1949 Bridge Travel Service Group Foundations

Bridge Travel Group, founded in 1949 by Jerry Bridge’s late father, Walter Bridge, specialised in European short break package holidays and was both pioneering and entrepreneurial.

Not just an English gentleman but a fabulous businessman  and dynamic entrepreneur! Bridge Travel Service began trading in 1949 specialising in holidays to the scenic lakes & mountains of Switzerland…

Post World War II the only way to go abroad was by train & ship – those were the golden days of travel and my father, Walter Bridge, was one of the first pioneers of independent travel packages and holidays to Switzerland, Belgium, Paris & Amsterdam….

Mum…Alma Hutchins…well it took a while before Dad proposed to her…! She was the inspiration for weekend breaks to Paris or short holidays to this amazing French city.

Mum began Paris Travel Service in the early 1950’s – here she has just been told they have sold their 10,000th holiday! Holidays to Paris included transport, hotels, cruises on the Bateaux Mouche, meal & even perfume vouchers…!

Being a keen linguist (Dad was fluent in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian & of course English) he gave away free phrase books he wrote & published to his customers.. which was pretty amazing really…!

Just before the move out of his offices in central London’s Victoria to ‘Bridge House’ in Ware, Hertfordshire…and what an a fantastic property deal that was too


One of Dad’s earliest tailormade travel itineraries, there were no bochures at this time

Happy business days at Bridge Travel…what a great life they led. Business by the early 1970’s was booming! The ‘Bridge Group’ had begun rapidly expanding it’s holidays and short breaks to new areas such as Belgium & Amsterdam

One of the few surviving tailormade quotes Mum & Dad first put together

Classic Dad pose reading a weekend paper with one of his adverts on the back…perhaps that’s where I get it from?!

Bridge House in Ware…what a landmark that building was (used to be an old army barracks) From here they managed all their brands – Bridge Travel, Paris, Belgium, London & Amsterdam Travel Service

Dad’s new business card once they sold the company in 1979 to the Sun International Group in Belgium. Dad stayed on for a further 3 years to oversee the integration of the two businesses before he retired…well he was 70!

Shortly before retiring, Mum & Dad with accountant Ronnie Fell (left of Mum) & all their company directors Richard Dupuis (Paris Travel) Don Ward (Swiss Travel) Mark Boon (Belgium Travel)

Ok, time to celebrate after building the Bridge Travel Group up into one of the UK’s most respected and successful short break holiday specialists to Paris, Switzerland, Belgium, Amsterdam and London (weekend beaks)

End of an era – Mum & Dad’s reirement party….top of the London Hilton 1979, well he was almost 70 years old so it was time to relax, read all those books they’d been given and see a bit more of the world…

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