The tradition of annual excursions by train from Bentley’s brewery started in 1880. Below is a description of a trip to Liverpool in 1891.
TRIP TO LIVERPOOL. Rothwell Times. 17 July 1891.
The annual fete day at Messrs. Henry Bentley & Co’s (Limited) has again come and gone, leaving very pleasant memories behind in the minds of those concerned. Arrangements having been made whereby an excursion could be run from Woodlesford to Liverpool, each of the persons in any way employed by the firm, was generously presented with a ticket for the trip, which took place last Saturday.
Favored with the promise of a fine day, a large and merry party assembled at Woodlesford station shortly after six o’clock, and by half-past everybody was waiting for the expected train.
As the trip was arranged to include the principal depots of the firm, the train started from Bradford, and called at Leeds and Hunslet, taking up a number of passengers, both employees and strangers.
Soon after the advertised hour, the ‘puffer’ drew up at Woodlesford, and the long line of carriages were speedily occupied, two saloons having been reserved for the officials of the Company, and heads of departments.
Calls were made at all stations up to Normanton, and then the trippers got fairly off, going by way of Barnsley, Guide Bridge, and Warrington.
Arrived in Liverpool, the company divided, and were soon engaged, first in attending to the inner man, and next in seeing some of the wonders of the city. While there is plenty to see in the city itself, most of the ‘country folk’ made for the water, and no wonder. What a sea of masts; what shoals of steamers, big and little; what a constant hurry past of all nationalities; what meetings and partings; what an area of bonded warehouses.
A ride along the docks, with its many acres of piles of wood from all parts of the world; with its cargoes of all commodities from every land; what an eye-opener is a day spent amongst such wonders.
Many of us took a view of the ‘Scythia,’ one of the American liners, and were delighted and surprised with the cleanliness, tidiness, and compactness of everything, and as one lady said “not a woman on board,” all done by that poor helpless creature, man.
Then there was a trip to New Brighton, with its extensive sands, and its breezy situation, a splendid thing for poor cooped-up Liverpoolites. A ride through the Mersey Tunnel to Birkenhead was also one of the things to be done and enjoyed.
But it is useless attempting to mention all the pleasures to be obtained on such a trip; suffice it to say, that the hilarity coming home was even greater than in going although their appeared to be nobody actually drunk, and on arriving at Woodlesford just at midnight, a more orderly company could hardly have been found. It is to be hoped that Bentley’s men still endeavour to maintain their character as steady brewers.