Victorian London - Professions and Trades - Service Industry - Travel Agents

see also Edmund Yates in The Business of Pleasure - click here

COOK'S. - This celebrated tourist agency, which probably has conducted more people round the world, over the British Isles, through the cities, towns and countries of the Continent, Egypt and Asia than all similar businesses put together, has the centre of its organisation fixed at Ludgate-cir (Map 7), where a huge pile of buildings, just completed, testify to its importance. This is the place of exchange for foreign money, also where you can make your banking arrangements either for London and England, or - abroad, where you can obtain conducted sight-seeing drives around London, and where you can get tickets with hotel coupons and fixed inclusive tariffs for any part of the habitable globe. It is as an institution of great public utility that we mention it here, - and no visitor to London should fail to look up their central or other London addresses, so that, when requiring information or making arrangements for travel, they can be assured of proper advice how to proceed.

Charles Dickens Jr. et al, Dickens Dictionary of London, c.1908 edition
(no date; based on internal evidence)

RESTALL'S TRIPS.-Through out the summer months Messrs. Restall run half-day excursions to many seaside towns, at such prices as bring a "blow by the briny" within reach of the millions: Brighton, 2s. 6d. return; Littlehampton and Arundel, 2s. 6d. return; Whitstable, Herne Bay, 3s. return; Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate, 4s. return Worthing, Shoreham, Bognor, Chichester, Seaford, Newhaven and Lewes, all at 2s. 6d. return Yarmouth and Lowestoft, 5s. 6d return ; Ipswich, 4s. return Hythe, Sandgate, Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Dover, Walmer and Deal, 3s, 6d. return, and so on. The trains as a rule leave the London terminus, between 11.30 am. and 1 p.m. and the return journey is commenced at a time that will land passengers at their destination in good time to catch their last tram home. Full particulars can be obtained on application at the offices, 64 Cheapside. For following history of the origin of these trips the Editor is indebted to Mr. Fred. J. Restall, whose interview with a representative of the Iron and Steel Trades Journal on May 9, -. 1908 is here reproduced.
    "Our special representative was, this week, accorded an interview with Mr. Frederick J. Restall, of 64, Cheapside (over Bennett's clock), London, E.C.. Mr. Restall was born in Marylebone-rd London, opposite the Hotel Great Central, in 1860. After leaving his school, the London Orphan Asylum, at Watford,  he was apprenticed to Messrs. Debenham and Peabody. Other firms in which he has, been employed are Shoolbred's,Whiteley's, Wright Bros. (Richmond) and Robert Sayle (Cambridge). With a view to popularise the early closing movement and also to create a new source of income, the half-day trips to Brighton were initiated by Mr. Restall in 1894. Prior to that, however, he started half-day trips on June 25, 1885, from Cambridge to Hunstanton, when he was hon. secretary of the Cambridge Early Closing Association. The president at that time was the late Mr. J. Odell Pain, father of Mr. Barry Pain. His second excursion was on August 13, in the same year to Holkham (seat of the Earl of Leicester).
    In July, 1887, Mt. Restall became connected with the staff of  the Early Closing Association, where Mr. Restall was for three and a quarter years. On April 12, 1889, as the result of his own personal canvassing, the drapers of the Old Kent-rd adopted the 2 o'clock Thursday closing. They were the first to adopt it in London; and the scheme was quickly followed by the rank and file of other trades. The first to adopt the early closing movement in the grocery and allied trades were Messrs. Peppercorn Bros., of Deptford and Greenwich. In 1890 Mr. Restall severed his connection with the Early Closing Association, whose president was then Lord Avebury, owing to the statement they made that compulsory closing would be the future platform of the Association, and that voluntaryism had accomplished as much as it would do.
    "On December 4, 1890, a public meeting was held at Hawkstone Hall, where the 'South London Early Closing Association' was formed in order to continue the good work of 'voluntary' closing. That meeting was held under the chairmanship of the present Mr. Justice Darling, when Mr. Restall was appointed secretary.
    "Offices were taken at 158 Borough High-st Southwark, and for two years very considerable useful work was accomplished. In December, 1892, it was decided to approach the late Sir John Blundell Maple to become president, which he did, provided that more central offices were taken and the title of the Association changed from that of the South London to the' Voluntary Early Closing Association.' This was done, and offices were secured the headquarters of the movement at 64, Cheapside, and work there progressed with unabated energy, notwithstanding very considerable opposition.
    "Afternoon trips to the sea side have been run by the North Eastern Ry. and other companies from the northern and midland towns, and while on his holiday in 1881 he observed that a half-day excursion was to run from Hull to Bridlington (1s. 6d.) and Scarborough - (1s. 9d. return). The distance to Scarborough from Hull is 53 miles in each direction. The start from Hull was 1.15 p.m.  7 hours were allowed at Scarborough, and the return journey performed in 1 hours.
    "This idea seemed an excellent one, and he had the honour of initiating the half-day trips to Hunstanton (60 miles) and Holkham (70 miles), in the capacity of hon. secretary to the Cambridge Early Closing Association in June and August, 1885, respectively.
    "For years he had tried to induce the LB. & S.C. Ry. Co. to run a 2s. 6d. afternoon train to Brighton, never dreaming for one moment of having to initiate the innovation by guaranteeing the trains. The Company at that time offered to run a train at 3s- fare if the Association guaranteed 250 passengers - arguing that it cost as much to run a train for half as a whole day, and therefore could not take on the 2s. 6d. suggestion. In 1894 he again asked the L.B. & S.C. Ry. to run a Thursday afternoon trip to Brighton for 2S. 6d. They consented then to the price, but would not run the train on their own account, but advised him to guarantee the requisite number, which, after careful consideration was agreed to, with the result that on July 5, 1894, the first train left London Bridge and New Cross for Brighton, at 2s. 6d. So popular was the suggestion that two trains were dispatched carrying 750 people.
    "The following excursions have been run to various seaside resorts.
    "In 1894, five excursions, Carrying 4,000 passengers; in 1895, 37, Carrying 24,000; in 1896, 50, carrying 55,000; 1897, 120, Carrying 80,000; 1898, 175 carrying 85,000; 1899 (January to September), 79 carrying 84,660 ; in 1900, 109, carrying 99,078; in 1901, 164 carrying 141,263 ; In 1902, 200 carrying 150,099; in 1903, 217 carrying 180,981 ; in 1904, 241 carrying 193,189; in 1905, 252 carrying 208,602; in 1906, 300 carrying 205,885. 
    "In 1907, 294 trips were mad in which 187,000 people were carried, and making the total number of passengers conveyed to the coast, since the inauguration of these trips, - 1,698,700, an giving the total number of trips as 2,243.
    "These facts certainly go to show that Mr. Restall is unquestionably not merely the pioneer of cheap seaside excursions, but that he has conferred a boon on the masses of London and other places in the matter of procuring for them a quick and a cheap ride to some of our most delightful country and seaside places.
    "It would appear that a quick run to the seaside, and an early arrival (10 p.m.) back in London is the most popular.

Charles Dickens Jr. et al, Dickens Dictionary of London, c.1908 edition
(no date; based on internal evidence)