The love affair of Great Britain with the caravan has never grown since the first house on wheels & # 39; was built in 1885 for a post-war explosion in mobile homes, fueled by more family businesses.
It is estimated that one million Britons have either a caravan on the road, a camper or a caravan that is permanently parked in a camp. The industry is worth £ 6 billion every year for the economy.
According to the National Caravan Club, more than 130,000 people, including part-time and seasonal staff, are employed by the industry, with Britons spending around £ 2 billion and spending 50 million nights in caravans every year.
It all started shortly before the start of the era of the internal combustion engine, when a Scottish physician, Dr. William Stables, his & Wanderer & # 39; caravan ordered, which was pulled by two horses.
Hundreds of years carriages had been pulled by horses – especially within the gypsy community, but Dr Stables wanted to experience a traveling lifestyle and became the self-styled Gentleman Gypsy & # 39 ;, thus creating a new leisure activity.
Scottish doctor Dr. William Stables, pictured with his dog and a friend, gave in 1885 the first leisure caravan in the world. He wanted to be known as & # 39; The Gentleman Gypsy & # 39; as he traveled through the country and was pulled by two horses
When the Wanderer was put into operation, the internal combustion engine was still in its infancy, so it was not a practical option to transport something because heavy and motorized steam engines of that time were either incredibly bulky tractors or cars with a very limited capacity. and little practical reach
According to reports from that time, The Wanderer had problems navigating through the poor, unpaired roads of the country
After the horrors of the First World War and with the growth in the number of personal cars, Britons were looking for new ways to spend their free time.
Bill Eccles Snr from Eccles Motor Transport Ltd saw a potential new and lucrative market and created the world's first prototype of a caravan that was specifically designed to be towed behind a car.
In 1919 he sold the first prototype to the douairist Countess Rhonda and he soon had 50 more orders in his books. In the twenties he continued to refine his designs and the company became a world leader.
The caravan was shown at the 1922 Motor Show in White City, which further increased demand.
The company carried out a number of stunts in the 1930s – including bringing a caravan to the Monte Carlo rally and towing another through the Sahara Desert.
The Second World War, however, forced the factory to move production to war equipment.
These two ladies were together on a caravan holiday in August 1939, just weeks before the war was declared with Germany, driving what looks like an incredibly unusual Packard Sedan
The first caravans designed to be towed by a car were designed by Eccles Motor Transport Limited from Birmingham
This caravan was exhibited during the motor exhibition in 1926, which was held at Olympia in London
This group of friends had a caravan and a tent on the banks of the River Thames in Chertsey in the thirties of the last century. One of the ladies seems to tinker with the Seagull outboard on the back of the boat, left
These three ladies appear on April 15, 1930 to enjoy a caravan holiday in the shade of a tree on the river
According to The Mirror, Simon McGrath of the Camping and Caravanning Club said: "Since the first commercially produced caravan was launched in 1919, designs and production processes have developed enormously to make them lighter and truly at home.
Early models were made of wood and often covered with hardwood like mahogany, making them surprisingly heavy for such a small size. & # 39;
According to Mr. McGrath, the club had 755 members in 1919, which increased to 50,000 in 1960. Today there are an estimated 730,000 members.
This family paints their caravan for a holiday in Cheshunt in Easter 1951 – which had to be carefully planned because petrol was still rationed in Britain at that time
This couple, driving a Hillman Minx and a Hillmann Wizard, met outside a caravan depot in Malden, Surrey, to pick up their new mobile homes in the early 1930s
In 1919 there were 755 members of the Camping and Caravanning Club, because people saw the opportunities offered by towing your holiday accommodation on the back of your car.
Early caravans cost initially in the region of £ 100 – about £ 5,000 in today's money – now a new caravan costs £ 15,000
It is estimated that the caravan industry is worth £ 6 billion every year for the British economy. This family enjoys their short break in Hurley Farm, near Maidenhead, Berkshire around 1934
Due to the growing popularity of the car owners could buy their own caravans and explore the country, like this scene with two campers on their way to their campsite in 1956
Some Britons, such as Frank Taylor, his wife Joan and their children, took the caravan to the extreme, using them to visit Canada.
Actors such as Shelia Hamilton, pictured, with co-stars Jack Harnett and Ron Priestly in a touring caravan
Today, the industry is worth around £ 6 billion for the British economy
The first commercially available caravans cost about £ 100, which amounts to around £ 5,000 in today's money.
New caravans now start at around £ 15,000, while a state-of-the-art motor home will cost you as much as £ 146,000.
In contrast to early caravans, today's models are well insulated, equipped with many modern appliances and even satellite dishes, so that people can follow their favorite TV shows while on the road.
This small caravan was towed to a beach in the 1960s with a panoramic view of the water – although it seems to be parked under the tide line
In the 1960s there were an estimated 50,000 campers in Britain, encouraged by the opening of the road network, such as The Feather's Caravan Park, Whitley Bay in Tyne and Wear.
The caravan fad also led to the creation of campers – specially converted vans that include kitchens and bunk beds. This picture shows a Dormobile caravan towing an Alpine Sprite 4-person caravan to a Caravan Club location in Harleyford, near Marlow, Buckighamshire in the late 1950s or early 1960s
This family is sitting in front of their mobile home and their 1965 Hillman Minx at a caravan park in Sussex
Today there are an estimated 550,000 caravans on the road with another 300,000 mobile homes
Some modern campers can cost up to £ 146,000 depending on their size and the level of equipment inside
This is a Citroën C5-hdi that tows a caravan from 2002