Friday, 5 November 2021

When Publicity Mattered

It Still Matters Today

Look this up on-line and you are told to take a car-free taxi (?) from Woking! Or, what about Legoland.
Travelling by train (according to South Western Railway)

To get to LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort by train, there are two main train stations you can travel into: Windsor & Eton Riverside and Windsor & Eton Central.

If you’re travelling from outside of London, some of the most popular train routes to LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort run from Reading, Farnham, Ascot, Wokingham, Staines, Ashford (Surrey) and Egham.

From Windsor & Eton Riverside or Windsor & Eton Central, walk to Windsor Theatre Royal and take the 702 or 703 bus. There are three to four buses an hour every day, and the journey takes just 10 minutes.

Is there still a shuttle bus?


Can you get a through fare?

Of course not!

Anyway it is all very academic as Legoland is ...
... CLOSED apart from over the "Bonfire" weekend.

Maybe Corfe Castle isn't closed?
It never closes!

How do I get to Corfe Castle? According to South Western Railway
The roads between Wareham and Swanage get busy, especially in summer, so it’s a great idea to take public transport instead.

Travelling by train
Wareham is the nearest station to Corfe Castle, and from there you can hop on the Purbeck Breezer 40 bus which will get you to the castle in just 15 minutes. You can catch a direct train to Wareham from any of the stations on the London Waterloo to Weymouth route, including Woking, Bournemouth, Southampton Central, Southampton Airport Parkway and Winchester.
That's a bit better, but it would be even better better if First at least had a link to the timetable.

And there are through train and bus tickets?

No chance!

Of course, because all this is on-line it is very easy to keep it all up to date.

So why don't they?

You can be forgiven for thinking that the railway companies don't really want you to actually go to these places. Anyway, it is so much easier by car.

By was of a little relaxation, fbb has been perusing some of railway posters, designed to actually encourage you to travel by train.

It Mattered A Great Deal Back Then

Lets start with Hastings, famous for visitors since 1066, as they used to say.
Sadly, there are no longer "through trains from the midlands" but there is a good service from London. Buses are next to the trains at a much improves Interchange ...
... and it is not too far down Havelock Road to the sea front. Turning left, the West Hill lift complete with spooky tunnel; ...
... is set back from the sea front.
... and opposite are the traditional seaside entertainments ...
... and a little further on, the famous Hastings fisherman's huts.
Also here you will find the East Hill Cliff funicular - well worth a ride and perhaps a little more spectacular than its western counterpart..
But, if you turn right at the bottom of Havelock Road you join a lengthy sea front esplanade filled with apartments and hotels rather than seaside "entertainment".
We are moving into the somewhat more distinguished St Leonards-on-Sea. We are also moving on to the old Hastings poster above. You cannot miss this massive building that looks a bit like a beached cruise liner ...
... because it was designed to look like a beached cruise liner.
St Leonards had been built in the 1830s as a seaside resort but was in decline. Borough Engineer Sidney Little had instigated a new seafront for the borough, including a new promenade, an Olympic size Lido and underground car parks.

The controversial design concept, which was opposed by local residents, was to emulate the lines of the RMS Queen Mary. The eastern end is curved and steps back as the building rises, the part housing the restaurant giving the impression of the ship's fo'c'sle. The western end of the building is also curved. All the apartments have balconies on the southern elevation resembling the promenade decks of the liner, and also step back as the building rises. The building originally had a rooftop bar.

A restaurant over two floors was included in the design, each floor capable of seating 500. The restaurants were capable of hosting dances and had their own separate entrance for non-residents. At the rear of the building were bedrooms and bathrooms for the use of residents guests. There was also a large public lounge ...
... and other public rooms which were “furnished in exquisite taste and equipped in the most modern style".

You could buy a cut-out model ...
... and the block featured on a Maidstone and District timetable book.
By the time the 154 was passing, the whole project was in decline. Fortunately commercial rescue came along, but no longer as a "residential hotel", now just a block of flats but with magnificent sea views.

And trains to London from the nearby St Leonards Warrior Square station, rather than Hastings ...
... or the sweet and dinky West St Leonards ...
 if you don't mind a leisurely journey!
Sadly, you won't see glorious travel posters for Hastings (and St Leonards!) on South Eastern's stations.

More from old travel posters soon.

 Next Variety blog : Saturday 6th November 


  1. Andrew Kleissner5 November 2021 at 07:21

    To be fair, Corfe Castle isn't open 24 hours per day, and it does close at Christmas (as, of course, do railways). More to the point, on summer Saturfdays in 2019 at least there were direct trains off the main line to Corfe; I don't know if these ran in 2020 or 2021 though.

  2. So Ascot to Legoland would be train to Staines, change to train to Windsor then 702 or 703. Or 703 direct from Ascot in around 15 min (although to be fair it depends which part of Ascot you're travelling from).

  3. You might not see "glorious posters for Hastings" but Southeastern is pretty good at destination marketing, with digital campaigns promoting various locations more or less monthly. And certainly pre-Covid, it did have posters for destinations, if not quite as stylish/stylised as the example above.

  4. - shows that through tickets are issued by GWR at least. SWR's website has a page on Legoland but is silent on how you get from Windsor. Odd because the 2006 National Fares Manual shows through bus/rail/admission bookings as available to both Windsor stations.Maybe dropped because of lack of publicity?(apologies- this was accidentally attached to the previous day's blog.)