Concierge News – Compare today’s touring to Banburyshire holidaymakers in 1932

BY 1932, the Midland Red Bus Company established a sufficient foothold in Banbury for those who used its services to have acquired the year’s edition of ‘Helps to Happy Holidays’.

It contained no less than 512 pages and cost 3d. By no stretch of the imagination could it have been termed a brochure and one can only assume that the production costs were offset by advertisements.

Its bulk was due to being made up of four separate sections entitled ‘Super Holiday Tours’, ‘Seaside and Long Distance Services’, ‘Day and Half-Day Coach Tours’ and a ‘Gazetteer to Midland Red Country’.

Whilst ‘Super Holiday Tours’ were dominated by opportunities to explore ‘Glorious Devon’, ‘Wonderful Wales’ and the ‘Sunny South Coast’, the Day and Half-Day Coach Tours were dubbed ‘Mascot Tours’, so named because lines linking places visited within specified areas produced four different shapes. One of these outlines took on the appearance of a jester and included locations close to or easily reached from Banbury. These were Wellesbourne, Pillerton Priors, Middle and Lower Tysoe and Compton Wyniates. Travellers keen on walking were offered a range of cross country routes.

1930s Mascot Tour nearest to Banbury

1930s Mascot Tour nearest to Banbury

The Gazetteer was all about interesting runs using ordinary service buses to reach places where holiday accommodation was available at attractive prices. In 1932 a boarding house just five minutes from the sea often charged 3½ guineas (£3.73) a week during the summer season. Bed and breakfast could be had for about half that at 5s (25p) a night.

For those who did not get to know about these services there were other if more occasional opportunities for acquiring seaside information. On Friday, May 6 1932 a striking publicity idea was demonstrated when Bournemouth Corporation arranged for a fleet of buses to pass through Banbury. These double-deckers were labelled with posters exhorting people to ‘Come to Bournemouth’.

On Monday, August 22 a van halted in the Horsefair and its driver handed out publicity about Scarborough, described as the Queen of Watering Places. This vehicle was able to show pictures of the north and south bays, which have always been at the heart of tourism there.

The railway companies tried to woo customers especially for Whitsun holiday trips. The LNER offered return tickets at a 1d a mile by any train anywhere, whilst the GWR ran excursions to Brighton, several race meetings and to Southampton for opportunities to look over the White Star liner Olympic.

Closer to home Oxford Zoo had opened in July 1931 and according to theBanbury Guardian its fame had reached the ears of people in places as diverse as Birmingham, Coventry and Gloucester. Those who travelled from Banbury were viewed more as neighbours than visitors.

The Banbury area was not without its attractions for holidaymakers in 1932. Some became aware of the delights of Edge Hill and were grateful for the splendid transport arrangements laid on by Primrose buses who offered a service on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Source –

For further information on the area:

North Oxfordshire - The Cherwell valley

The official website for Banbury, Bicester and surrounding North Oxfordshire countryside:

Great Tours visiting area:

(Tour from


  • Entrance to Windsor Castle and a tour of the State Apartments and St George’s Chapel
  • Walking tour of Oxford
  • Visit Christ Church college (where Harry Potter was filmed)
  • Private Visit ot the Inner Circle of Stonehenge at Sunset
  • First-class luxury Motor-coach and the services of a Professional Guide

We have arranged with English Heritage for you to experience a unique guided visit to this ancient sacred site – beyond the fences and after the crowds have gone home. Walk amongst the stones and experience the magical atmosphere within the inner circle.

For those of you who have not visited this sacred site, we should mention that the complex is roped off. Visitors observe the stones from a distance and are not permitted within the temple complex. Our special access tours allow you to be amongst the stones. Your guide will bring to life its many myths, legends and rich and fascinating history.

The Tour

A PRIVATE VIEWING OF THE INNER CIRCLE AT STONEHENGE – a later start gives the opportunity to visit the state apartments of Windsor Castle, a walking tour of Oxford and a private visit to the inner circle of Stonehenge.

Stonehenge – Private Viewing at Sunset

Built nearly 5,000 years ago, Stonehenge is the most popular prehistoric monument in the world. Most visitors to the site are not allowed direct access to the stones. With our Stonehenge Tours you get that access, with a private viewing of the mysterious monoliths. We will enter the stone circle itself and stand beside the mighty Sarsen rocks towering above us. Our guide will explain the history of this ancient site, pointing out the altar, slaughter and heel stones, above which the sun rises dramatically on the summer solstice. There will be time to enjoy the peace, away from the crowds, as we experience Stonehenge at its most mystical and atmospheric best. Not to be missed!

Windsor Castle

Our day starts with a visit to Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest occupied Castle in the world and the home of the Royal Family for 900 years. Its proud, strong walls dominate the delightful town that has grown around the castle over the years. You’ll see the lavishly decorated State Apartments containing priceless furniture in glorious colours and St George’s Chapel, home to the 14th Century Order of the Royal Garter, our senior chivalric order.


The colleges in Oxford date back to the 13th century and among its famous students were Bill Clinton, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Lewis Carroll. We take you on a fascinating walking tour, which includes visiting the Great Hall in Christ Church, where many scenes from Harry Potter were filmed. We’ll also see the Bodleian Library and the picture perfect college courtyards for which Oxford is famous.

Tours & Travel you can trust –

About 1st Choice Concierge

Travel you can trust
This entry was posted in Banbury, Concierge News, Out of London Sightseeing, Oxford. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Concierge News – Compare today’s touring to Banburyshire holidaymakers in 1932

  1. Reblogged this on BestValueTours and commented:
    Very interesting travel article,,,,,,,,

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