The Holiday Fellowship, 1947 – 1948

Fragment: Photograph album with 50 photographs recording two holidays organised by the Holiday Fellowship during 1947-48.

Conway, June 1947
Isle of Arran, June 1948, ‘All set for the day – taken outside “Altachorvie” – Lamlash.’

The Holiday Fellowship was founded in 1912 by the Congregationalist minister and social reformer, Thomas Arthur Leonard, to counter the flow of working people to such commercialised seaside resorts as Blackpool, by providing the alternative of educational holidays in the open air. He believed walking could be a means of both introducing working people to the natural world and a means of encouraging intellectual discussion and comradeship rather than the indulgence of pleasure which characterised the typical seaside resort. In 1897 he founded the Co-operative Holiday Association for this purpose, only to step down as its secretary in 1912 when he disapproved of its increasing emphasis on middle rather than working class members. It was then that he set up the Holiday Fellowship (HF), of which he became the General Secretary. By the time of Leonard’s death in 1948 the HF had set up 30 British Centers.

Rest at beginning at Sychnant Pass.
‘The three rogues.’

The present album records visits sponsored by the HF, to Conway in June 1947 and to the Isle of Arran in June 1948. In Conway the group stayed at Bryn Corach, which had been the original headquarters of the HF, from which their walks took them as far as the North Wales coast. On the Isle of Arran they were accommodated at the HF center, Altachorvie, on Lamlash Bay. Only on one photograph are members of the group named, in this case as ‘Mary and Kath’. The last photograph in the album is of its (un-named) compiler and her parents in the garden of their home.

Bryn Corach and Conway Bridge, June 1947
‘Mary and Kath, taken at the falle rocks’

The photographs provide a vivid impression of the ambiance of an HF holiday.

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