Although Liverpool has took off a a tourist destination in the last couple of decades,it has always had its attractions for visitors. Back in 1891 the Bass Brewery of Burton on Trent took their employees to the city for their annual excursion.
On 14th August that year thirteen special trains were engaged to take 7,000 workers and their families to Liverpool via the Midland and Central lines, with departures taking place every ten to fifteen minutes. By 10am all of the trains had arrived at Liverpool’s Central Station but unfortunately the weather wasn’t very welcoming, with rain falling heavily unlike in Burton where it had been dry.
All the excursionists were presented with a brochure detailing the attractions of the city and the River Mersey turned out to be the most popular. The Liverpool Mercury reported that boats to Birkenhead, Seacombe, New Ferry and New Brighton were well patronised. There were also plenty of visitors heading to Eastham, where the Manchester Ship Canal was a big draw. Cruises were available on the Knight of the Cross and St Maurs Castle steamers and small illustrated booklets were given out.
Many of the visitors took steamers further afield to Llandudno and a few even went to the Isle of Man and back. Taking a train to Birkenhead was also popular to experience the novelty of going through a tunnel. Those who went there were able to board and inspect the Inman Line’s City of New York, which was lying in Alfred Dock.
At 8pm the trains back to Burton began to leave, departing approximately every fifteen minutes until 10pm. Mr Mason the stationmaster oversaw the loading of the trains with great precision and there were no hitches. The Bass brewery party had been the largest group of visitors that had ever visited the city to date. Reporting on the day, the Derby Times said the arrangements had been elaborate and praised the company for bringing about closer links between employer and employed.
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