The Club Train
St.Annes Express 1901
A CLUB ON THE RAILWAY.
Perhaps few people in St. Annes are aware that their town
contributes a quota of its residents to the only club of its kind in the world. But
it is so, and the Golden Penny of last week gives an interesting account of " the
only club train in the world." Every day, says this "Golden Pennyworth" a
remarkable train runs between Manchester and Blackpool—a train which consists of a
number of sumptuously appointed carriages, reserved for the members of the Lytham,
St. Annes, and Blackpool Travelling Club, and rightly named "the club train."
The wealthy merchant and well-to-do business man for some years
past had found it extremely inconvenient in travelling to and from their place of
business, especially in the summer months, when all trains on the Blackpool line
were naturally filled. An attempt was made by the railway company to overcome the
difficulty by placing a number of reserved compartments for their use. This did not
answer well as, to the ordinary individual, it was not pleasant to walk the
platform and find only a few "reserved" compartments. Consequently, a few of the
regular passengers banded together into a club, and approached the company with the
suggestion that it should place a number of saloon carriages at the disposal only
of the members of the club. The club on its part guaranteed a membership of forty
individuals, who were prepared to pay a fee to the railway company which should be
in excess of the ordinary first class season ticket.
After some negotiation, the company agreed to the terms, and the
club train sprang into being. Like all other clubs, it is governed by its elected
officers, and boasts of its own code of rules, one of which is : "No member is
allowed to bring a guest or friend on the train, even if he is prepared to pay
treble the 1st class fare." Another and curious one is that which binds its members
to travel with the window shut. The coaches are fitted with ventilators, and anyone
desiring more air may instruct the attendant to open them. At present the club has
a membership of about sixty. The election of members is in the hands of the
president, honorary secretary, and a committee, while a committee of no less than
eight members have the right to expel "any member whose conduct shall make it
desirable that he should cease to be a member of the club." So we see that St.
Annes has at least some share in one of the most curious clubs in the world.
St.Annes Express 1901