Couple in a pedalo

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Historic England/John Laing Collection

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Felixstowe was one of the seaside resorts construction firm John Laing arranged trips to for its workers and their families

Pictures of post-war workers heading off on their summer holidays have been added to an online archive.

Historic England has spent almost two years digitising 10,000 pictures from the John Laing Photographic Collection for public viewing online.

The latest and last to be added are 700 pictures taken by John Laing photographers for the construction firm’s in-house newsletter Team Spirit.

They show workers enjoying company away days at the seaside.

A train engine with a Laing sign on the front

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Historic England/John Laing Collection

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The construction firm liked to reward its workers with trips to the seaside

John Laing was founded in Carlisle in 1848 and became one of Britain’s biggest construction firms, playing a key role in rebuilding the nation after World War Two.

It arranged company away days, events and trips to the seaside for the families of its workers with photographs taken to record the occasions for the company’s newsletter, published from 1946 until 2001.

Children and adults crammed together in carriage

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Historic England/John Laing Collection

Image caption

The company away days, such as this one from London to Bournemouth in 1953, were popular with the whole family

The photo collection, which has more than 230,000 images, is held by Historic England.

A spokesman said John Laing’s management had “enlightened attitudes” towards its staff with a “strong focus on family values”.

Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson added: “Covering everything from seaside adventures to company sports days, these fantastic photographs evoke the joy of holidays and colleagues coming together.”

Two men and three women link arms on the beach

Image copyright
Historic England/John Laing Collection

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Many of the firm’s workers went on its away days to seaside resorts

Two adults and a child ride water boat ride

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Historic England/John Laing Collection

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Workers from South Yorkshire and the West Midlands were treated to a family trip to Skegness in 1954

Man and child on Ferris wheel

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Historic England/John Laing Collection

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The Skegness fair was popular with all ages of those who went on the company trips

Three men take part in a sack race

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Historic England/John Laing Collection

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An annual employees’ sports day was also held with the 1966 event taking place at Copthall Stadium in the London suburb of Hendon

Four girls prepare for egg and spoon race

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Historic England/John Laing Collection

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Children were also encouraged to take part at the sports day

Director being dunked into pool in chair

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Historic England/John Laing Collection

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The company’s directors also joined in the frivolities, although the fun was often at their own expense

man helps child build sandcastle

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Historic England/John Laing Collection

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The construction firm’s workers were always keen to pass their skills to the next generation, as demonstrated by district manager GB Malcolm in Skegness in 1948

Large group having afternoon tea

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Historic England/John Laing Collection

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Some popped to the Spa cafe in Bridlington for refreshments

People queue at train station

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Historic England

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The away days were popular, as shown by the queue waiting at Bournemouth station

man with two girls in horse-drawn carriage

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Historic England/John Laing Collection

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The workers and their families found plenty to do on trips to resorts such as Gorleston-on-Sea near Great Yarmouth

Workers outside a queue of buses

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Historic England/John Laing Collection

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The firm would move its workers and their families en masse, in this case to Whitley Bay

Large groups of people at tables in a hall

Image copyright
Historic England/John Laing Collection

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While some families enjoyed a meal in Whitley Bay…

Child licks large stick of rock

Image copyright
Historic England/John Laing Collection

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… others were happy with just a sweet treat in Minehead

All pictures are subject to copyright.

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