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10 things you (probably) didn’t know about the history of the static caravan

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From the 1950s onwards, the boom in car ownership soared and the static caravan offered people their very own ‘cottages’ by the sea or in the countryside. Here author Andrew Jenkinson shares 10 facts about Britain’s favourite holiday homes.

1. In the early 1900s, the gentry could have a horse-drawn caravan built that was transported by train to a summer plot where it remained static.

2. The Cara-bung, the first commercial static caravan, was designed in the 1930s to be left sited as a holiday cottage. With the Second World War looming over Britain, the idea didn’t immediately catch on with the public.

3. By the late 1940s, the idea of using a caravan for holiday use, and for living in, had taken off.

4. By the 1950s the static caravan was the ideal way to spend summer breaks by the sea or in the countryside, with many families renting or buying a caravan on a site - many of which were just fields!

5. The 1960s saw a boom period and, with easy credit, people could a static caravan. With new modern designs influenced by growing trends and and sites becoming landscaped, the static caravan holiday was ideal for weekend breaks, too.

6. The 1970s saw more sites open up and hiring static caravans was big business as summer holidays were spent on sites with more amenities, such as a club house, shop and cafe.

7. The 1980s witnessed more families build fond memories of their static caravan holidays, with many buying a static caravan of their own as their parents had done years before.

8. The 1990s saw new designs attract younger families - as a result, the static caravan was more like a home than it had ever been.

9. Lodges were increasing in popularity by the end of the 1990s, taking the idea of the static caravan further.

10. By the 2000s, the static caravan was a well-specified unit enabling off season use, with central heating and interiors that began to hark back to 1960s designs in some cases!

By Andrew Jenkinson

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