Dr Barton looks at the eighteenth century background, the 'St Monday' tradition, the vital importance of the 1851 Great Exhibition, the role of the railway, hop-picking in Kent, boarding houses, holiday camps, works' outings and wakes, caravans, regional differences, the effect of rising living standards, the 1938 (holidays with pay) act, post-1938 government efforts to control the expected annual holiday rush, and the cheap package holiday abroad after the 1950s. She ably fulfils her goal of showing how 'the leisure activities of a minority of organised workers in England spread to become a near universal expectation, if not an annual reality' for all workers. In so doing she has given us an admirable piece of social history. (E.B.)
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Publication:Contemporary Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Aug 1, 2005
Words:202
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