Football Specials

The day to day working of the Caledonian Railway Company, including its constituents and successors.
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LarryC
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:28 am

Football Specials

Post by LarryC »

I have a friend who has asked me about football specials run by Scottish railways in the period 1880 to 1923, with particular reference to the west of Scotland and the 1920 cup final between Albion Rovers and Kilmarnock. He wondered whether the railways offered these specials, or whether the clubs applied for them. Also, did the specials offer a significant saving to fans in terms of price? I suppose that older stock was pressed into service and that catering on board was limited.

With the growth of urban tramways in the west of Scotland after c 1900, shorter distance specials would have been less attractive to both railways and fans so the 1920 cup final would be an interesting illustration.

If anyone has pictures of football specials in operation in this period, that would be a tremendous help. Pictures of these relating to the 1920 final would be like gold.
caley739
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:59 am

Re: Football Specials

Post by caley739 »

The Appendix to the WTT dated 1st May 1915 on pages 109/110 has a lenthy section headed HOLIDAYS,FAIRS,RACES,SHOWS,FOOBALL MATCHES,AND OTHER UNUSUAL EVENTS REQUIRING SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS. There is a sub section headed SATURDAY HALF-DAY FOOTBALL EXCURSION FARES which apply for guarantee of 200 adult fares. These fares seem to be a discount of 5% on ordinary third class fares. Elsewhere a discount of 10% is mentioned for a guarantee of 500 adult fares, although not specificaly related to football excursions. The guarantee seems to be by the football club or a person acting on their behalf.

This seems to indicate that football excursions were a regular important part of the business.

On second thoughts the 5% and 10% discount might apply to the special excursion fares, already lower than ordinary fares, if the guarantee of 200 and 500 fares was met or exceeded.

Tom Robertson
Jim Summers
Posts: 1000
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Football Specials

Post by Jim Summers »

Tom is quite right, and I would only add that the railway companies, Caley included, had a number of passenger canvassers, who would certainly deal with the guaranteed excursions (GAREX in the trade), and would be in touch with football supporters' clubs, welfare clubs and the like. They were experienced people and were expected to be capable of roughing out notional timetable paths during negotiations.

Wish it were that simple nowadays . . . .

Jim
caleyJim
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:10 pm

Re: Football Specials

Post by caleyJim »

An article I have transcribed from the May 1931 edition of LMS Magazine deals with football specials for Hamden in the 1930s and might be of interest:

http://www.lmssociety.org.uk/topics/mtFlorida.php

Jim
LarryC
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:28 am

Re: Football Specials

Post by LarryC »

Guys

Thanks to all for coming back with this information. Developing this line further, I assume the route for trains from Kilmarnock supporters would follow the Direct Line; would they then be stored on the Kings Park to Burnside section for the return journey?

How would trains from Coatbridge travelled and been marshalled?

Presumably the North British would also have run football specials from Coatbridge, and the Sou'West from Kilmarnock.
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