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The World's Oldest Caravan
|The World’s oldest caravan has pitched up for the final time – after 128 years on the road.
The aptly named Wanderer was custom made for Dr William Gordon Stables in 1884 by Bristol Wagon Works Company and was heralded as the world’s first leisure touring caravan. Made from mahogany and maple wood, and painted black and gold, former naval officer Dr Stables wanted the life of a gypsy while traveling in style - spawning the nickname 'Gentleman Gypsy'.
The 30ft long Edwardian holiday home, which can be pulled by a car, weighs two tons and was pulled by two horses, although the drawing above of it's first journey, suggests manpower was also needed!
Scottish-born Dr Stables travelled on holiday in the Wanderer. The drawing above shows the Wanderer on the left,as it makes its way through the Cairngorms. It was an extraordinary sight at the time, so much so that a valet was employed to cycle ahead, clearing the way and warning other road users
It boasts a bookcase, china cabinet and even musical instruments to entertain campers when it rained outside.
The Edwardian caravan, which went on its first tour in 1885 has finally come to rest in the Cotswolds at the Caravan Club Site in Broadway.
Beverley Larion, of the Caravan Club, said: “We would prefer to keep it at the Caravan Club rather than in a storage facility so our members can enjoy it. It’s the most beautiful display of craftsmanship internally. The Woodwood, upholstery is all original."
It was restored in the decade leading up to The Club’s centenary in 2007 when The Wanderer took centre stage at Buckingham Palace (HRH Prince Philip is The Club’s patron). There was a garden party to mark the centenary and The Wanderer was majestically pulled through the gates of Buckingham Palace by a team of horses, the original horse power of caravans.
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