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Homepage. This page: Two shots of an Austin Ten van that has been converted into makeshift camper, plus a milk van.

1. Austin 10 Van.

The first of these two Austin photos shows the converted van parked outside 39 Oakley Street, in Chelsea, London, August Bank Holiday, 1954. The vehicle started out in life as a van, based on the Austin 10/4 saloon's running gear - albeit with solid rather than spoked wheels. The chrome rad Austin 10/4s were sold from 1932 to 1934, however the registration of this van - BAK 569 - suggests a registration date in Bradford some time after August 1936. Perhaps it had been re-registered, or maybe production of the light commercial based on the chrome rad 10/4 continued after the introduction of the revised Austin 10 Lichfield saloon? A restored van, and also examples of the four seat 10/4 tourer, can be seen on this page.
The scene in photograph no.1 shows the pre-war Austin being loaded with camping gear prior to the holiday, the tents have already been strapped down onto the Austin's roof. The van's original side windows have been panelled-in, and smaller windows let into these new panels, affording the van's inhabitants a little more privacy on their camping trip.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
An Austin 10 van/camper conversion
Photograph no.2 shows the Austin 10/4 van and the tents erected, the creation attached to the back end of the Austin looks decidedly home-made, but offered a useful amount of extra space in addition to that offered by the van. A couple of people can just be made out sat inside the Austin, no doubt hoping that the wind doesn't get up while they're on-site. A note on the rear confirms that this was taken on the same trip: "Chez-nous, Camping, August Bank Holiday 1954". I wonder whether BAK 569 ended its days as a camper, or went on to perform other roles?
Camping in a 10/4 Austin van

2. Austin 10/4 milk van.

The next image captures a moment in time as a milkman delivers a couple of pints to the then-home of George's cousin Harry, probably in the early 1950s. George has sent in a number of interesting photographs over the years, including this one - he was hoping that the small milk delivery van could be identified. It bears all the hallmarks of being another Austin 10/4 van.
Delivering milk in an old Austin van
The house being delivered to was named 'Hawthorne', at No. 35, The Square, Spencers Wood, near Reading, and survives to this day still with the same name. George mentions that the hedges and land opposite the house were built on in the 1960s, and a look on Streetview shows the house and road as it looks today. The photograph would have been taken from the upstairs window, to the left when viewed from the front.

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Return to Page 11 in the vintage car motoring gallery.

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