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Fascinating 1930s holiday photos document wealthy couple’s epic road trip from Dover to Sahara

Holiday photographs from the 1930s give a fascinating insight into how a wealthy couple travelled the world in their motor caravan to escape the doom and gloom of the Great Depression.  

The 100 images were taken by a couple known only as Mr and Mrs Fuller, thought to be from Nottinghamshire, as they embarked on an epic road trip to Africa in 1934. 

The couple – along with their maid – travelled a staggering 2,300 miles from Dover to the Sahara in their beloved Chevrolet Eccles motor caravan – taking in locations including France and north Africa. 

When the couple returned to England, they even brought back a live monkey as a souvenir. A photo album of their trip was found in a cardboard box during a house clearance and is now being auctioned.

Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: ‘Mr and Mrs Fuller were clearly a wealthy and adventurous couple. They set off on a trip keen caravanners today might be hesitant to undertake.

‘But they returned home safe and sound as the pictures demonstrate, though at one point their vehicle is shown stuck in desert sand.’  

The photo albums had laid undiscovered in a house in Nottingham until they were found during a house clearance. They are expected to fetch between £40-£60 at Hansons Auctioneers in London today.

Dover: The couple (centre and right) are pictured alongside their maid (left) outside the caravan used for the epic African road trip. Mrs Fuller appears to be wearing an item of fur clothing, while Mr Fuller is suited as they prepare to embark on their adventure. A photo album of their trip was found in a cardboard box during a house clearance and is now being auctioned. The couple were pioneering in their decision to go on a caravanning holiday. Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: ‘Back in the 1930s motor caravan holidays were a relatively new thing. In fact, the Eccles Caravans had only just started being built in Birmingham’

Bordeaux, France: During their epic road trip, the couple (Mr Fuller is pictured right and Mrs Fuller centre with their maid left) stopped off in Bordeaux, France where their caravan received a blessing to guide the couple on their way. Three nuns are pictured next to the Fullers, as are two young children.

Bordeaux, France: During their epic road trip, the couple (Mr Fuller is pictured right and Mrs Fuller centre with their maid left) stopped off in Bordeaux, France where their caravan received a blessing to guide the couple on their way. Three nuns are pictured next to the Fullers, as are two young children. 

Bordeaux, France: The couple's caravan receives a blessing as their maid watches on. A priest performs the blessing in Bordeaux, France. It was just one of a number of locations the couple stopped at during their epic road trip including Dieppe, Rouen, La Porte, Guillame, Carcassonne, L’Ariege, Lourdes, Biarritz, Limoges, Nice, Chamonix and Bordeaux

Bordeaux, France: The couple’s caravan receives a blessing as their maid watches on. A priest performs the blessing in Bordeaux, France. It was just one of a number of locations the couple stopped at during their epic road trip including Dieppe, Rouen, La Porte, Guillame, Carcassonne, L’Ariege, Lourdes, Biarritz, Limoges, Nice, Chamonix and Bordeaux

Sahara Desert, North Africa: Animals played a major part of the couple's trip, and Mr and Mrs Fuller are pictured with a dog sitting on a tortoise. They eventually got hold of a live monkey and took it back to Nottingham with them. At the time of their holiday, in the 1930s, motor caravan holidays were a relatively new thing

North Africa: The Eccles Caravans, which the Fullers owned, had only just started being built in Birmingham. At that time, they were the preserve of the wealthy - and the Fullers would have had to have been quite well off in order to afford one (Mrs Fuller is pictured during the road trip)

Sahara Desert, North Africa: Animals played a major part of the couple’s trip, and Mr and Mrs Fuller are pictured left with a dog sitting on a tortoise. They eventually got hold of a live monkey and took it back to Nottingham with them. At the time of their holiday, in the 1930s, motor caravan holidays were a relatively new thing. The Eccles Caravans, which the Fullers owned, had only just started being built in Birmingham. At that time, they were the preserve of the wealthy – and the Fullers would have had to have been quite well off in order to afford one (Mrs Fuller is pictured right during the road trip)

Algiers, north Africa: One of the first locations the couple visited when they arrived in north Africa was Algiers in Algeria. They went on to visit locations including Ghardia, Fort Archambault, the oasis of Ghardaia and Laghouat. The couple are pictured alongside their maid. The photographs of the couple are believed to have been collated by their maid, who slept in a tent during the African adventure

Algiers, north Africa: One of the first locations the couple visited when they arrived in north Africa was Algiers in Algeria. They went on to visit locations including Ghardia, Fort Archambault, the oasis of Ghardaia and Laghouat. The couple are pictured alongside their maid. The photographs of the couple are believed to have been collated by their maid, who slept in a tent during the African adventure

North Africa: The Fullers take a moment out to visit a hut while in Africa. Their caravan is pictured right, while Mrs Fuller is knelt down next to the hut. At the time they embarked on their adventure most British families were more likely to stay in the UK, perhaps visiting a seaside resort like Blackpool. But times were changing and holiday camps were emerging. Those who could afford it loved the freedom of the new motor homes

North Africa: The Fullers take a moment out to visit a hut while in Africa. Their caravan is pictured right, while Mrs Fuller is knelt down next to the hut. At the time they embarked on their adventure most British families were more likely to stay in the UK, perhaps visiting a seaside resort like Blackpool. But times were changing and holiday camps were emerging. Those who could afford it loved the freedom of the new motor homes

The Gorges of the Shiffa, Algeria, north Africa: The couple (Mrs Fuller is pictured) - along with their maid - travelled a staggering 2,300 miles from Dover to the Sahara in their beloved Chevrolet Eccles motor caravan - taking in locations including Bordeaux, France and Algeria, north Africa. Mrs Fuller is pictured here alongside the couple's caravan during a stop-off at The Gorges of the Shiffa

The Gorges of the Shiffa, Algeria, north Africa: The couple (Mrs Fuller is pictured) – along with their maid – travelled a staggering 2,300 miles from Dover to the Sahara in their beloved Chevrolet Eccles motor caravan – taking in locations including Bordeaux, France and Algeria, north Africa. Mrs Fuller is pictured here alongside the couple’s caravan during a stop-off at The Gorges of the Shiffa 

Bou-Saada, Algeria, north b: Another of the couple's stop-offs was in Bou-Saada, Algeria in north Africa. The couple took pictures of the local communities they encountered while on their trip. Pictured are some native children in the north African country

Bou-Saada, Algeria, north Africa: Another of the couple’s stop-offs was in Bou-Saada, Algeria in north Africa. The couple took pictures of the local communities they encountered while on their trip. Pictured are some native children in the north African country

Bou-Saada, Algeria, north Africa: More of the communities the couple encountered while in Bou-Saada, Algeria. The travellers are seen befriending natives while pitching a tent for their maid while they enjoyed the comfort of the caravan. The photo albums had laid undiscovered in a house in Nottingham until they were found during a house clearance

Bou-Saada, Algeria, north Africa: Communities in Bou-Saada, Algeria can be seen in candid shots taken by Mr and Mrs Fuller's maid. The photographs eventually ended up with an elderly woman in Nottingham. It is though she may have bought them at a house sale or they may have been given to her by a friend

Bou-Saada, Algeria, north Africa: More of the communities the couple encountered while in Bou-Saada, Algeria. They can be seen in candid shots taken by Mr and Mrs Fuller’s maid. The photographs eventually ended up with an elderly woman in Nottingham. It is though she may have bought them at a house sale or they may have been given to her by a friend

Nana Chute, north Africa: The couple met with members of the local community during their caravan trip across Africa in 1934. There were 100 images taken by in total by the couple, thought to be from Nottinghamshire, as they embarked on an epic road trip to Africa in 1934. It was very unusual for the couple to venture so far afield. Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: 'Today people think nothing of travelling the world or taking a gap year but back in the 1930s, the era of the Great Depression, most British families were more likely to stay in the UK, perhaps visiting a seaside resort like Blackpool. But times were changing, holiday camps were emerging and those who could afford it loved the freedom of the new motor homes'

Nana Chute, north Africa: The couple met with members of the local community during their caravan trip across Africa in 1934. There were 100 images taken by in total by the couple, thought to be from Nottinghamshire, as they embarked on an epic road trip to Africa in 1934. It was very unusual for the couple to venture so far afield. Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: ‘Today people think nothing of travelling the world or taking a gap year but back in the 1930s, the era of the Great Depression, most British families were more likely to stay in the UK, perhaps visiting a seaside resort like Blackpool. But times were changing, holiday camps were emerging and those who could afford it loved the freedom of the new motor homes’

Nana Chute, north Africa: Other images show natives dancing as the couple watch on, in an image from the road trip across Africa. Other pictures show the couple at the port in Dover, on board a ship and heading through France. At Bordeaux their caravan was blessed by a priest before the couple pressed on with their journey to Algiers, the Sahara and numerous African settlements

Nana Chute, north Africa: Other images show natives dancing as the couple watch on, in an image from the road trip across Africa. Other pictures show the couple at the port in Dover, on board a ship and heading through France. At Bordeaux their caravan was blessed by a priest before the couple pressed on with their journey to Algiers, the Sahara and numerous African settlements

Kouba, Algiers, north Africa: The maid (left) did not stay with the couple in their caravan, instead she stayed in a tent outside. At one point the couple are seen speaking to natives while setting up the tent for their maid. Back in the 1930s motor caravan holidays were a relatively new thing. In fact, the Eccles Caravans had only just started being built in Birmingham. Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: 'At that time, they were the preserve of the well off, perhaps titled people who would have their motor homes custom built to order. Mr and Mrs Fuller were clearly a wealthy and adventurous couple. They set off on a trip keen caravanners today might be hesitant to undertake'

Kouba, Algiers, north Africa: The maid (left) did not stay with the couple in their caravan, instead she stayed in a tent outside. At one point the couple are seen speaking to natives while setting up the tent for their maid. Back in the 1930s motor caravan holidays were a relatively new thing. In fact, the Eccles Caravans had only just started being built in Birmingham. Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: ‘At that time, they were the preserve of the well off, perhaps titled people who would have their motor homes custom built to order. Mr and Mrs Fuller were clearly a wealthy and adventurous couple. They set off on a trip keen caravanners today might be hesitant to undertake’

Mrs Fuller is pictured meeting with locals during the tour of Africa. There are a number of shots of local communities from the trip through Africa. But the couple also spent a considerable amount of time in France prior to their trip. The pictures show how their journey took in locations including Algiers, the Sahara and numerous African settlements

There are a number of shots of local communities from the trip through Africa. But the couple also spent a considerable amount of time in France prior to their trip

Bou-Saada, Algeria, north Africa: Mrs Fuller is pictured left meeting with locals during the tour of Africa. There are a number of shots of local communities from the trip through Africa. But the couple also spent a considerable amount of time in France prior to their trip. The pictures show how their journey took in locations including Algiers, the Sahara and numerous African settlements

North Africa: Mr and Mrs Fuller were clearly a wealthy and adventurous couple. They set off on a trip keen caravanners today might be hesitant to undertake. But they returned home safe and sound as the pictures demonstrate, though at one point their vehicle is shown stuck in desert sand (pictured)

North Africa: Mr and Mrs Fuller were clearly a wealthy and adventurous couple. They set off on a trip keen caravanners today might be hesitant to undertake. But they returned home safe and sound as the pictures demonstrate, though at one point their vehicle is shown stuck in desert sand (pictured)

Mr and Mrs Fuller on board the Marsherk: The Fullers took their monkey, brought back with them from the trip, on a ship used to help ferry their motor caravan home. Here, Mr and Mrs Fuller can each be seen holding one arm of the monkey as they help transport it back home

Mr and Mrs Fuller on board the Marsherk: The Fullers took their monkey, brought back with them from the trip, on a ship used to help ferry their motor caravan home. Here, Mr and Mrs Fuller can each be seen holding one arm of the monkey as they help transport it back home

Southampton - on the return journey: The wealthy couple are believed to be from Nottinghamshire, and set off from the East Midlands towards Dover where they caught the ferry to France. They are pictured stopping off in Southampton along their journey, with their beloved Chevrolet Eccles motor caravan in the background. The first touring caravan was made in 1884 by Dr William Stables whose black and gold version meant he could live like a 'gentleman gypsy'. But there caravan is thought to have been built in Birmingham during the 1930s, and is one of the first Eccles Caravans made

Southampton – on the return journey: The wealthy couple are believed to be from Nottinghamshire, and set off from the East Midlands towards Dover where they caught the ferry to France. They are pictured stopping off in Southampton along their journey, with their beloved Chevrolet Eccles motor caravan in the background. The first touring caravan was made in 1884 by Dr William Stables whose black and gold version meant he could live like a ‘gentleman gypsy’. But there caravan is thought to have been built in Birmingham during the 1930s, and is one of the first Eccles Caravans made

England, thought to be somewhere in Nottinghamshire: When the couple returned to England they brought back a live monkey as a souvenir. Pictures taken after they came back home show the couple with the animal in a garden in what appears to be an ordinary British street. Not much is known about the couple.

England, thought to be somewhere in Nottinghamshire: Pictures taken after they came back home show the couple with the animal in a garden in what appears to be an ordinary British street

England, thought to be somewhere in Nottinghamshire: When the couple returned to England they brought back a live monkey as a souvenir. Pictures taken after they came back home show the couple with the animal in a garden in what appears to be an ordinary British street. Not much is known about the couple. The seller, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘We have no idea who the couple and maid are in the photos but there may be a Nottinghamshire connection. The albums belonged to a 92-year-old relative from Nottingham, who is now living in a home’

At General Motors, England: The first touring caravan was made in 1884 by Dr William Stables whose black and gold version meant he could live like a 'gentleman gypsy'. Back in the 1930s motor caravan holidays were a relatively new thing. In fact, the Eccles Caravans had only just started being built in Birmingham (pictured, the couple's Eccles motor caravan). The photograph collection was found in the attic of an elderly lady. A relative is now selling them. They said: 'The albums were found when her house in Nottinghamshire was being cleared. We think she may have bought them at a house sale or they may have been given to her by a friend. Sadly, we can't find out anymore as she now has dementia. It's possible the travellers on the photos lived in a wealthy area of Nottinghamshire'

At General Motors, England: The first touring caravan was made in 1884 by Dr William Stables whose black and gold version meant he could live like a ‘gentleman gypsy’. Back in the 1930s motor caravan holidays were a relatively new thing. In fact, the Eccles Caravans had only just started being built in Birmingham (pictured, the couple’s Eccles motor caravan). The photograph collection was found in the attic of an elderly lady. A relative is now selling them. They said: ‘The albums were found when her house in Nottinghamshire was being cleared. We think she may have bought them at a house sale or they may have been given to her by a friend. Sadly, we can’t find out anymore as she now has dementia. It’s possible the travellers on the photos lived in a wealthy area of Nottinghamshire’

Inside the Eccles motor caravan: The caravan was used by the couple as they travelled around Africa to locations including Fort-Lamy, Fort Archambault, Nana Chute and Diada. Their maid was not allowed to stay inside the caravan, and instead slept in a tent outside

Inside the Eccles motor caravan: The caravan was used by the couple as they travelled around Africa to locations including Fort-Lamy, Fort Archambault, Nana Chute and Diada. Their maid was not allowed to stay inside the caravan, and instead slept in a tent outside

A newspaper clipping, featuring their trip, reads: 'With the Chevrolet Eccles caravan in which they cross the Sahara and the French Equatorial Area: Mr and Mrs Fuller and their maid.' It continues: 'Mr and Mrs Fuller and their maid crossed the Sahara and French Equatorial Africa in their Chevrolet Eccles caravan with which they are shown above. Our photograph was taken at Algiers before the start of the expedition'

A newspaper clipping, featuring their trip, reads: ‘With the Chevrolet Eccles caravan in which they cross the Sahara and the French Equatorial Area: Mr and Mrs Fuller and their maid.’ It continues: ‘Mr and Mrs Fuller and their maid crossed the Sahara and French Equatorial Africa in their Chevrolet Eccles caravan with which they are shown above. Our photograph was taken at Algiers before the start of the expedition’

Desert postcards – ‘traversing the dunes’: There are a number of postcards included in the collection, including these of travellers walking across the Sahara. The photos and postcard albums were expected to fetch between £40-£60 at Hansons Auctioneers in London today

Desert postcards – ‘traversing the dunes’: There are a number of postcards included in the collection, including these of travellers walking across the Sahara. The photos and postcard albums were expected to fetch between £40-£60 at Hansons Auctioneers in London today

The photographs and postcards are kept inside two separate albums. Both are expected to fetch between £40-£60 at Hansons Auctioneers in London today. They previously belonged to a seller, who wished to remain anonymous. She said: 'We have no idea who the couple and maid are in the photos but there may be a Nottinghamshire connection. The albums belonged to a 92-year-old relative from Nottingham, who is now living in a home. The albums were found when her house in Nottinghamshire was being cleared'

The photographs and postcards are kept inside two separate albums. Both are expected to fetch between £40-£60 at Hansons Auctioneers in London today. They previously belonged to a seller, who wished to remain anonymous. She said: ‘We have no idea who the couple and maid are in the photos but there may be a Nottinghamshire connection. The albums belonged to a 92-year-old relative from Nottingham, who is now living in a home. The albums were found when her house in Nottinghamshire was being cleared’

A map shows the stops on the couple's 2,300-mile trip from England to Africa. They include: Nottingham, Southampton, Dover, Dieppe, Rouen, La Porte Guillame, Carcassonne, L’Ariege, Lourdes, Biarritz, Limoges, Nice, Chamonix, Bordeaux Algiers, the Sahara, Gorges of the Shiffa, Camp Koaba, Algiers El Goba, Al-Reggane Sahara, Ghardia El-Ouet, Crossing the River, Niger, Fort-Lamy, Fort Archambault, Nana Chute, Diada Day out in Oasis of Ghardaia, Sahara Desert, Laghouat El Golea, Constantine, Algier and Timgad

A map shows the stops on the couple’s 2,300-mile trip from England to Africa. They include: Nottingham, Southampton, Dover, Dieppe, Rouen, La Porte Guillame, Carcassonne, L’Ariege, Lourdes, Biarritz, Limoges, Nice, Chamonix, Bordeaux Algiers, the Sahara, Gorges of the Shiffa, Camp Koaba, Algiers El Goba, Al-Reggane Sahara, Ghardia El-Ouet, Crossing the River, Niger, Fort-Lamy, Fort Archambault, Nana Chute, Diada Day out in Oasis of Ghardaia, Sahara Desert, Laghouat El Golea, Constantine, Algier and Timgad

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