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Homepage. This page: A matching car and caravan 'set' of the early 1920s, at Clarks' College, Bristol.

1920s Daimler 35hp and an Eccles caravan.

A bonus of running this site is that many people have been kind enough to share old photographs they have in their collection(s). George is a long-term supporter of OCC, and has sent in all manner of bits and pieces to include. The following two photographs he purchased online, understandable as he's a keen fan of early caravans, Eccles in particular. Both images feature a magnificent old Eccles, one of which also has an equally superb sleeve-valve Daimler in it.
The vehicle combination belonged to Captain Ronald Wills, of the tobacco empire. The location of the first photograph is two doors down from Clarks College, which was situated at 15 Whiteladies Road, Bristol. Mr Wills was a member of both the AA and RAC, judging by the badges fitted to his imposing Daimler tourer, registration YA 9038. This Somerset series ran from 1921 to 1924, so 1924 would seem to be the date of the car. The caravan we're less sure about, George is still researching this but believes it could be a little later than the car. The building behind the Daimler is still recognisable in the recent Google Streetview included below, although elements of its architectural ornamentation have disappeared, and the area in which the car and caravan were photographed, next door, is now grassed. The address is now home to a bank.
The presence of a matching registration plate attached to the Eccles, confirms that the Daimler was its tow-car. Quite why the car and 'van were parked here though isn't known. Curiously, the offside rear steady on the caravan isn't fully lowered.
Click to view:
Daimler with the Eccles

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The second of George's photographs is just of the Eccles. One of George's contacts in the Historic Caravan Club, as well as confirming the location of the photos, discovered that Mr Wills lived until 1937 and was, clearly, a man of very comfortable means. Neither car nor caravan would have been a cheap purchase, and the quality and immaculate condition of both can clearly be seen.
The vintage Eccles caravan on its own
My thanks to George for sending the photographs over. Thanks to a forum member, the car has been identified as a 35hp Daimler, fitted with the sleeve-valve engine.
Shortly after publishing this page, George sent over a scan taken from an Eccles brochure dating to 1929, which features the 15ft-long single-axle model, which is a close match to the 'van shown above. When the 15ft version was first put into production isn't known, as sadly a fire that took place in the late 1930s at the firm's facility in Stirchley, destroyed most of the production records.
1920s Eccles caravan brochure scan
Return to Page 18 in the photographic archive, or visit the main index here.
For more photographs of pre-war caravans in particular, please see this page in the gallery section.

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