Wow cobber AFter starting to think that it was getting a bit uninteresting on the forum, how good is that story! And thanks to DonR for his magnificent sleuthing skills. So, after chatting with the rellies, are you game enough to date the van any earlier than 1936? Wouldn't it be great to know the exact year of build!!!
Regardless, even this information is terrific news for us all.
Last Edit: Aug 26, 2019 8:34:44 GMT 10 by Roehm3108
Post by Don Ricardo on Aug 26, 2019 9:14:54 GMT 10
I’m so glad you’ve had the opportunity to meet Karen. I’m over the moon that we’ve been able to track down the origins of Ol ‘36 at last. And so amazing that it was built not too far from your patch too. Just goes to show that Facebook has some value after all, even though I’m sometimes a bit of a skeptic!
Such a great coincidence that the van spent time at Coledale with the Barlow family. Did the van always feel more ‘at home’ when you took it to Coledale?
Now the question of the moment...
Are you going to re-christen “Ol ‘36” as “Ol ‘32” or “Ol ‘33”?
All of this certainly cements Ol ‘36 - ‘33 - ‘32’s place as one of the half dozen (or fewer?) earliest Australian caravans still in existence. Given that Ern Barlow didn’t have a lot of other examples to work off, the design and workmanship in the van marks him out as a real craftsman.
This is a fabulous development in the story of your van, and I’m really tickled to have been a bit player in it.
It is hard to tell who is the most excited Derk, me or the family. You realise they had never seen the actual caravan before but when they did, and sat inside it they recognised every thing, the stained timber, the slide down table, the wardrobe and most importantly the slide out cooker cabinet. They had listened to their mother Jean reminiscing about it and the places she had been in it over and over for years they had almost stopped listening, they now wish they had asked more questions. I wish I had been able to show it to her a few years ago before she passed away in 2017.
There is no doubt Ray that the van was built and in use before 1936. There is a little bit of ambiguity about when Ern started and finished the build. It is thought that it took him a year or maybe two to complete the job but Jean always said she was travelling in it when she was 10 years of age.
It is great Don R that Ol '36 now has some provenance eh? We thank you for making it possible.😘 When we took her to Coledale she was amassed at the number of other caravans that were there, previously she said, she was the only caravan to be seen when she went places. Don't know that I'll re-christen her until somebody else gets an older van on the road and skites about it 😜 You are right, she was born in Lidcombe and I was born in Auburn, the very next suburb in 1938.
In fact I now recall my mother standing on our front verandah nursing me in her arms when she suddenly said " oh look Cobber darling there goes a loverly caravan being towed by an A model Ford" ... I thought to myself " when I get bigger I would like to buy a caravan like that" ..... in 2006 I saw that very same caravan in a shed at Rossmore, the very next door suburb to where I live, Leppington. It was for sale so I bought it..... a boyhood dream come true 😘🙄😁😁😉
Congratulations on a truly remarkable discovery! And congratulations to former Senior Detective (now Chief Inspector) Don Ricardo for his super-sleuthing skills in "joining the dots".
Such a shame to find out the lady connected with the van was still around up until a couple of years ago. Imagine how many pipes you could have shared with her over the previous 10 years, as you collected all her memories of the history of the van.
This discovery would have to be one of the best Fathers Day presents you've been given??
You want a movie Graeme ? I would have been satisfied with a diary written at the time they were doing these pioneering journeys. I imagine they would have run up dead ends, got bogged occasionally and Ern would have had that rifle to provide fresh rabbit for dinner down at the Coxs River.
You'r right Al, over the past ten years the old van would have brought back a host of memories. And DCI Don Ricardo did do well on this case but he now has to devote himself to the investigation of the cold case of Driftwoods origins 😉
Well done Richard you’ve done the impossible again and what a buzz for you Cobber. Hope we can catch up in SA next year at the Nats If not the oldest we know of it must be the oldest registered and still on the road? Best regards Jenno
G'day Tony, Pleased you enjoyed the 13 year journey I've had with this old van, thanks for you comment.
Over the 15 years this forum has been running there have been many inspiring rescues it is hard to pick the best ones but one that gave many of us goosebumps was this one of surf tragics see what you think of it 😉
Last Edit: Sept 29, 2019 10:08:03 GMT 10 by cobber