Where shall we go? Outings and excursions in years gone by

Until the mass production of cars, most people walked or, if they were wealthy enough, travelled by horse and carriage.

Occasionally, an excursion by waggonette provided a novelty day’s outing.

Out for the day - these ladies are enjoying a rest by the wayside with their driver.

Out for the day - these ladies are enjoying a rest by the wayside with their driver.

in Hemel Hempstead, the Heath Park Hotel and Bell Inn Yard offered landaus, broughams and dog carts as well as waggonettes for hire.

In Tring, Arthur Gower advertised open and closed motor cars together with horse-drawn carriages for hire.

Wright and Wright, also of Tring, were building motor cars for business or pleasure.

Sunday School treats, or visits to Hemel Hempstead’s ‘Statty Fair’ held in September on the Rose and Crown Meadow, provided welcome entertainment for youngsters.

There were also church choir outings, such as the one in 1888, when the vicar, Dr Robbins, took the reins on the journey to Windsor and promptly had an accident. The party eventually arrived home at midnight.

The railways brought visitors to the area and hordes of excited London children would enjoy the fresh air and fun at Gee’s Meadow – now named Box Hill – in Boxmoor, or Howe’s Retreat in Felden.

Fairground rides and refreshment marquees were set up to amuse young and old alike.

A chauffeur and vehicle could be hired for the day, when companies such as Pemsel and Wilson hired out their Ford cars.

Charabancs were also becoming popular, as they could carry large numbers of passengers – the forerunner of today’s coaches.

Do you remember going on an outing in Dacorum? Where would you recommend today’s tourists to visit in our area?