Caravanning history archive
The Club's Director General, Nick Lomas, shares details of an exciting new resource
The Club magazine has a rich and varied history. Publications in the early days mainly featured listings of members’ vans (they nearly all had names like boats), vans to hire and Club ‘pitches’ or sites on which to stay. From 1935 to 1962, Club members received a members’ supplement alongside the commercially published magazine, The Caravan.
But in 1963 the Club’s own exclusive journal, En Route, was born. In 1999, the name was changed to the Caravan Club Magazine, and it became full colour, rather than black and white.
I’m a lover of Club history, as many of you will know. There is all manner of fascinating material contained in hundreds of issues spanning 60 years – tens of thousands of pages of touring tales and publishing history. With the passing of time, the magazine archive has become a trove of information about vehicles, popular manufacturers and layouts, camping locations, places to visit, the best accessories and equipment, and the people and personalities who made Britain’s biggest members’ Club.
What was the best ‘van in the year you were born? What were the topics of the day in our leisure pursuit? Which destinations were popular and what was the scenery like?
Finding the answers to these questions has been a rather tricky challenge – until now. We’re pleased to announce that the Club magazine archive is being digitised – and the first few years are already available for members to search and discover.
We’ve partnered with an experienced archive provider that has carried out similar work for major motoring magazines. Huge thanks must go to our publishing team and the Club archive team at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, for supporting this venture and making it happen. Thanks also to the members who kindly helped with missing issues. What could previously only be searched for laboriously and manually in the museum’s paper copies is now available to all via a computerised search.
Is this the ultimate caravanning history resource? With interest in the pastime higher than ever, it’s sure to be popular and will no doubt stir many family memories. And it will continue to grow as more historical issues are digitised and new magazines are added. Full access at motoringmagazinearchive.com/CAMC is included with your membership subscription. Non-members will also be able to access this important archive but will have to pay a fee.