Post by Don Ricardo on Dec 18, 2012 22:26:26 GMT 10
Manufactured by Les Gough & Sons 172-174 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Vic
Note that Les Gough also produced vans branded as 'Hawthorn'. On 25 November 2012, Greatsouthernland posted photos of his Burwood caravan, advising that it was for sale. Some additional photos were also posted on a listing on Ebay.
This is the first Burwood van shown on the forum. It is unclear at this point whether Burwood vans were built by Les Gough himself, or were produced by another manufacturer and then sold under the Burwood name by Gough. It is also uncertain whether Burwood and Hawthorn vans were both given a serial number from the same series, or had separate numbering series.
Post by Don Ricardo on Dec 18, 2013 19:03:52 GMT 10
On 18 September 2012 Hughdeani suggested that some of Les Gough's caravans were supplied by Moreland Caravans, with the caravans being branded as 'Hawthorn' vans.
The following photos confirm Hughdeani's suggestion to the extent that the Moreland caravans were also branded as 'Burwood' caravans, Gough's 'other' brand name.
This is a picture of a Burwood van advertised on the forum by Greatsouthernland (see above post on this thread):
Next is a photo of the Burwood van recently acquired by Brenten's wife Robyn:
More photos of this van demonstrating that it is the same design as the first van can be found here. However, note in particular the triple front (and back) windows, the relatively flat roof line, and on this van the extra strip of quad presumably covering a join high up on the side wall.
Now compare these vans with the Moreland van in this advertisement from the 1955 Winser, which demonstrates that the Burwood vans came from George Moreland's back yard where he built them:
(Source: K Winser, Australian Caravans and Touring, Book 7, 1955, p 124)
I was very interested to read about the Burwood caravan. My grandfather bought a caravan from Burwood Caravans in Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, Vic, in 1955. The caravan has stayed in the family since that time and I am now looking after it. The caravan has a steel chassis, no brakes (until recently when I installed electric brakes) and, my father says, used to have a "bay" window but he replaced it with a flat window as the rain got into it and it started to rot. It doesn't look like the other Burwood caravan in the previous posts so I would be very interested if anyone can tell if it has a particular model name or if anyone has a similar caravan.
Last Edit: Nov 3, 2016 9:10:02 GMT 10 by Don Ricardo: Inserted photos provided by Colin345 to replace original attachments
Post by Don Ricardo on Sept 7, 2014 20:45:33 GMT 10
Welcome to the forum and thanks for telling us about your family's Burwood caravan. It looks as if it has been very well looked after and is in great condition. There are not too many vintage caravans that have been owned by the one family all of their existence, so it's great to hear about another van in that special category.
As you have probably gathered, Les Gough who sold Burwood caravans, also sold caravans under the Hawthorn brand name. Why he sold vans under two different brands we haven't been able to work out yet. Gough began selling vans under the Hawthorn name in the 40's and continued into the early 60's. However, we don't know exactly when he started selling vans under the Burwood name, except that it must have been before or around 1954/55. The reason for giving this date is that 1955 was the date of the first edition of the Winser caravan guides that mentions Burwood (Winser published his caravan guides on an annual basis from 1948 through to the early 70's). However, it seems that the Burwood name was only used for a relatively short period because there is no mention of Burwood in the 1960 or 1961 Winsers, even though there are still adverts for Hawthorn. (I don't have copies of the in-between Winsers, so don't precisely know when Burwood vans stopped being listed.)
Another thing we know about Les Gough, is that although he built some caravans himself that he sold as Hawthorns, he also sold caravans built by a number of other manufacturers under the Hawthorn and Burwood names. Some of the vans sold as Hawthorns were built by Carapark and Adventurer. In the case of Burwood, some of the vans were built by Moreland Caravans, as explained higher up this thread. Based on that fact, it is quite possible that your van was built by another manufacturer and then sold under the Burwood name. Your van is definitely different from the Moreland-built vans that we've seen, but hopefuly someone on the forum may be able to work out its origins. (The shape of the wheel arch is quite interesting and may help us identify who built it.)
I note that the windows on your van are wooden framed with curved inner corners. That style of window was commonly used by caravan builders from about 1953 to 1957, so that fits with the 1955 date for your van.
Les Gough always (as far as we know) fitted a serial number plate to the vans he sold, whether he built them himself or not, and whether they were sold as Hawthorns or Burwoods. Does your van have a serial number plate? If so can you tell us what its serial number is? Being a 1955 van, it may possibly be amongst the first Burwoods, which would be pretty exciting wouldn't it?
You mentioned that your van originally had a bay window. A number of caravan manufacturers in the mid to late 50's used a ready made bay window unit which we think was manufactured by Flynn Caravans. An example of this type of bay window can be seen on an Overland caravan if you click on this link. Perhaps you can show the Overland photos to your father and see if it is similar to the one that was on the Burwood. It would be most interesting to know what he thinks.
Hopefully hearing about your van will help us to learn a bit more about Burwood caravans. In fact it already has, because we now know that Burwood sold more that just the one Moreland-built model we know about.
Sorry for the long post, but seeing the photos of your van is pretty exciting!
Thank you for your reply. I have queried my father about the wheel arch and he says it was originally a more rectangular wheel arch and he did the swept back wheel arch when he replaced the masonite exterior with plywood in the 1960s (the interior of the van is still masonite). There is no badge or serial number that I can find. If it was attached to original masonite exterior it would have come off when the exterior was replaced.
The bay window consisted of one sheet of glass and protruded from the van a few inches. It was the same size as the current front window you can see in the photo. What may be a fairly unique feature as I haven't seen it on other vans is the jockey wheel which consists of a large exposed threaded screw conected to the wheel and turned with a two handed handle.
Post by Don Ricardo on Sept 8, 2014 23:45:11 GMT 10
Some more intriguing information about your van, including the story behind the shape of the wheel arch. Was the 'more rectanguar' shape something like the shape of the wheel arch on the "Moreland" Burwoods? (It is possible of course that your van is an earlier caravan built for Les Gough by Moreland.)
You described the bay window that was on the van originally. Based on your post, I am wondering if it looked a bit like the window on this Hawthorn (minus the leadlighting of course):
I think you could say that this window protrudes from the body of the van a few inches, and was the way that the windows were constructed on some vans. Here's another similar example on a 1956 Roma:
Hi Don Apologies for the delay in replying. It has taken some time to search through my parents old slides looking for an early photo of our caravan. I managed to find this one from 1956 which shows a, rear bay window which stretches the whole width of the caravan. It seems to be one sheet of glass (not three as in the examples above) although you can't see the whole window in this photo. I would be very pleased to hear your thoughts on the make/model and original manufacturer that this detail may indicate.
Last Edit: Nov 3, 2016 9:10:58 GMT 10 by Don Ricardo: Inserted photo provided by Colin345 to replace original attachment
Receipt for Burwood caravan purchased by Colin345's grandfather shown above, posted here:
The receipt shows Colin345's Burwood as having the serial number 675, which is higher than Greatsouthernland's Burwood shown in the post commencing this thread (serial number 479). Given that Colin345's grandfather's van was to be delivered in December 1955, this indicates that Greatsouthernland's caravan must have preceded Colin345's and been produced well before December 1955, just how long depending on how many caravans Les Gough sold per month/year around that time. It also suggests that Les Gough may have been selling Burwood branded caravans earlier than we previously surmised.
Post by Don Ricardo on Dec 7, 2016 21:01:17 GMT 10
Hi King Fisher,
Very interesting to see the serial number plate from your Burwood.
We know that Colin345's van with the serial number 675 was delivered in December 1955. Your van with the serial number 659 is 16 earlier than Colin 345's, so I would think that almost certainly indicates that your van would have been built in 1955 as well. Nice to have a year for it.
You have probably worked that out already...but I thought it was worth commenting on.
The advert was published in the Melbourne Age on Saturday, 20 February 1954 (page 28), and tells us that Burwood vans were being sold in early 1954. That's earlier than the 1955 date we had previously uncovered. Whether the Burwoods built in 1954 were produced by George Moreland and badged as Burwoods by Les Gough (see reference higher up this thread), as were those in 1955, is a question still to be answered.
Post by Don Ricardo on Feb 12, 2021 11:30:40 GMT 10
This thread commenced in 2012 with a post about a Burwood caravan with the serial number of 459 owned by Greatsouthernland. The van was for sale at the time.
I was interested to see that the caravan has survived and been refurbished, although it is now being used as a coffee cart. The following photos of the van outside the Melbourne Arts Centre were posted on the PMI Victorian History Library Facebook page here on 28 December 2020: