Silver anniversary for Norwich holiday club

Globetrotting members of the Norwich/ Koblenz Exchange Group's holiday club have clocked up a fair few miles in the last 25 years, as Derek James discovers.

More than 25 years ago a group of people got together in Norwich and decided to go travelling.

They were members of the Norwich/Koblenz Exchange Group who wanted to spread their wings a little further.

'We all got on so well together we thought how good it would be to go on holiday together,' said one of the founder members Vic Hopes.

And they have covered a fair few miles since then!

In the early days it was called the Norfolk Retirees Social and Travel Club and it all started in the 1980s with a few outings and holidays across this country.

The driving force behind the club was Dottie Suckling. 'She was brilliant at sorting things out and making all the arrangements. We couldn't have done it without her,' added Vic. 'There can be no doubt that the club would not have been so successful without Dottie's panache for seeking out 'value for money' holidays all over Europe and the sunshine holidays.'

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It wasn't until the club started organising trips across Europe that membership really took off. The opportunity of going on holiday with friends was one too good to miss out on.

'We had such fun – and we still are,' said Vic.

Over the last 25 years members have visited Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote along with mainland Spain, Majorca, Portugal, the Baltics, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and Malta.

'We have also visited many of the major capital cities of Europe and cruised the Rhine. Our holidays have played a big part of our lives. We really do enjoy ourselves,' smiled Vic.

'The holiday industry has changed dramatically since the arrival of internet bookings so the days of taking parties of up to 50 on one plane into one hotel are long gone.

'Nowadays it's down to groups of 10 or 12 and in recent years we have supplemented these with UK breaks which in many ways suits our current membership,' he added.

The club currently has about 95 members. This year kicked off in January with a sunshine break in Tenerife followed by a day out at Newmarket races in April.

In May a party went to the north west for a Lancashire Hot Pot short break. Another day trip in May was to Bletchley Park for the Enigma experience.

A visit to Buckingham Palace is on the cards for August plus another sunshine holiday, this time in October to Majorca.

The final event for this year is a short break at Potters at Hopton in November.

If you like the sound of all this and may be interested in joining the club, then give Vic Hopes a call on 01603 504273 or e-mail him at