By William Coleman
One of the UK’s largest and most popular caravanning and leisure holiday events is to leave East Yorkshire venue after using the same area for almost half a century. Is this good news or bad news though?
The Caravan and Holiday Home Expo, which as long been held at the Lawns in Cottingham, just outside Hull, is now having to be moved and relocated to the Harrogate Showground. This year’s show was still held at the Lawns but that is it for the current location.
The show has been an extremely popular event since it first opened its doors over 44 years ago. Each year tens of thousands of caravan lovers from all over the UK would travel to the show, a lot of which would stay local and boost the local economy during show expo.
The expo is not just a hot spot for leisure vehicle lovers, it is also a major event on the calendar of almost 4000 park owners, dealers and various other vendors within the caravan world. At the show a dealer can make a large part of their yearly profit in just under a week.
David Ritchie, for the organisers, said: “It’s a major upheaval, the Lawns grounds are superb and it’s a lovely setting for the biggest show in Europe. We are very sorry to be moving but we had no choice.
“The move opens up a whole new catchment area, with over six million people living within an hour’s drive.”
James Harris, chair of the Cottingham Traders Association, said: “It’s been a big thing for many years and the loss of the caravan show will have an impact on the village.”
David Hooper, of the Humber Chamber of Commerce, said: “With so many caravans being built in the Hull area, it was fitting that the manufacturers showed off their latest products just a stone’s throw from the factories.”
Having had such a long and illustrious history in the area is is quite a surprise that the relocation is 70 miles away, what with there being so many big manufacturers in and around the Hull area. According to some the new location will actually open up more opportunities to a larger range of products to be shown.
When the event first opened way back in 1976 it was a trade event for industry folk only. It was not until 1982 that the public were invited to take part, which I am sure immediately boosted the money to be made by all those who exhibited during the week long show.
Peter Munk, CEO at Willerby, who are a major name that display every year, said: “We started discussions about this a number of years ago.
“Originally we had manufacturers in the north who would hold their own shows, and manufacturers in the south who would have their separate ones.
“Eventually, everyone agreed we would do a show all together, but everyone thought of it very much as a trade show.
“The reality is, at the end of the day, it is the consumers that are really important.”
This really is the end of a long lasting tradition for the entire industry. Each year the likes of Swift, Truma and various other big brands spend the week at the show wowing guests and customers.
It seems as though many of the companies that exhibit are not too worried and are actually excited about the prospect of the new location and new audience.
Sources: BBC News and Hull Live