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A Happy Nation Timeline

1835 Great Western Railway Opened.

1838 London to Birmingham Railway opened.

1840s Development of Brighton as a popular holiday resort. A cheap day return from London cost 8 shillings (40p).

1841 Thomas Cook runs his first trip, hiring a train to take 500 people from Leicester to Loughborough.

1844 The Railway Act compels all railway companies to run at least one train a day that stops at all stations and charges a fare of no more than one penny a mile.

1846 The first All England Cricket Eleven play.

1850 Factory Act. All mills now stopped working at 2pm on a Saturday. This is the start of Saturday afternoons becoming the main time for sport. King's Cross Station opened, in time for the Great Exhibition.

1851 Many of the visitors to the Great Exhibition travel there on Thomas Cook excursions.

1855 Thomas Cook organises his first trip abroad to the International Exhibition in Paris.

1861 First Open Golf Championship held.

1863 Football Association founded.

1865 The Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities becomes an annual event.

1871 Bank Holidays Act gives people who worked in banks specific days off. This idea quickly spread, giving many workers more time for holidays and leisure activities.

1872 A cup tournament (the FA cup) was held for all clubs that used the FA's rules.

1873 Railway men working for the Great Northern Railway company become the first working men to be given regular holidays with pay.

1880's Thomas Cook and Sons begin to own hotels as well as organise trips. They began to own and manage hotels in Egypt because local ones were supposed to be unhygienic!

1888 Football League was established.