History

Sam Alper at his Newmarket factory

The Caravan Writers’ Guild was conceived during a visit to the Newmarket factory of Caravans International, at the time the leading manufacturers of touring caravans. A group of caravan journalists who had spent the morning at a preview of some new models were sitting round the table with the Cl management team after a working lunch. The suggestion that the Guild be formed came from the Cl Group Chairman, the legendary Sam Alper, as a means of improving communication between the industry and the specialist media. The rest, as they say, is history.

The inaugural meeting was held at the Caravan Exhibition in 1982 at which officers were elected and some twenty writers, specialist magazine staff and knowledgeable freelances, formed the initial membership. The industry soon realised the value of a good working relationship with an often critical Press, and invited the then Chairman, Tony Bradford, to sit on the National Caravan Council working party drafting the Caravan Code, along with representatives from the major Clubs and the Department of Transport.

On the premise that Guild members should be seen to be active caravanners, the social side was developed with rallies and seminars being organized several times a year including two or three on the Continent to encourage the smooth flow of information, the Guild set up awards for industry public relations and has successfully campaigned for better user handbooks. The high standing the Guild has achieved over its 35 years can be judged by the presence in 2002 of the then Secretary of State for the environment, the Rt Hon Margaret Beckett, at a Guild function dinner. She returned in 2010 having served as the UK’s first woman Foreign Secretary in 2006 and 2007.

CWG history - Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP at the October 2010 Guid dinner with CWG Chairman Nigel Rosser (left) and husband Leo (right)

Past Chairmen

2014-16 > Terry Owen
2012–14 > Barry Norris
2010–12 > Nigel Rosser
2009–10 > Jonathan Lloyd
2007–09 > Peter Frost
2005–07 > David Ritchie
2003–05 > Liz King
2001–03 > Doug King
1999–2001 > Dave King
1998–99 > Stuart Craig
1997–98 > John Rawlings
1995–97 > David Ritchie
1993–95 > Marion Ayrton
1991–93 > Barry Williams
1988–91 > Eric Fowler
1986–88 > Anne Webb
1984–86 > Dick Greest
1982–84 > Tony Bradford