This June marks 130 years since the world’s first purpose-built leisure touring caravan, The Wanderer, took to the road on its maiden voyage. Twitter followers of The Caravan Club Collection, based at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, will be able to retrace the steps of The Wanderer online over the Summer months.
Owned by popular Victorian Author, Dr William Gordon Stables, The Wanderer caravan travelled 1,400 miles during the Summer of 1885. It was towed by two horses from Twyford in Berkshire to Inverness, from where the caravan returned to London by rail before continuing its journey along the South Coast, reaching as far as Lymington in the New Forest.
Highlights of this pioneering journey will be shared via The Caravan Club Collection’s Twitter account along with accompanying blogs. Details of the tour will be taken from Dr Gordon Stables’ account of his travels in his book The Cruise of the Land Yacht Wanderer, along with photographs and illustrations of the caravan which are on public display for the first time.
This incredible caravan was bequeathed to The Caravan Club by the daughter of Dr William Gordon Stables in the 1960s, and can now be viewed by members staying at the Club Site at Broadway, Worcestershire, where it is on permanent display.
“William Gordon Stables was a true adventurer, with a pioneering spirit and a genuine appreciation of the great outdoors and the benefits the natural world brings to mind and body,” explained Nick Lomas, Director General of The Caravan Club. “For many Club members this is still the essence of touring caravanning and the freedom that goes with it, so we are delighted to mark this anniversary and inspire others with that same spirit of adventure.”