We partner with the National Motor Museum for WW1 project
The National Motor Museum Trust, Beaulieu, has commemorated the centenary of the First World War in this project, ‘Caravans and Charabancs – Leisure Motoring after the First World War’. Caravans and Charabancs explores the untold legacy of this devastating conflict, charting how accelerated social and technological developments in wartime led to a revolution in leisure motoring in the decades that followed.
In 2006 The Caravan Club Collection was transferred to the National Motor Museum Collections Centre from Club headquarters. Since this time a Curator and a team of volunteers have been working to improve access and preservation. This work has led to numerous displays, exhibitions, publications and educational workshops which have showcased the Collection.
The Caravan Club Collection dates from the birth of leisure touring caravans in 1885 through to its Centenary Celebrations in 2007 and beyond. Material includes a variety of memorabilia, publications, photographs, film footage and sound recordings reflecting the history of its services and members.
A programme of community events, exhibitions and social media campaigns will encourage the public to engage with previously unseen aspects of The Caravan Club Collection and that of the National Motor Museum’s Designated Photographic Collection.
HLF funding will also enable the Museum to purchase and preserve a unique private collection of over 400 historic photographs and postcards featuring charabancs, the forerunner to the long distance coach, which offered affordable day trips to the British public.
This collection will be integral in telling the little-known story of the First World War’s influence on post-war leisure motoring. “As the war ended, those that returned home often did so with new ambitions and a bonus in their back pocket. Many were introduced to motor vehicles on the battlefield, and some were inspired to put their new-found skills to good use in peacetime”, explains Curator of The Caravan Club Collection, Angela Willis.
“Ex-war vehicles and surplus parts were sold off by the government at knock-down prices. These became the building blocks of charabancs and trailer caravans, fulfilling the demand for leisure journeys into the next decade.”
The National Motor Museum’s Director of Collections Andrea Bishop said: “The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu is delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting this community-based project which enables us to participate in the First World War commemorations. We look forward to engaging with new audiences as we explore and develop our Designated Collections, and to working with all project partners, including The Caravan Club.”
External Communications and Sponsorship Manager
The Caravan Club
01342 336 797 / 07771 834 443
The Caravan Club
01342 779 346
Notes to editor
Champions of the great outdoors, The Caravan Club represents the interests of over one million caravanners, motorhomers and trailer tent owners across the UK.
The Caravan Club offers its members over 200 Club Sites and 2,500 privately owned places to stay, and provides all members with expert advice, overseas travel services, financial services and exclusive member offers and discounts.