Baptist Church, Melbourne (Cook Plaque)

Recent Photograph of Baptist Church (Cook Plaque) (Melbourne)

This plaque is in between the 2 windows in the front of the Church. Thomas COOK was born 22nd November 1808, and was the founder of "Thomas Cook and Son", now a household word in the travel business - “Don't just book it - Thomas Cook it” - as their advertising slogan goes.

More comprehensive details of his ‘rags to riches’ story are available on several sites online, but briefly, he became a Baptist Minister, and in 1841 persuaded the Midland Counties Railway Company to run an ‘excursion’ train from Leicester and Loughborough to attend a major Temperance rally. This ‘day trip’ proved to be so popular that the railway agreed to make such arrangements regularly if Cook would provide the passengers. He also organised excursions from Leicester to Calais for the Paris Exposition of 1855, and in the 1880s, provided military transport and postal services with Egypt.

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

[1] Thomas Cook (Wikipedia), and various other accounts.

Image contributed by Paul Slater on 19th February 2001.
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