Caravan royalty, unbelievable stories and years of caravans for sale
Now with models still around that seep vintage charm and classic appeal from every join, founder of Cheltenham Caravans, Arthur Gardner, built his first model way back in 1919.
His son, Cecil, has had caravanning in his blood since birth, taking on responsibilities and, ultimately, ownership of the company way back when.
He's seen some incredible things over the years, and Caravan magazine has been lucky enough to get a few moments of his time to gain insight into a world of manufacturing that is probably long gone. There are certainly some stories that health and safety would take issue with among the pages below. Take a look...
“Butane had no smell at all then, so she struck a match; it blew up and blew the side of the caravan out!” In part one of our interview series, Cecil tells us all about the origins of Cheltenham caravans, accidents on holiday, and driving 100 miles before breakfast.
“If a caravan couldn’t stand up to going 1000 miles then it was no good.” Part two of the series gives us more of an insight into what makes Cheltenhams so good, the dangers of carrying petrol in a caravan's bath (!), and when the capital of caravanning changed from Cheltenham to Hull.
“My father was shot by 18 bullets in WWI. I’m surprised he was alive! Building caravans was a safe procedure by comparison.” In the final part of our interview series, Cecil tells us about his father's lucky escape, how Cheltenham built caravans after the war, and what reasons are behind the manufacturer's interesting model names.
For more information on the Cheltenham Owners Club, visit the website.
Or simply tell us what you think!