The advent of the charabanc to the working classes - especially those slaving in the cotton mills in the North - seemed to evoke a special kind of freedom that not many had ever experienced before. They could save their pennies every week with their local working men's clubs and join all their mates on a lovely day out at Blackpool or Scarborough and escape the drudgery. The workers didn't get paid for any holidays, so a day out in a 'Chara' was all they got. It wasn't until the late sixties and early seventies, when the UK economy started picking up, that the workers got paid for 'Wakes Week'. That in itself spelt the inevitable deathknell for the popular charabanc because now the workers were able to book a whole week away at the seaside B&Bs - or at one of the many holiday camps springing up all over the coasts - and the train took the strain! In this illustrated guide, London cabbie and author Alf Townsend explores the rise and fall of the popular charabanc, the vehicle that holds so many happy memories for so many people.
Alf Townsend is a long-serving London cabbie, a trade journalist and a published author. He has always had a passion for taxis and charabancs. He became a chara driver in the late fifties. Alf's previous books include The Black Cab Story and The London Cabbie. Alf lives in London.