Through The Decades – A Chronological Summary
Founded in 1966, Euroculture has been in business for nearly fifty-five years and some fascinating things have happened along the way! We hope you find our potted history interesting.
The 1960s – Bringing People Together
1966 Europe enters a new era of cross-cultural exchange and with it comes the birth of youth travel. Euroculture is established in April 1966 as a pioneer in this movement. Its first office is in Pinner, Middlesex.
1967 The first Euroculture group, from France, arrives at Easter of this year. Further groups follow in the summer including visitors from Tunisia and Algeria. Later in the the year, Euroculture publishes its first ‘Family Bulletin’. The objectives of the organisation are noted as “to spread knowledge of and increase the contacts within the family of nations”.
1969 Nearly a quarter of a century after the end of the Second World War, our first groups from Germany arrive. The photo on the far left shows 180 German pupils posing together with their host families on the steps of Watford Town Hall.
1969 Euroculture wanted to bring people together – and it certainly succeeded! This year brought the first reported ‘Euroculture wedding’ – Robin (from England) and Mireille (from France) had met through one of our earliest visits.
The 1970s – Youth Mobility Advances – Soaring Numbers Travel
1970 Prominent internationalist Lord Wade addresses Euroculture’s Grand Autumn Reunion and dance at Brent Town Hall in Wembley.
1971 The fledgling company moves to larger premises in a shop in North Harrow (see below).
1971 First Euroculture group heading to Europe from the UK takes place with the Roxonian Boys Club visit to Aachen in Germany.
1972 Our sister organisation ‘Racial Harmony International’ holds its first major event at the House of Commons. Honorary Members included George Best, Tony Jacklin, Glenda Jackson, Dudley Moore, Eric Morecambe and Michael Parkinson… among many other famous names!
The Seventies see a steady increase in visitor numbers leading to the opening of more centres to welcome them. The geographic spread of our network moves rapidly out from the original base around the North London suburbs and will eventually extend from Plymouth in the South-West all the way up to Kirkcaldy in Fife, Scotland.
1978 Euroculture becomes a limited company – under the title Euroculture Educational Services Ltd. Continuing expansion of operations and growing numbers of Head Office staff requires the company to move to a larger suite of offices in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.
1979 This year we welcome a record 4276 foreign students on our trips – representing an extraordinary 80260 nights accommodation.
The 1980s – Breaking Down Barriers
1988 Euroculture relocates its Headquarters to Norwich, Norfolk.
1988 Taking advantage of a thaw in the ‘Cold War’ in the enlightened era of glasnost and perestroika, Euroculture works with the Sputnik Organisation to bring in our first visitors from the Soviet Union. A group of Siberian Education students training to become teachers of English, are joined by their Lecturers in this pioneering visit to Norwich from Novosibirsk, Siberia.
1989 A second group follows from the USSR – this time a group of employees from the state airline Aeroflot. The guests included trainee pilots, navigators, air traffic controllers and engineers. The undoubted highlight of their two week programme was an unprecedented tour of the US Airbase at Lakenheath, arranged with the very highest security clearance. Within one year of this historic visit, the physical and symbolic barrier between East and West – the Berlin Wall – had been dismantled.
The 1990s – Broadening Horizons
1990 Sir Anthony Siaguru, Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth, addresses Euroculture’s inaugural ‘International Youth Conference on World Environmental Problems’ run in conjunction with the University of East Anglia.
1991 The Second International Youth Conference on World Environmental Problems is attended by
delegates from 43 nations!
1993 Euroculture is elected a Full Member of leading trade association FIYTO – the Federation of International Youth Travel Organisations.
1996 Celebrating Euroculture’s 30th Birthday, Sister Anna Drummler of German youth organisation Jugendwerk writes that “Euroculture helped to provide the cultural prerequisites for the current unification process taking place in Europe”.
1997 The first Euroculture website is launched. The same year two groups of Engineering Students from France visit Taunton and Norwich and become our first groups to stay in fully residential accommodation rather than the traditional home-stay environment.
The 2000s – A Change of Direction
2003 Euroculture offers its first French centres to UK schools.
2004 First Schools from UK visit Euroculture’s selected centres in France. These include a school from the Shetland Islands spending a week in Paris. Travelling by boat to Aberdeen and then by coach to Glasgow for their flight to Paris.
2006 The first Scout Group to travel with Euroculture visit the Battlefields and Landing Beaches of Normandy for a special Remembrance visit. The special events arranged include a welcome by the Mayor of Bernières-sur-Mer and an exchange of pennants with a local senior Scout group.
2007 Euroculture makes a pledge to support the ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ Manifesto, an
initiative from the Department for Education and Skills.
2008 Euroculture launched it’s first brochure for School Trips.
2009 Euroculture is invited to become a Member of The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom.
The 2010s – School Trips to Europe
Growth of our School Tour programme continues with many of the same schools choosing to travel with us year on year, including those first few from 2004.
2014 Euroculture increases the number of centres and destinations. School trips to France becomes school trips to Europe.
2016 Euroculture celebrates its 50th Anniversary! We have come a long way since the founding meeting on 21st April 1966.
2020 We introduce our new logo and our new look website is launched.