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Homepage. This page: A mixed bag of photos all featuring classic post-war caravanning scenes.
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Post-war classic caravans in action.

Old caravans have long had a presence here at OCC, as a visit to the classic caravan main page, and the caravan section of the OCC Forum, will illustrate. Dotted across the site are many old photos that feature early caravans in them, here for example are quite a few great photos of vintage, pre-war, examples. This page though will concentrate on post-war caravanning scenes and, where possible, the cars of the 1940s-1960s that towed them.

1. Bewdley caravan park in the 1950s.

To begin with, not a photo as such, but a fascinating scene that's been printed up as a postcard. Dates for the long weekend of August 11th/12th/13th (Sat/Sun/Mon) 1951 have been handwritten on its reverse, presumably the weekend over which the first owners of this postcard stayed at the caravan park, in Bewdley (Worcestershire).
What a varied assortment of camping caravans and motorhomes there are too. The majority are touring 'vans, some factory-built but I'm sure many were home-built by skilled woodworkers. Even more intriguing perhaps are the two converted coaches that are in view, both with their window curtains drawn - I wonder what stories these venerable old machines, now living out their years on caravan parks up and down the land, could tell? Or have they been parked here as permanent holiday retreats? Certainly the pre-war single decker to the lower right of shot has no headlamps fitted, possibly stashed away to prevent them being pilfered?
No-one seemed to worry about how far apart the caravans were positioned in the 1950s, unlike the decidedly organised and regimented sites often encountered by fans of camping today.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Bewdley caravan park in 1951

2. Cortina-man in the 1960s.

Caravanning is all about relaxing in picturesque locations, taking it easy and soaking up the sun/rain. Which is exactly what the gent with the Mk2 Ford Cortina in the following photo is doing. The caravan behind him is a mighty beast indeed, and while it has the look of a tourer, I suspect it wouldn't have moved around all that often. Certainly the Cortina, even if it had a tow-bar (it doesn't), would have struggled to move it with any sense of urgency.
Ford Cortina Mk2 & a caravan

3. Berkeley Baronet .

It was something of a mystery this next caravan offering, fortunately Colin Schubert spotted this photo and identified the caravan as a Berkeley Baronet, made in the late 1940s by the Berkeley Car Co. in Biggleswade, Beds. The wheel spat is quite distinctive for starters, and - although the bush is doing its best to hide the front - the front of the caravan has a distinctive point to it, with a window on either side. It may well feature an all-aluminium body, not uncommon in the post-war years when the material was in healthy supply. Thanks to Colin for the updated information.
Mystery caravan

4. "Play time" at an unidentified caravan park.

A selection of caravanning delights occupy the scene in photo number 4, although were probably not the focus of the photographer's gaze at the time. In the foreground, two young children await their next thrilling ride on board a wood & steel-framed wheelbarrow, with a larger youth - who sports a particularly filthy set of overalls as his holiday attire - looking on cheerfully. Enthusiasts of early Standard motor-cars will gain much pleasure in spotting a lone 8hp example parked away in the distance, either a post-war Eight or the pre-war Flying Eight equivalent. Jolly good times, 1950s-style, and not a Playstation or X-Box in sight.
Children and caravans

5. More caravanning fun in the late 1940s.

John, a regular on the OCC Forum, sent over a couple of holidaying snaps of his from the late 1940s, to include here on the classic caravans page. They date to 1948-1950 and were taken at Munday's Green Topper Caravan Park in Bognor Regis, a seaside town I also spent a number of holidays in during the 1970s. The caravan in John's photos belonged to a workmate of his father, and comparing the two images, it clearly underwent a re-paint at around the same date. He adds: "We used to travel down there from Guildford by train, changing at Christ's Hospital (just south of Horsham)".
In the first photo, a young John is shown with his parents, and also his aunt and uncle at the time of their engagement in 1949. Enthusiasts of aged caravans will note the sleek rakish lines of this particular 'van. Was it a production model, or built by a creative chap in his home driveway?
Caravan in Bognor
Do I spy a bucket and spade nestling beneath the caravan in this photo?
Caravan in Bognor
Thanks for those John, much appreciated. Several more photos sent by John, also taken at this Bognor caravan site, can be found on the pedal powered page, where three-wheeled "sociable" trikes are shown demonstrated by members of his family, again in the late 1940s. Great stuff.
Return to Page 21 in the motoring image archive, or visit the main index of vintage & classic photographs here.

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