Earls Court, OVC & Me


Here is a companion book to “No 3, Templeton Place” and contains more adventures and escapades of the early members of the Overseas Visitors Club who stormed into Europe in the late 1950s and early 1960s.   Earls Court became their home away from home.

• Meet the twins Vera and Joyce who regularly gave the landladies of Penywern Road heart papiltations.

• Learn what Max had to endure when he escorted possible investors through the new OVC flatlet inhabitated by five lively Australians.

• Find out why Robin and Alec, when setting out for the Continent, were held captive by the pull of Earls Court.

• Then there was the rambunctious Back-Mac who battled to educate the British about their place in life.

• When “The Plague” invaded the OVC learn why it was Dr. Traub who ended up having apoplexy.

• Then there was the inaugural flight of the club’s “Trek Airways.” How it ever got off the ground was a mystery.

ISBN 0-620-40121-4
Obtainable from:
                 Kiaat Creations
                 9 Somerton,
                 Bell Close, Valley Drive,
                 Hillcrest
                 KZN      3610
                 South Africa

E-Mail: mukwana@mweb.co.za   (I am still checking for a web site…)

Price (with postage) R100 (or $15 Australian)…  including postage.

For those of you who know little of The Overseas Visitors Club – the notes, maps and pictures below were used by Hugh in his research for the book.  The captions are from his own notes.

The following pages are from a small booklet distributed through all travel agencies in Commonwealth countries (the “Dominions!”) – South Africa, Northern & Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe & Zambia), Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Enjoy the fashions, living conditions and the prices!  In those days £1 = AUD$2 exactly.

There was also a monthly magazine…



Max Wilson was the OVC’s Founder


And Chone Dredzen was his business partner…


So – where in London was all this happening?  Hopefully the following map was redrawn professionally for the book!


Was membership expensive?  About one week’s wages then.

Max had a close operating relationship with Union Castle Shipping Lines – and used to charter entire ships. The following 2 pictures feature a Cape Town Castle departure.

They dressed up in those days!

The OVC pioneered coach travel to Europe and helped put the Tyrol (Austria) village of Westendorf on the map.  This picture shows Dennis van Genderingen (tour leader for Tan Travel) with a group of OVC members in the Café Alpenland, Westendorf in 1962.  Dennis went on to reopen the OVC in 1992 (from Cape Town) with Hilton Ross.

September 1956, brothers Bernard and Hugh de Souza, at Lands End.

The front door of the OVC in 1962.

There is another (mid 60s) page on the OVC here…

One Response to Earls Court, OVC & Me

  1. […] Earls Court, The OVC and Me… Hugh de Souza’s latest book has just been published.  Details here… […]

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