The Penny Salon Gallery is ready to welcome back visitors from 24 July19th July 2021

With all the uncertainties about foreign travel in the current post-Covid situation we take a look back to a time when holidays in Britain were the norm. The end of World War 2 in 1945 led to a resurgence in travel and tourism after the restrictions imposed during the hostilities. But this was before the jet age, and few people had cars, so it was buses and coaches and the newly nationalised railways that saw a business boom through the early 1950s. It was a golden age for what we now call the hospitality industry.

For many East Londoners, the Essex seaside resorts of Southend and Clacton were the first choice for holidays.

By the 1960s it had all changed. The jetliner had arrived, and it was the Costas rather than Clacton. More people could afford cars in a time of ‘You’ve never had it so good’ and the first motorways were built. The railways were losing money fast. Soon in would come the Beeching axe...

Summer beach scene Summer bus tour

Visit the Penny Salon Micro Gallery at Ongar station for a look back at the days when most people still took their holidays in Britain, and the public transport that took them there. Relive the nostalgia of 1950s and 1960s holidays - though hopefully without the rain!

The exhibition, Staycations - Travel and Tourism in London and the Southeast 1945 to 1965, is showing until 30 August, is open for viewing whenever the Epping Ongar Railway is operating. Located in the former Ladies waiting room at Ongar station, admission is free.