The Early years

The Early Years By Mick , Pam and Anita Moore

The very first holiday rally was held at Warblington during August 1970, which lasted for ten days. The Rally Officers were Mick & Pam Moore assisted by Harold Mewis. It was attended by over 130 outfits. Entertainment was organised every evening together with a running bar. Also during the day there were trips to places of interest plus a boat trip. There were 75 centre members and visitors from twenty other Centres. At flagpole, which was taken by Roy Tabb. every centre put their Centre flag into the centre, which was very effective 


Dinner Dances at the beginning of the centre were attended by more visitors than members of East Hampshire. At this stage also you could only attend the Rally if you were going to the Dinner Dance, which was always held at Clarence Pier Pavilion, Southsea. The Rally was held in Victory Car Park opposite the Pavilion. In 1969 82 vans attended the Rally and 270 members and their friends attended the Dinner/Dance. This was the year they began to say that no visitors were allowed. Mick and Pam Moore ran the Rally every year from the beginning until 1991. During the first years of the Club, rallies were held on Southsea Common at Easter where a shop selling groceries, milk, papers etc, was opened by the Rally officers and assistants from 8'oclock in the morning till 6 o clock in the evening. Spring Bank Holiday Rallies were mostly held Stokes Bay. Tree planting Rallies were also held, one at Yateley Common in 1970, two at Southsea Common in 1972/5. The Competition Rally was held at Holmsley in the New Forest. We also held at this time Owners improvements Competition, the trophy being given by Fleet caravans. Also a competition and cup award was made to the best kept van. In 1969 there were 1.700 full Members out of these there were about 346 people attending Rallies in a year when there were only 34 rallies held Rallies held, one every fortnight in the summer.

It was a hard long fight to get winter Rallies. In 1968 we ran our very first. The centre Committee would not have any part in this so we had to make sure the rally did not overspend and the plaques were paid by the members attending the rally. We were not given a Rally officers plaque, only a bar to put under the ordinary rally plaque. 

Once a year we had a ladies rally where the men dressed up as ladies. They had to keep their on apron throughout the Rally, which was run by ladies. If the apron was not kept on they had to pay a forfeit

In these early years Rallies were mostly three shillings a night and the Rally fee was three shillings, in 1968 the Rally fee went up to four shillings and five shillings per van night on popular rallies.

In 1972 East Hants 200th Rally was held on Southsea Common, and the evening party was attend by the Chairman of the Caravan club Mr. Knight and his wife Hilda they cut the cake with 200th on it. Each year the centre started by making a 20% increase on attendance to Rallies.

At the 200th Rally The Centre donated £30 for planting a row of ten trees to span the Common

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Coun. A.D. Darby, helps two-year old Anita Moore, of Cosham, plant a tree at a ceremony at Southsea Common. Mr. Roy Tabb, Chairman of the East Hants Centre of the Caravan Club, looks on with other caravanners who are enjoying a rally on the Common.

The 200th Cake is cut by The Caravan Club Chairman Mr. Knight