Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Home Sweet Home.......

I came across this photo the other day, and so I thought I'd share it with you. This palatial establishment was my first home! As far as I remember, (it's a long, long time ago), I lived in this caravan for the first three years of my life! I remember a much larger caravan than this, but then I was a lot smaller! 

            This is me! It's been all downhill since, although I do have more hair now!

Surprisingly, I have quite a few memories of life on the site. We had a bus conductor living close by; occasionally he'd give me a new ticket roll to play with. I use to run around the site giving 'tickets' out to everyone I met (I'm surprised I didn't get smacked around the head). No Playstation or Xbox for me, you notice. Funnily enough, most of my memories are of being outside, I cannot remember the inside of the caravan at all. There was an old abandoned American Jeep at the bottom of the site, and that provided many hours of entertainment! I'd pretend I was John Wayne thrashing the Hun (I'd never heard of John Wayne at the time, but you get the picture).

The Jeep was many years past moving, the steering wheel was seized solid as I recall. But one vehicle that did move, was this one.........

This, gentle reader is a BMW Isetta. As you can see, it has three wheels, and the front opens as a door! Usually, when you think of a BMW, you imagine a sleek executive rocket, plainly they had more humble origins! One of our neighbours owned one of these, and I was occasionally allowed to sit in it. As far as I recall, it was never moving at the time.........

After two or three years, we moved in with my grandparents, to allow my parents to save for a house deposit. I guess the caravan had been sold; I have a strong memory of seeing it go past my grandparents house on the back of a lorry. Eventually, somewhere around the end of 1963, we moved here.........

Three more years, and there were five of us (I have two younger brothers), and we lived there until my parents sold the house in 1985. Incidentally, this house is only about 400 yards from the caravan site. Since you ask, the site is now a mobile home park, for retired people only. So no kids then, at least not living there. They obviously got fed up with annoying little brats, running around dishing out bus tickets!

These photos really made me realise how much things have changed. After only fifty years, the world they show is unrecognisable now. Or perhaps I'm just getting old!


  1. Martin, this is spooky. What's in a name, eh?

    I lived in a caravan, almost identical to this, until I was about three. We then moved in with my maternal grandparents until a council house came up. My grandmother's brother had a BMW Isetta, and great fun it was, too.

    Loved this post. Have you ever considered contributing to the wonderful Sepia Saturday? I've posted quite few times there, and can't recommend it highly enough.

  2. From one old guy to another. You're getting old. Enjoyable post.

  3. Martin H - Glad you enjoyed it, I seem to remember a few kids from the site, so there must have been a few like us. Have had a look at Sepia Saturday - fantastic! Thank you.

    hansi - So I'm definitely old then? Thought as much! Thanks for visiting.

  4. Great post Martin! I love the picture of the caravan that you lived in. Things were so different then weren't they - people would really struggle to get themselves off the ground.

    P.S. I lived in a caravan for a year, a couple of years ago. I loved it. Cleaning was a breeze!

  5. My previous reply seems to have been obliterated by Blogger, so.....

    Martin H - Glad you enjoyed it. Have looked at Sepia Saturday - fantastic. Thank you.

    Annie(Lady M) - I couldn't believe it was as small as that! I guess things were very different then.

  6. Isn't it strange how everything seems so much smaller than we remember as children?

  7. Kara - True, but I guess we've all grown up. Well, hopefully at least.....

    Thanks for calling.

  8. I used to have fantasies about living in a caravan - but it never really happened until hiring a campervan in Australia for a few months a couple of years ago... I still yearn for one, now!

    Do you think you and the other Martin are twins, separated at birth?

  9. broken biro - A campervan sounds fun! I think it's a male mid-life crisis thing. After all, there safer than a Harley-Davidson!

    Who knows, although I think Martin's caravan was posher than mine...

  10. It looks like you have a fun childhood. Living in a caravan looks fun to me.


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