Globe-Trotter suitcases are designed to last a lifetime. The collection belonging to husband and wife Antonia and Dr David Preston is one dating back nearly 60 years and remains in good working condition. From a case used by Antonia in her school days in the 1960s — where she was a childhood friend of Princess Anne’s — to her father’s globetrotting escapades as a diplomat, each one tells a story. Here, we caught up with David and Antonia to discover more.
“His case went with him on ambassadorial postings, including when he was negotiating peace with the Basque terrorists”
When Dr David Preston received an attaché case from his father-in-law, Sir Clive Rose, it was no ordinary gift — due to his rather extraordinary profession.
Sir Clive Rose was a famous British diplomat in the 1960s and 1970s, whose Globe-Trotter attaché accompanied him on important missions around the world.
‘His case went with him on ambassadorial postings in Vienna and Brussels and missions to China and to Spain, where he was helping to negotiate peace with the Basque terrorists,’ Dr Preston explains. ‘It remains in very good condition and will go to my eldest son I expect. It’s really extraordinary that [these cases] are passing down the generations.’
For the Rose-Preston family, owning and travelling with Globe-Trotter suitcases has become something of a tradition. Sir Clive’s daughter, Antonia, received her first case as a child when she attended Buckswood Grange prep school aged 10 in 1960. A second one was added when she started at Benenden School in 1964.
“It was normal in those days to have your name stencilled by the handle”
‘One [case] was a large trunk and I had another smaller case with my full name on it,’ she recalls. ‘My family was in the diplomatic service and we had to have cases for boarding school and to go by ship or plane when travelling to see our parents.’ Antonia’s mother, Elisabeth, purchased the cases from Harrods and had them embossed with hers and the childrens’ names. ‘It was normal in those days to have your name stencilled by the handle,’ Antonia explains. ‘Both my sisters and my two brothers had Globe-Trotter cases for school. We needed the full name to be able to find them easily at the end of term.’
“The inside is flat, good for packing items like a suit or blazer, which fit perfectly inside this case with one fold”
It was through marrying Antonia in 1972 that David Preston was first introduced to Globe-Trotter when he was given a case as a wedding present. ‘I liked [the case] immediately because it was easy to carry as it was not too heavy,’ he says. ‘Also, unlike the modern plastic cases on wheels with an extendable carry handle, the inside is flat and not distorted by the handle covers. This makes it better for packing items like a suit or blazer, which fit perfectly inside this case with one fold. I try to pack light for holidays and this case was often my only travelling case in the UK and abroad for more than 25 years. Its first outing was on our honeymoon to Tunisia and I still use it today for travelling in the UK as it fits well into the car boot. My brother-in-law says the same, and when coming by car from France to the UK, he will use 4 or 5 small Globe-Trotter cases in the back of his SUV.’
“The cases are kept in working condition through regular repairs at the Globe-Trotter factory”
Although showing signs of wear and tear befitting their age, the cases owned by David and Antonia are kept in working condition through regular repairs at the Globe-Trotter factory. Antonia describes the cases as ‘robust, roomy, easy to stack and smart’, and David notes that they ‘often get asked about them’ when travelling. And, like Sir Clive Rose’s trusty attaché, the suitcases have travelled the world over the decades.
Between them, the Globe-Trotter cases belonging to Antonia and David have been to Uruguay, Kenya, the Caribbean, Tunisia and Austria, to name a few. And given a recent round of repairs on two cases and plans to pass them on to the next generation, it seems that they will continue to have adventures for years to come.
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