A brief history of the Eccles Caravan Owners Club.

The Eccles Caravan Owners Club is one of the oldest surviving single brand owners clubs with its roots going back to the 1930's, the early days of caravanning. The Eccles marque is one of the oldest and most respected in the business, with a real history, its products being owned and used by many a famous name

The first production of 50 units from the Eccles factory in Birmingham is believed to have commenced in 1919, and is chronicled as the first "conventional" caravan designed to be towed by a normal car, using a towbar and single axle.

Early 1920's Eccles Caravan. Can you tell us more?

Known to be an Eccles unit, 
		believed to be from 1919, If you know what it was called, or you have photos similar to this, please e-mail us with details

Sometime between the First and Second World Wars, an "Eccles Caravan Owners Club" was known to have been in existence, however little or no information survives from this period. If you have any knowledge or information about the club during that time, then please let us know and we will add it to this archive.
We'll be pleased to hear from you.

In March 1969, a GOLDEN JUBILEE Rally was held at Newmarket, not too far from the then Eccles factory. There, during the weekend, and mainly initiated by the factory, there was interest in re-forming an "Eccles Caravan Owners Club". This was followed in September of that same year with an Inaugural Rally held at the July Racecourse at Newmarket.

At this meeting it was decided to format the club with a Central Committee and four regional areas, Northern, South East, South West, and a Scottish region. The regions adopted emblems; the North used the Snail, nowadays used by the Motor Caravanners Club, (no connection) the South East adopted a Pink Elephant, whilst the South west used a Sou'wester, but subsequently changed to a Cockerel, as used to-day by the Eccles Caravan Owners Club. We don't have any record of an emblem used by the Scottish region.

Circa 1969/1974 Eccles van, continental model. Well, the door is 
		on the 'wrong' side! Can anyone confirm the model and year please?
1946 Eccles Caravan, model not known. Believed 
		to have a stable door. Notice the Gull Wing type rooflights.

The Eccles Caravans Owners Club was given excellent support during it's formative years by Derek Gibbon of Caravans International (later to become CI Caravans). Derek was the National Committee Secretary for the Club, and provided the much-needed and all-important contact between the factory and the Club. It is probably true to say that without this help, the Club would perhaps never have got off the ground. Derek gave much of his time to the Club for the 19 years until his sad death in December 1988.

Throughout the 1970's, the South East region supported a residential Children's Home at Westoning, while the South West region helped at a similar home at Gyde House in Painswick when the National Children's Homes organised their Bonfire Weekend. Two more National Rallies were held at Newmarket and then from 1972 onwards the National Rallies rotated between the three surviving regions, (the Scottish Region having disbanded). Up until 1994 this pattern continued with the National Rally reverting to Newmarket every fourth year.

Since 1996 the Eccles brand has been owned and produced by Sterling Caravans as part of the Swift Group whose valuable support we enjoy but they are not involved in the operation of the club.

In 2009 we celebrated 90 years of Eccles caravans. The present club was reformed in 1969 and therefore 2009 saw the double celebration of 90 years of Eccles caravans and 40 years of the Eccles Caravan Owners Club. 2014, saw an important milestone in the Club's history in that we celebrated our 500th rally.

                

2001-2015 Eccles Caravan Owners Club