A Family Caravanning Flashback

A family photo found after almost 60 years
A family photo found after almost 60 years

Tuesday, 23, Apr 2019 12:38

By William Coleman

This past Easter Bank Holiday the family got together for a bit of a reunion and to make the most out of the amazing weather we had. While going through some of my nan's old belongings my aunt stumbled across the little treasure chest of family memories that showed what the British caravan holiday was like in the 60s.

They say that caravan holidays are a generational thing that is passed down, his was certainly true for my family. When I was a child I went on several caravan holidays each year with all my different family members, as I am sure a lot of our readers did and still do.

So to start this story off it does have to start on a bit of a sad note which was the passing of my grandmother back in October 2017. Since then the family had not had a full reunion due to us being a bit spread over the globe, which is why this bank holiday was so special for everyone.

Nan lived to the bold age of 94 and was as healthy and fit as a 25 year old before her passing. Nanny Violet had a personal hand in raising pretty much every single member of my family.

A brave woman who lived through the World War II and actually have birth to my Aunt Jackie during a German bombing scare. I am told it was in a bunker but that story may have been exaggerated over the years.

Having raised 6 children of her own, 13 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren she made sure we all went away with her on a caravan trip and always by the seaside.

Over the years I went on all different types of caravan holiday with Nanny Violet, mostly static as she got a little older but early on when I was around 5-6 there was the odd towing caravan trip with nan. I do have fond memories of paddling in the sea holding her hand because I was scared of sharks. Very common in inch deep waters of Ilfracombe in the early 90s.

As we went through the slides it was made apparent that these photos were being seen for the first time by mum and her siblings as they were thought lost and never turned into actual photos.

According the Uncle Clive, granddad thought slides were the future of photography. Suffice to say he may have been slightly wrong on that and subsequently these slides just sat in a box in different garages and homes over the past almost 60 years.

During the "screening" we were giving a bit of a talk through each photo, including debates trying to figure out who the random people were in each slide. Once that was done we seemed to move on to a whole sleeve of slides that were photos of holidays and days out with the family.

Trips to the coast really are not that different now from what they were 5 decades ago. There were the classic bucket and spades with your sandwich packed lunch sitting on the sand. The one photo that really stood out to me was the whole family packed into a tow car with all the kit stacked on the roof.

From what I can tell the towcar being used was an early Standard Vanguard estate, the earlier model (1947-52), I wonder what towing mileage this got. Attached to it is a single axle caravan without any branding ot insignia to give away the make and model.

I had no idea that the caravan love in my family went back this far. I just assumed that my parents took me on them and subsequently when mum and dad could not Nan would step in and take us all away.

The photo just displays everything there is to say about the caravan holiday. It is almost like the portrait of the Great British holiday. I know this is not exactly groundbreaking news but I thought it was well worth sharing and hopefully will jog some happy memories for you too.

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