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image source: http://www.buycampervan.co.nz/history/
The history of sleeping under canvas or taking to the road in a vehicle with your own bed within still plays a charm in 2015. It's easy, inexpensive and flexible -‐ but when did it start becoming a proper industry?
We humans have been taking to the road pretty much since we came down from the trees – even the Iliad mentions the Achaeans “setting up camp “near Troy. But sleeping under canvas until only about a century ago was mainly for reasons of war or economic necessity and it was only at the start of the twentieth century that the leisure part of camping really took off.
Although caravans had been used in Europe and Britain by Romany groups for at least a century before, it wasn’t until 1906 that The Caravan Club of Great Britain and Ireland was established. The term 'caravan' is even older, coming originally from the Moroccan 'karwan', or group of desert travellers, and dating back to Biblical times. It was first used in Britain to mean 'vehicle' around the 19th century.
Caravanning and camping has been an integral part of British life ever since, with the Caravan Club even providing caravans to the Red Cross in the First World War, and the rise of the scouting movement around this time bringing camping to thousands of households around the country. The 1930s and the economic crisis saw many people roaming the country looking for seasonal or temporary work, and yet more tried camping for the first time to escape the bombs, danger and strict food rationing in London in the Second World War.
Due to the war years it was not until the 1950s that motor caravans eventually became popular in the UK -‐ Motor caravans in the 1950’s were not “reinvented” as such -‐ they grew from a need: coach builders studied the market place and discovered that van owners not only needed their vehicle to be the “work horse” throughout the week, they also needed it to take the family out at weekends. This need led to various adaptations being made to the vehicles, starting with simple seats that folded down at the weekends. If seats could be fitted
why not more windows, perhaps a cooker and so on, thus leading to the popular well equipped motor caravans of the so called “boom years of the motorhome”: the 50’s and 60’s.
Source: https://www.pitchup.com/blog/2011/feb/08/history-‐camping-‐and-‐caravans/ http://www.classic-‐campers.co.uk/id1.html
We picked our favourite 5 films that celebrate this marvellous means of transport and holidaying – autumn is not quite here yet!
1. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-‐country trip in their VW bus.
2. The Long, long trailer (1953)
Nicky and Tacy are going to be married. Nicky wants to save up money for a house, but Tacy dreams of starting off with their own home on wheels-‐-‐a trailer.
3. RV -‐ Runaway Vacation (2006)
Bob Munro and his dysfunctional family rent an RV for a road trip to the Colorado Rockies, where they ultimately have to contend with a bizarre community of campers.
4. About Schmidt (2002)
A man upon retirement embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter's wedding only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.
5. The Bus Movie (2012)
A look at the history, evolution and cultural significance of the VW Bus.
All films descriptions source: http://www.imdb.com
Date Created: 12/09/2015