Whatever happened to 'rational' holidays for working people c.1919-2000? The competing demands of altruism and commercial necessity in the Co-operative Holidays Association and Holiday Fellowship

Hope, Douglas G. (2015) Whatever happened to 'rational' holidays for working people c.1919-2000? The competing demands of altruism and commercial necessity in the Co-operative Holidays Association and Holiday Fellowship. Doctoral thesis, University of Cumbria (awarded by the University of Lancaster).

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Abstract

The focus of this thesis is on two pioneering organisations that were at the forefront of the provision of ‘rational’ holidays for the working-class during the early twentieth century: the Co-operative Holidays Association (CHA) and the Holiday Fellowship, founded by Thomas Arthur Leonard in 1893 and 1913 respectively. This research seeks to establish how these pioneers of recreative and educational holidays for working people dealt with the far-reaching changes in social, economic and cultural conditions during the period 1919-2000. It makes a significant original contribution to twentieth-century leisure and tourism history, especially that of the outdoor movement.

Utilising important original source material, the research analyses the continuities and changes in these two organisations during the period 1919-2000 and the linkages and differences between them. The thesis explores the way the CHA and Holiday Fellowship dealt with the often conflicting demands of altruism and commercial necessity as the twentieth century progressed and assesses the extent to which they drifted away from their original ideals in order to combat the challenges of consumerism.

The research takes a cultural history perspective, contextualising both organisations within a wider history of leisure, with specific reference to ‘rational’ recreation and the Victorian principles of respectability, co-operation and collectivism, and voluntarism. The research shows that the CHA and Holiday Fellowship were distinguishable from other ‘rational’ holiday providers; they had a distinct rural focus and the emphasis of their holidays was on healthy recreation and quiet enjoyment. They were almost unique in that they were equally attractive to women and men. However, both eventually served the middle classes rather than the working class for whom they were originally intended. Nevertheless, these pioneers of recreative and educational holidays unquestionably made a significant contribution to the democratisation of the countryside as a leisure space.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Departments: Faculty of Education, Arts and Business > Institute of the Arts > Humanities
Depositing User: DOUGLAS HOPE
Date Deposited: 03 May 2016 13:13
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2017 13:57
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/1770

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