2012 Spring Newsletter

Our Club starts its 50th year in fine fettle, with 38 paid up full members and 9 associates. Two new members joined in February. Whilst all classic Carlights are ‘rare’ their two vans (and their owners) are welcome additions.

From the archives. Here are some of the more interesting landmarks in the formation of our club.

Pre-1961. The beginnings of the club stemmed from a group of Carlight owners who came together through membership of the Caravan Club (CC).

1961. The Carlight Trailer advert in the ‘Caravan’ magazine displayed a photo of a Continental and proclaimed virtues of towing performance, elegance & comfort. Elegance was justified by Lt./Col. Tom Boam winning the Concours D’Elegance with his Continental, and towing performance was exemplified by a Caribbean making best time in the high speed test, and also winning Trade Entry Class 1 in the Concours. This was the third successive year a Carlight had achieved the best time in the High Speed Test. The same advert, under the heading ‘A Carlight Owners’ Club’, asked owners interested in the formation of such a club to contact Tom Boam, and gave notice that an inaugural rally was to be held on 19th May 1962 near Stamford. There are cuttings from three caravan magazines giving prominence to this rally, and three ‘follow-ups’ on the formation of our Club, quoting Tom Boam’s pronouncement to all and sundry ‘Gentlemen, we have a Club!’ Bob Earl was invited to become President, and Tom Boam was elected Chairman. Sadly, Bob Earl was to die after only months in office. Carlight development continued under Cyril Gregory the Works Manager, who towed a ‘works’ Caribbean behind a 3.8 Jaguar in the various high speed tests of the 60’s. ‘Greg; as he was known, also continued the factory’s active interest in the Owners’ Club. He married Anne Earl and they were regulars on Club Rallies and events. Greg was also a keen amateur pilot, winning the King’s Cup Air Race in 1952, and it is extremely likely that he took this photo of the COC’s 2nd rally at Belton Park in September 1962.

Black and white aerial photo of the rally field

1963The 1st Dinner Dance was held at the Café Royal, Regent Street in October, and became an annual event in those heady days. Music was provided by the Mayfair Quartet and invitations bore discreet statements such as Carriages Midnight.

1966 June Rally at Ripon Race course. Rally slip read ‘Haddock & Chips a la carton (from the rally marshal) @ 2/6 per carton'.

1967 Scottish Tour Aug/Sept. Edinburgh Pitlochry Inverness Poolewe Killin North Ledaig & Peebles.

1968 In April a COC group led by Tom Boam attends the 1st Rallye International Caravaning De Normandie organised by the TCF at Ouistreham. In July there was a good number of COC members amongst the Caravan Club contingent at the 29th International Rally at Norrkoping, Sweden. After this date there is no further mention of touring abroad until June 1997 when the club held an excellent 7 day rally at Etables sur Mer, Brittany.

Future Programme. The 50th Celebration Rally and AGM will take place in May followed by Metheringham in July. Unfortunately Turnpike Farm cancelled our booking for the September 2012 rally, but a splendid replacement has been booked at Yew Tree Farm, Bewdley, Worcs. 13th -17th September.

Finally – very finally, this is my last Newsletter as I vacate the Hon Sec chair at the 50th AGM after ‘occupying’ it 18 years. The Club needs someone younger as Secretary than an (almost) octogenarian Thank you for listening to (or reading/putting up with) my ramblings. However, Anne & I are looking forward to marshalling the May Rally 2013 in North Yorkshire.

Written by P White Hon Sec. Edited by R Magson for website April 2012

This page written April 2012