The Daily Telegraph - Travel
‘People are looking for a little 1920s-style magic’
Roaring Twenties? Did somebody say Roaring Twenties? Well, yes, Martyn Pring, author of a delightfully illustrated book exploring the era of boat trains to the Continent and trans-atlantic sailings to America. His book, Boat Trains – The English Channel & Ocean Liner Specials looks at the various services that transported early British travellers to the northern French coast – and frequently, courtesy of Le Train Bleu, on to the Riviera.
It was a golden age of travel – the Roaring Twenties indeed. And could we be on the brink of creating a similar era again? Pring, a man with an admittedly rose-tinted view of the way things were, believes we may be.
“The global pandemic has given people the chance to revisit the past and think maybe there was something good about that way of travelling. It wasn’t so fast, but there was a certain panache, a degree of entertainment that people are looking for again.”
This trend was clearly evident before the pandemic – as witnessed by the growth of top-end rail operators such as Belmond, Golden Eagle, Rovos Rail and the Maharajahs Express, providing
“total immersion in an experience of travelling in the style of a bygone era”.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to see some of those things introduced in regular scheduled services? I think people today are looking for little bits of magic in their every day travels.”
‘Boat Trains – The English Channel & Ocean Liner Specials’ by Martyn Pring (RRP £35) is available from Pen & Sword Books (pen-and-sword.co.uk).