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70 Glorious Years

Since 1952, Queen Elizabeth has been a constant in an ever-changing Britain. Camping is, much like the Queen, a British staple, a much-loved tradition.

1951 The first official Caravan and Motorhome Club site was created for visitors to the Festival of Britain at Crystal Palace, originally called Caravan Harbour.

1955 The Club presented a young Prince Charles and Princess Anne with a fully-working miniature caravan at Buckingham Palace.

1958 The towing speed limit is raised by 10mph to 40mph.

Driving break on autobahn, VW Campervan in 1959
Driving break on autobahn (1959)

1959 VW Campervans were an instant hit when they were launched in 1950. Their compact size and versatile interior made them a popular choice for family road trips and camping holidays throughout the mid-late 20th century. They have been in production for 73 years - longer than the Queen's reign!

1968 Alan Rogers launches the first guide that bears his name. It features 50 'really good' sites across the continent. 

A couple enjoys their camping holiday over a cup of coffee on the Côte d'Azur in 1970
A couple enjoys their camping holiday on the Côte d'Azur (1970)

1970 The seventies saw Brits arrive on Europe's shores in larger numbers than ever before. By 1972, Spain had established itself as a favourite holiday destination, as had the south of France. The Côte d'Azur had historically attracted a more affluent crowd, but times were changing the campsites, holiday parks and affordable hotels were popping up to serve the flocks of Brits coming to lap up the Mediterranean sun.

1976 Alan Rogers publishes its first guide to British campsites.

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▲ 1977 Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee, celebrating 25 years on the throne.

1980 The Club receives one of the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday awards for its support of the Keep Britain Tidy Group, and its outstanding record of tidiness and environmental responsibility.

1985 The Alan Rogers 'Good Camps in France' guide is published.

1986 Alan Rogers retires. The company is bought by Clive and Lois Edwards.

Alan Rogers inspectors VW Campervan in 1989

▲ 1989 Our very own AR Campervan makes its debut journey across Spain and Portugal, driven by Susie and Keith, who both worked our publishing team from the mid 80s until 2016. Starting in Santander they, along with their daughter Caroline, journeyed along the north coast, assessing three campsites a day, before driving down through Portugal and back into southern Spain. In Gibraltar, they caught a flight back to the UK while the camper waited for the next set of inspectors to pick it up and continue the tour.

1992 The Queen celebrates her Ruby Jubilee - marking the 40th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

1993 We introduce our first logo. The brand stays in use for nearly 20 years until 2011.

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▲ 1998 By the mid-nineties, camping and caravanning had become a home away from home for many, with many caravans fitted with all the mod-cons that could be found at home.

2001 Alan Rogers dies after suffering from a long illness. In the same year, Mark Hammerton acquires the Alan Rogers Group and our first website is launched.

2002 The Queen celebrates her Golden Jubilee marking 50 years on the throne

The word 'glamping' first appears in 2005
The word 'glamping' first appears in 2005

2005 The word 'glamping' first appears in the English language. It's added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016.

2012 The Caravan and Motorhome Club acquires Alan Rogers Travel. The Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee.

2016 Prince Harry and Meghan enjoy a holiday to the £1,000-a-night Meno-A-Kwena campsite in Botswana, where they reportedly fell in love.

2018 Alan Rogers celebrate 50 years!

Pall Mall lined with Union Jack flags
Pall Mall lined with Union Jack flags

In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Platinum Jubilee, marking an impressive 70 years on the throne - an achievement that no other British monarch has reached. In those 70 years, she has seen immense change in Britain and across the world, in everything from culture, camping and cuisine to technology, trends and the rise of social media. 

In the UK, we'll be enjoying an extra bank holiday on Thursday 2nd June. Britain and the Commonwealth will be celebrating this momentous occasion by hosting street parties, picnics and other community events. You can find out more at platinumjubilee.gov.uk.

The Tower of London Superbloom - To mark the Jubilee, over 20 million seeds have been sown in the moat at the historic Tower of London (a former royal palace). These will grow over the summer, to create a colourful, new landscape. You can view this from Wednesday 1st June.

The Queen's Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour) will take place on Thursday 2nd June, featuring more than 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians. Watch the parade from 10am as it moves from Buckingham Palace, down the Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade, joined by members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages. The Parade will close with the traditional RAF fly-past, watched by the Queen and members of the Royal Family from the Buckingham Palace balcony. If you can not get there in person, it will be broadcast on BBC One.

Platinum Party at the Palace on Saturday 4th June, will see music from Queen, Alicia Keys, Hans Zimmer, Ella Eyre, Craig David, Mabel, Elbow, George Ezra, Duran Duran, Andrea Bocelli, Mimi Webb, Eurovision's Sam Ryder, Jax Jones, Celeste, Nile Rodgers, Sigala and Diversity and celebrities including Sir David Attenborough, Emma Raducanu, David Beckham, Stephen Fry, Dame Julie Andrews, Ellie Simmonds and Sir Elton John. There will also be songs from musicals including The Phantom Of The Opera, Hamilton, Six, The Lion King and Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. The Party will be broadcast live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and BBC Radio 2.

A grand finale fit for a queen on Sunday 5th June. Close to 200 national treasures will take to the stage to serenade the Queen by singing the national anthem at the grand finale of the Platinum Jubilee festivities. Stars including Sir David Jason, Harry Redknapp, Sir Cliff Richard, Sandie Shaw, Felicity Kendal, Joe Wicks and Holly Willoughby will join Ed Sheeran in a mass rendition of God Save The Queen outside Buckingham Palace.

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