“Caravan Chronicles” is written by Simon & occasionally Sue Barlow

About Caravan Chronicles:

Caravan Chronicles was started in January 2012 about 6 months after Simon & Sue bought their first caravan and was intended as a simple blog about their first few months ‘learning’ to caravan. However, during the research into buying a caravan, it became clear that on caravan forums for every good answer to a question, there were at least ten bad answers and just as many on-line arguments! It seemed almost impossible to get straight answers to questions. Simon being eminently practical and still retaining that rare trait of ‘common sense’ started replying to some of the posts. He wrote the first guide ‘Understanding the Dynamics of Towing”  one night … closely followed by a couple of other guides to post on a forum. However it seemed like starting a blog would be the way forward and Caravan Chronicles was born. In it’s first year (2012) it had just over 36,000 page visits. In 2014 it had over 336,000 page visits and in 2015 it had 1.26 million page visits making it the fastest growing blog in the market sector.

IMG_0517About Simon:

“Simon P Barlow BSc MBCS CITP, was a professional photographer for a number of years before retiring (again). He began taking motor sport pictures in the late 70’s for Go Karting, car and bike magazines while at university and years later moved on to do a bit of aerial photography after gaining his pilots licence.

After studying electrical and mechanical engineering then moving on to study for a degree in computer engineering he had a successful career in IT lasting over 25 years, working for various companies including fiddling with stuff at Boscombe Down for the MOD, disappearing down a bunker in Stokenchurch for the RAF, designing network stuff for the Nimrod and Eurofighter projects while at BAE Systems and doing a bit with Boeing and Lockheed Martin on the JSF at the same time (but don’t tell them!). A bit of networking for the AWACS lot at RAF Waddington came next with a bit of other stuff for the RAF before trying out a local metropolitan borough council for size for a year. Finding it didn’t quite fit,  in 2000 moved on, bought an anorak and started learning all about trains with First Group at First North Western and then Northern Rail. Not able to stand any more rail related excitement, in 2006 Simon ‘retired’ from IT and returned to photography and photographs stuff he want’s to… or occasionally when someone ask’s him to.SPB_5D_098514

In March 2015 Simon put on a shirt and tie again and ‘un-retired” and started working for one of the major ground handling companies at MAN. After twelve months of looking after airlines and planes a change of pace (and company) beckoned and worked part time ( so ‘semi-retired’) for a small aviation company at Manchester International Airport looking after non scheduled and private exec flights for a couple of years which grew into a full time job again. Finally packing it in just before Covid arrived on the scene (timing eh!)

Simon P Barlow after landing in Yerevan, Armenia with Mt Ararat in the back

Simon after landing in Yerevan, Armenia with Mt Ararat in the background

Being one of those unusual types that still likes to develop, build and tinker with things. He  is often involved in product testing… occasionally some of which he writes about. 

In his spare time he designs, builds and tweaks wiring systems for small aircraft. Occasionally when asked, writes (by his own admission) not very good articles across a broad range of subjects. He is currently trying to write a book (several false starts!) about his and a friends flight round the world in a single engine Beech Bonanza airplane along with ten other aircraft in 2009. Simon holds both UK and American pilots licences with multi & IR ratings.

Simon has been married since 1983 to Sue who was the Chief Clinical Perfusion Scientist at a major private hospital in south Manchester before retiring.  Both finally now fully retired they live just outside Manchester with their remaining Siamese cat, Henry.

You can contact Simon via email at “simon ‘at’ caravanchronicles.com

Simon P Barlow in front of the Gulag memorial at the end of the "Road of Bones", Magadan, Eastern Siberia

Simon in front of the Gulag memorial at the end of the “Road of Bones”, Magadan, Eastern Siberia

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