British Caravans

Volume1: Makes Founded Before World War II

British Caravans Volume1: Makes Founded Before World War II
Format: Hardback, 192 Pages
ISBN: 9781906133467
Buy from an Online Retailer


 Vintage” caravans have quite recently begun to attract much wider attention than they had previously enjoyed. Those that haven’t collapsed in a forgotten heap long ago are being dragged out of hedges and barns and restored by enthusiasts to their full period glory – and it is not hard to see why, for  the wonderful variety and in many cases sheer boldness of their styling, ranging wildly from mock Tudor to teardrop streamline, makes them extraordinarily attractive to today’s eyes, accustomed as we are to the bland uniformity of  current offerings.     In this book may be found details of manufacturers in Britain who started up before World War II. About half of them had ceased trading by 1939 and a number of others did not return to production after the War. Where makers did start up again details have been included and, whilst nearly all of these have since gone out of business, Carlight and Eccles are marques which still exist today – albeit under different ownership. All of them, from ABC to Yorkshire, and their products, are included in these pages, with the exception of the ones of which there is no surviving record. Roger Ellesmere’s painstaking research over a number of years has yielded information on 177 makers from this period, whose outputs ranged from around 300 caravans per year down to six, but it is doubtful whether even 20 of these firms were producing the 50 vans a year needed to qualify for membership of the Caravan Manufacturers’ Association.     Accompanying the text are more than 300 illustrations, a pleasing mixture of archive photographs with reproductions from manufacturers’ advertising and publicity material, including some splendid period artwork. This ingredient in particular gives a strong flavour of the days when these caravans were to be seen out and about on Britain’s roads, heading for happy holidays.     Published in association with The Caravan Club, this book surely has a place on the bookshelf of every caravanner interested in how the caravans we know today have evolved over the 90-odd years since the first trailer caravans were built for sale. It is hoped that the publishers will soon be able to bring out Volume Two, in which Roger Ellesmere will deal with the many hundreds of firms who took up making caravans after 1945.

The author

Roger Ellesmere is a retired quantity surveyor. He remembers being taken by his parents in the mid-1950s to visit friends holidaying in a caravan at Ulrome on the East Yorkshire coast. Once inside, he was hooked, and caravans have been an abiding interest ever since.Later, he decided that as detailed a record as possible should be made of the mostly small and largely forgotten firms who have engaged in caravan manufacture in Britain. He was deterred from making a start due to the time commitment that would be required, but a spell of unemployment in 1996 provided the incentive to begin -- initially on a single work but subsequently split into two parts to enable the publication of this book, Volume One. His original estimate of the time commitiment was a grow under-estimate! Roger has been a Caravan Club member for more than 20 years.

Reader reviews


Format: Hardback, 192 Pages
ISBN: 9781906133467
Illustrations: 300+ color photos
Size: 8.26 in x 10.6 in x 0.75 in / 209.8 mm x 269.24 mm x 19.05 mm

You might also be interested in

Triumph Motorcycles: How the West was Won
Nearly every motorcycle nut knows that Triumphs are the most famous bikes to ever come out of Great Britain. However, they also have an extensive history in North America and have been part of that continent’s motorcycling soul since long before World War II. From Triumph Motorcycles in America is an interesting tale of how the first Triumph ...
Read More >
Valentino Rossi Through the Years
In his home country of Italy Valentino Rossi is treated like a rock star. In the MotoGP record books, he goes down as one of the greatest motorcycle road racers of all-time. Amongst all of that is a colorful life filled with all sorts of racing machinery, rivalries, victories, as well as some lean times ...
Read More >
1912 Bugatti 5-Liter
In the early days of auto making, more powerful cars usually meant considerably more weight. From his base in Molsheim, France, Ettore Bugatti set out to make a trimmed-down performance car to stop the trend. To prove his point, the car was let loose on the race track where it fulfilled its destiny as a winner. ...
Read More >
See More Posts