Thomas Cook factfile - the 178 year history of Peterborough-based travel firm

After conducting its first trip more than 175 years ago, the UK’s oldest travel firm Thomas Cook went into liquidation this morning (Monday).

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 8:06 am
Thomas Cook's former offices in Coningsby Road, Bretton. ENGEMN00120141202145958

Here we take a look back at the Peterborough-based company’s interesting history.

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Thomas Cook's former offices in Coningsby Road, Bretton. ENGEMN00120141202145958

JULY 5, 1841 - Thomas Cook organises his first excursion, a rail journey for 500 passengers from Leicester to Loughborough for just one shilling

1845 - Thomas Cook conducts his first trip for profit - a railway journey to Liverpool from Leicester, Nottingham and Derby

1855 - Thomas Cook creates his first continental tour, escorting two groups from Harwich in Essex to Paris via Antwerp, Brussels, Cologne, Heidelberg and Strasbourg

1863 - Thomas Cook visits the Alps for the first time and helps to establish Switzerland as a summer holiday destination

1865 - Thomas Cook opens his first high street shop in Fleet Street, London

1872-3 - Thomas Cook organises and leads the first round the world tour. He is away from home for 222 days and covers more than 29,000 miles

1874 - Cook’s Circular Note, an early form of the traveller’s cheque, is launched in New York

1896 - Thomas Cook & Son is appointed Official Passenger Agent for the first modern Olympic Games in Athens

1919 - Thomas Cook & Son is the first travel agent to sell pleasure trips by air

1927 - Thomas Cook & Son Ltd organises the first personally-conducted air tour, from New York to Chicago, for the Dempsey-Tunney heavyweight boxing contest

1965 - Thomas Cook’s net profits exceed £1 million for the first time

1977 - Thomas Cook opens its new administrative headquarters at Thorpe Wood in Longthorpe

1984 - The “Don’t Just Book It. Thomas Cook It!” tagline is introduced

2005 - Thomas Cook announces it is relocating from Bretton, where it had been since 1996, to move to the Lynch Wood Business Park.