Written by Alan Bissell
This is a story which takes us back to the mid 60s when a holiday across the Channel was something of a dream for many young Brits.
However, the Cliff Richard film “Summer Holiday” gave 22 yr old Tim Lewis of Twickenham an idea that captured the spirit of of the time – he bought a red London double decker bus from London Transport and placed a small advert on the front page of The Times.
It attracted 40 young students from across the country and in the summer of 1964 the bus set off for foreign shores for a 3 week camping holiday through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany to the Swiss border – a round trip of about 2,000 miles.
So successful was it, that the Double Decker Club, popularly known as the DDC was was formed and a series of european holidays followed, that continued throughout the 60s. The club also had a lively social life which included dances, parties, bring-and-buy sales, day trips by bus to Brands Hatch, and the Isle of Wight and weekend trips to Wissant, Pas de Calais.
But it was the continental holidays that left the indelible memories.
The DDC has long since ceased to exist but now, 50 years later, a small group of us who were the original drivers etc are organising a reunion which will take place on 16th April in Richmond upon Thames.
To date we have traced 58 former members from across the country who will be joining us to ‘roll back the years’ – the original bus will be there too, having been lovingly restored by one of them. However, we are convinced that there are others who still live in the local area or have family members who do, who would love the opportunity to join us.
We hope that they will see this and get in touch so that we can invite them. Most will by now be in their mid 60s – early 70s.
If you would like to join Alan and the other members of the DDC, get in touch with us and we will pass your message on…