Homes on Wheels – The Story of Winchester Caravans
This summer, the Caravan and Motorhome Club Collection, hosted at the National Motor Museum, will be celebrating one of the UK’s most prestigious manufacturers of holiday caravans - Bertram Hutchings Caravans Ltd, later known more simply as Winchester Caravans.
A range of activities will be taking place throughout July and August including an exhibition and talk at Hampshire Record Office in Winchester, plus family activity packs at selected Club Campsites in Hampshire.
Known as ‘The Rolls-Royce of Caravans’, the Winchester Caravans works was located on Stockbridge Road in the Hampshire city. Spanning across five decades and transcending two World Wars, the business was one of the few to successfully produce a range of horse-drawn, motor and trailer caravans, and is a largely forgotten story in the annals of Hampshire’s industrial heritage.
In 2015 a significant collection of photographs, ephemera and journals relating to Winchester Caravans was donated to the Caravan and Motorhome Club Collection. This vast collection has since been catalogued, digitised and researched in detail by a team of volunteers at the National Motor Museum.
Kindly supported by a generous grant from Hampshire Archives Trust, this project will be the first time that a significant collection of photographs, ephemera and journals relating to Winchester Caravans are shared publicly alongside their stories. It will place a spotlight on the family and business which gave freedom and adventure to a growing number of caravan enthusiasts and motorists in the first half of the twentieth century.
Born in Winchester in 1887, Bertram Hutchings opened the city’s first health food shop on Southgate Street in 1910, and his interest in a healthy lifestyle and outdoor living quickly led to the foundation of his caravan building enterprise in 1912. A member of the Royal Photographic Society, Hutchings’ historic collection is bursting with pictures of his many caravan designs taken at locations across Hampshire.
Senior Curator of the Caravan and Motorhome Club Collection, Angela Willis, comments: ‘The arrival of Bertram Hutchings’ collection at the Museum was a real career highlight. It is unusual for the era that such a stunning visual record of a caravan business was created, but for it to have survived to this day is truly remarkable. I am delighted that Bertram Hutchings’ story is returning to Winchester this summer, and we can celebrate his legacy on leisure travel.’
‘Homes on Wheels’ – The Story of Winchester Caravans can be viewed at Hampshire Record Office, Sussex Street, Winchester, SO23 8TH, from 4 July – 31 August 2023 during Record Office opening hours.
Senior Curator of the Caravan and Motorhome Club Collection, Angela Willis, will also be delivering a talk on the history of the caravan holiday in Hampshire at the Record Office on Monday 7 August 2023, 6.30pm – 8.30pm. Prior to the talk, visitors will be able to view the exhibition.
This exhibition has been developed in partnership with the Caravan and Motorhome Club and the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, thanks to a generous grant from Hampshire Archives Trust.
To find out more and book tickets for the talk visit
Notes to Editors:
The Caravan and Motorhome Club Collection is the UK’s most significant collection of
material relating to the history of the leisure caravan and motorhome holiday. The unique collection, which spans from the birth of leisure caravanning in the 1880s through to the present day, has been hosted at the National Motor Museum since 2006. An array of objects, publications, photographs, film footage and sound recordings reflect the history of Europe’s premier touring organisation and the one million caravan and motorhome owners that it now represents.
The National Motor Museum Trust Limited is a charitable organisation founded in 1972, which runs the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in the New Forest. Continuing the work of the flagship Montagu Motor Museum, the Trust has a world-famous collection of 250 vehicles and associated motoring items, which are on display in the National Motor Museum. The nearby Collections Centre houses and cares for a vast array of motoring artefacts, photographic images, specialist reference library and film and video library. For more information about its collection and services see www.nationalmotormuseum.org.uk
Visitors to Beaulieu can enjoy a full day out with features including the ancestral Montagu home Palace House, 13 th century Beaulieu Abbey, adventure play area Little Beaulieu, and grounds and gardens. Tickets can be bought in advance. For tickets or more information see www.beaulieu.co.uk or call 01590 612345.
A full calendar of events and exhibitions is held at Beaulieu by the National Motor Museum, including Collection Centre Open Days, Classic Grille Evenings, Meet the Curator events and Transport Torques. Details are available at www.nationalmotormuseum.org.uk/events
Images to accompany this release are available to download using https://we.tl/t-PJLfiijmAN
Please credit: © Caravan and Motorhome Club Collection
1. Winchester Caravans works pictured in its heyday of the 1930s.
2. A 1920s advert for Bertram Hutchings Caravans Limited, advertising horse-drawn, motor and trailer caravans.
For press enquiries, please contact:
Marketing & Communications Officer,
National Motor Museum.
Tel: 01590 614650 / 07442 456773