romany gypsy trailers

EARLY YEARS.

THE TRANSITION TO MOTORS & TRAILERS HAPPENED FOR THE MAJORITY OF TRAVELLERS DURING THE 1950's AND INTO THE EARLY 60's BUT THERE HAD OF COURSE BEEN MORE AFFLUENT GYPSIES WHO HAD TAKEN TO MOTORS BEFORE THIS. INITIALLY THERE WERE VERY FEW TRAILERS BUILT SPECIFICALLY FOR TRAVELLERS, THE FIRST 'KNOWN' MAKES BEING 'ECCLES' OF BIRMINGHAM WHO PRODUCED SOME SUPERB 'SHOWMANS' VANS AND HILLS OF SWINEFLEET, ORIGINALLY WAGGON BUILDERS, BUT WHO PRODUCED THE FIRST TRAVELLERS TRAILERS ALMOST IDENTICAL TO A WAGGON IN LAYOUT AND STYLE. OTHER 'GOOD' MAKES WERE ALSO FAVOURED.

IN SLIGHTLY LATER YEARS THERE WERE MANY SMALL 'COACH BUILDERS' WHO PRODUCED CARAVANS, DOTTED AROUND THE COUNTRY. SEVERAL OF THESE WERE THE 'BOX SHAPE' TRAILERS, THE STYLE OF WHICH SEEMED TO BE POPULAR DURING THE 1940's & EARLY 50's. AMONGST OLDER TRAVELLERS THESE VANS WERE OFTEN KNOWN AS 'SHELL TRAILERS' BECAUSE
IT WAS POSSIBLE TO BUY JUST THE SHELL AND HAVE IT FITTED OUT TO THEIR OWN REQUIREMENTS. ALTHOUGH NOT 'PRETTY' VANS, THEY WERE OFTEN QUITE LUXURIOUS INSIDE AND HAD A CHARACTER OF THEIR OWN. OF THE PROPRIETRY MAKES, SEVERAL BECAME ESTABLISHED FAVOURITES WITH TRAVELLERS, BERKELEY, PALLADIN, FAIRHOLME, BLUEBIRD, SIDDAL, LONSDALE, BALMFORTH SANDERSON AND CARLIGHT TO NAME A FEW. EARLY JUBILEES AND VICKERS WERE ALSO POPULAR BEFORE BEING TRANSFORMED INTO 'TRAVELLERS SPECIALS' IN LATER YEARS. SEVERAL MAKES, NOW OBSCURE, WERE ALSO FAVOURED ONE BEING THE VERY LUXURIOUS, HEAVY AND VASTLY EXPENSIVE 'TAUNTON' OR 'SOMERSET' TRAILERS, THE 'ROYALS'.IT IS LIKELY THAT SOME OF THESE MAKES WERE AIMED ORIGINALLY AT SHOWMEN, BUT BEING SEEN THEY WERE SOON ADOPTED BY GYPSIES.

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