History of The Orchards Holiday Park
Here at The Orchards, we’re proud to say that the holiday park has been a family owned and run business since its very humble beginnings in 1955, and Martin Morris whose parents Ollie and Mildred began the park remembers why they bought it.
‘My mum and dad became the owners of the Orchards in March 1955. They hadn’t really planned to buy it and it happened quite by chance when properties including the Orchards were all due to be auctioned off. My dad was tasked with going to the auction to buy Chapel Cottage which he succeeded in doing but Orchard farm itself failed to make the reserve price which was £1100. After a chat with the auctioneer my dad made the sudden decision to pay the reserve price for the farm and start a caravan site. My mum always told me that this uncharacteristic rashness was down to the fact that I had only just been born a couple of days previously and he was in a state of euphoria because they’d finally had a child after 15 years of marriage!’
From a fairly primitive start in the fifties and into the sixties, by 1963 there were static vans, proper toilet and shower blocks and an amenity building with washing machine, storage rooms and the all important TV room with a 23 inch black and white TV which served the entire population of guests. Guests could also rent radios for their holiday, have their luggage sent ahead so they could come on public transport too.
In 1968 second owner Malcolm Peplow bought the park from Ollie and Mildred and set about modernising it further. Malcolm says, ‘Having resigned my army commission and having no qualifications to my name, together with my then wife, Lis and three children, we purchased The Orchards Holiday Caravan and Camping Park and took up residence in the flat over the centre block. In fact, I wasn’t released from the Army until March 1969 a few weeks before the Park opened for the summer season and I commuted from Aldershot every weekend (I was probably the only ever serving army officer to hold an Off Licence to sell liquor).’
The 1970s saw a huge period of improvement for the Park and an outdoor swimming pool was built, water and electricity facilities were upgraded, and a shop and new toilet block added. These improvements continued through to the eighties and nineties when the indoor pool was built in 1996 and the season was therefore extended for families to enjoy the facilities.
Of course, The Orchards is continually being upgraded with our Facilities Centre being just one of the many improvements in recent years and we are looking forward to offering guests the opportunity to buy their own holiday home this year. We are still very much a family run business, with some of our staff having been at the park for decades including our General Manager Karen who began as a receptionist in 1986, Maintenance Manager Stefan who began as a pool attendant in 2008 and Gemma our Office Manager who also began as a receptionist with us in 2005 and we now have Michael Jordan taking our family forward into the future.
Great value holidays every time
If you would like more information on ferry prices or holiday bookings please call us on
01983 531 331.