In celebration of what is possibly our greatest milestone yet, the 500th issue of Caravan World goes on sale next week. Long-time contributor Tony Allsop offers his reflections after 10 years of devotion to this beloved RV magazine.
THIS YEAR MARKS 10 years that I have been writing travel stories for Caravan World magazine, and coincides with the 500th issue.
I was a freelance correspondent for various RV and boating magazines when Ros Bromwich took over as editor of Caravan World.
I sent her a couple of stories which she accepted.
Ros saw the benefit in having a permanent travel writer; someone who was on the road, writing from experience rather than from an office. She also preferred realistic photography rather than over-digitalised, tourism industry images.
In those days the magazine was much smaller, both in its dimensions and the number of pages. The paper quality was inferior, and the images were not as sharp or colourful as today's. Cameras have improved dramatically over the years, going from film to digital, and from 3-4mp up to the 24.3mp we now use. Denyse and I carry three cameras and two laptops in our caravan.
At that time, the Caravan World Club was going strong, and offered members discounts, a free key ring and special rates on various products and services. There was also a Noticeboard column, where you could list items for sale or wanted. The back section featured around 24 pages of vans for sale, both private and dealers.
Many of the familiar features remain today:
RV reviews, travel and lifestyle, UpFront, Postbag, Trekabout, Caravan Cook and Lionel’s On the Wallaby. Other columns have been put to bed while new ones, such as Denyse’s Healthwise, have appeared.
Since she retired from medical practice, Denyse and I have enjoyed working together on travel stories, and the videos we shoot for the CW website.
When Ros resigned to move back to England, Max Taylor was appointed editor. He quickly moved to take the magazine to the next level. He increased the size and number of pages, and boosted the circulation with in-depth RV and vehicle reviews, and other features by respected writers, rather than with giveaways and cheap prices. Max also started the website, which has proven very popular.
It is interesting to note that in 500 issues over 42 years, there have been only four editors of this magazine. This says something about the quality of the staff, as well as the editors.
It is a privilege to contribute to a quality magazine such as Caravan World.
WORDS AND PICS Tony Allsop
Grab a copy of the 500th souvenir issue,
Wednesday, March 14.