The Avondale Story

About forty years ago a man – Gerald Ball - built a caravan for himself. Someone else liked it so he built another one and then another and so on. A hobby turned into a business and he called his first caravan a ‘Mayfly’ (there are other versions on how the Company started, but I like mine the best).

Owners of these caravans got together and decided to start a club (1972). In the early days there was only one range, ‘Clubman’, which became known as the “bird range” – obviously someone didn’t know a Mayfly was not a bird – but I digress. Although they all had the same make of caravan, Avondale, they came from different backgrounds and from different parts of the country, but all had the same ideals – to create a spirit of good fellowship and mutual assistance between its Members and caravan owners in general – and to meet up regularly to enjoy their caravanning.

As the years progressed the uptake of caravanning increased, a situation which the Avondale Group recognized and introduced other brands to the market – Perle, Leda and, subsequently Landranger. Again, as time went on, the Avondale Group revamped its strategy and ‘badged’ all the caravans it produced under the name “Avondale”. The Club was rather slow to react to this, but got there in the end, to include all ranges that Avondale produced, within the Club.

In 2008 the Club had to consider other changes when the Avondale Group ceased to manufacture caravans. Forty years on from when the Club was formed the decision was taken to ‘open’ the Club to all makes of caravans and motorhomes so heralding a new chapter in the life of the Club.

We owe a lot to those ‘founder members’ and we should thank them for their foresight and effort in establishing the Club all those years ago. The last of those ‘founder members’ - Kath and Barry Boocock – finally decided to hang up their tow-ball for a more sedate life in 2012


The first ever Mayfly built - Gerald’s father putting the finishing touches

John Doncom

Haven’t they done well!

Proof, if indeed proof is needed, that the Avondale Club Rallies are popular, was celebrated at the Annual General Meeting with a presentation to Betty and Phil Claridge marking their 400th Avondale Rally with the Club.

Betty and Phil

Betty and Phil joined the Club in 1985 and have been rally officers at many venues over the years. From 1991, Phil was rally secretary and organised over 470 rallies during his fifteen years in post.

During their busiest years they attended eighteen to twenty one Club rallies a year and said that attending rallies “unlocked the beauty of the British Isles” to them.

Betty and Phil have given sterling service to the Club over the past thirty-two years and all members wish them many more years of happiness.

Help Spread the Fun

Rallies offer a lot of fun to our members, giving the pleasure of beautiful scenery, quality food and drink, entertainment and friendship. A Rally Officer and an Assistant Rally Officer run each rally, both of which are club members. These are the people who help ‘guide’ the rally and make it run smoothly for everyone to enjoy.

Being on the rally team can be great fun and can be very rewarding. The Club needs more Rally Officers and Assistant Rally Officers for the 2020 rallies. Can you help? Please contact Fred Randall (Rally Secretary) to discuss what is involved. See Contact page for details. You may be very surprised how much fun it can be.