...Vickers ...

ROMANY GYPSY TRAILERS

vickers tourer
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    Vickers Caravans. White lund Road, Morecambe, Lancashire.
Builder Mr. Harry Vickers. Initially the company built touring caravans, in the early1960's they produced an 18' "specialised travellers caravan". By the mid 1960's production was almost exclusively aimed at Travellers, the employees were mostly joiners doing the body work and cabinet makers doing the furniture, many from the recently closed Waring and Gillows furniture makers of Lancaster that had closed down. The earliest trailers were lined and furnished in polished oak with formica 'kitchen ends', exteriors were plain, one colour, then contrasting waistbands, wheel spats and bows under the front and rear windows were introduced. In the early 1960's the body shape was modified slightly and the interior furnishings revised. By this time Travellers were specifying what they wanted and the vans became more distinctive. Gradually the ornamentation increased, bumpers were introduced, double lights and double number plates requested, once it was known that Mr Vickers would do anything you wanted....for a price....the sky was the limit....then the contrasting coloured details were replaced with stainless steel panels and polished aluminium mouldings with coloured trim inserts. In the more expensive trailers, windows were engraved with a design of an urn of flowers and a bunch of grapes in each corner. Interiors were lined and furnished with formica of various designs such as 'mother of pearl' and resplendent with brilliant cut mirrors, edged with coloured glass, blue, green, amber etc. on all doors and surfaces. Ceiling lights were round and often in clusters of three! Many customers supplied their own cookers and lighting and the firm employed its own electrician. Engraved glass fronted display cabinets were mirror backed and top lit, the solid fuel stove used was the 'courtier' type, made by Smith & Welstood of Bonnybridge in Scotland. Of course people who could afford the best trailers also wanted the best fittings, carpets were usually Grosvenor Wilton or Sultana.......Axminster heavily patterned or floral being lower down the scale! bunks were deep buttoned. During the 'flash' era, 'extras' were an absolute boon to all the trailer builders, greatly increasing the cost of a van.....it is reputed that Mr Vickers noted each 'extra' requested, charging £100 per item ! Mr.Vickers was a great believer in using local companies to supply the upholstery, carpets, curtains and blinds. As the vans became heavier, a twin axle was introduced. Some of the last trailers built had a single front and rear window instead of the pair which had been the recognisable feature of the vans, these were produced after Mr.Vickers death, he had refused to allow the change when alive. The interiors of these later trailers were more 'sleek' though still in a recognisable Vickers style. In the mid 70's a basic unadorned 22' x 8' van cost £10000 extras could add another £4-5000 but it was often a case of 'money no object' in a bid to 'outdo' others .............!! Vickers were without doubt the most ornate of all the 'flash' trailers. They were called Vickers Lunedales but in latter years they are often referred to as Vickers Morecambes. By the late 70's the recession had started to hit Travellers and they were favouring cheaper and lighter trailers. The company finally closed in 1977. Harry Vickers had passed away shortly before.

Copy of P6020118

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A rare Vickers advert from 1961. Still primarily a 'tourer' builder the 18' specialised travellers caravan is mentioned. I wonder if
Harry Vickers had any idea back then that within a decade he would be producing the iconic 'Gypsy' trailer caravan !!

thanks to Trevor Murphy for sending this old advert.

1950''s vickers

an early "specialised travellers caravan"

Here, one year later a 1962 advert from Vickers!

vickers ad1961smallcopy

Thanks to Gary and Carly for sending this.

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