WORKS outings were popular activities in post-war Britain.

Once a year employees would spend a day in the country or at the seaside, on an excursion organised by businesses.

Such trips were common up to the 1970s. Employees would get dressed up and have a ball, letting their hair down away from home.

The works trip pictured is an excursion to Blackpool for Morrison’s employees. It took place in 1966 or 67.

On their awayday the supermarket workers, from the Bolton Road store, would no doubt enjoy fish and chips on the promenade, take tram rides and check out the views from the top of the town’s famous tower.

The trip also no doubt served as a bonding exercise for workers, though it was not consciously designated as such. It gave those who worked on production lines and in offices to mingle and get to know each other.

Romance will undoubtedly have blossomed for many on works outings.

Coaches have for many years been the usual means of transport for workers’ days out.

In the early part of the 20th century employees would have piled aboard a charabanc - often pronounced sharabang - a type of horse-drawn vehicle or early motor coach, usually open-topped, that was common in Britain during this period.

With benched seats arranged in rows, the vehicle was especially popular for works outings. The name derives from the French char à bancs (carriage with wooden benches), the vehicle having originated in France in the early 19th century.

In the 1950s and 60s in particular, many factories had their annual day out during a period of closure that became known as ‘factory fortnight.’ This was an enforced shutdown to give staff leave during the school summer holidays and present a chance for machinery to be thoroughly checked and maintained.

Whether they had school-age children or not, workers would have no choice but to take a chunk of their holidays during this break.

In today’s fast-moving society long shut-downs like this are uncommon, although many firms across the country still close over the Christmas-New Year period.

Special days out for workers are now rare - in most cases it would be unthinkable for companies to close and relocate their entire workforce to the beach or the Lake District for a day’s fun and frolics. Not to mention the expense incurred in pausing production and organising the treat.

Whether rain or shine, the Morrison’s workers would no doubt return from Blackpool tired and happy, many of them wearing ‘kiss me quick’ hats or clutching cuddly toys won on the amusements.

If anyone remembers being on that Morrison’s coach trip back in the 1960s, please let us know – we would love to hear about it. Maybe you have some photographs taken on the day.

Sadly we were unable to fit the entire picture into this space, so some trippers preparing to board the coach are not included in the photograph.

Helen Mead