Update from myvan (previously registered as 'Gentlemen prefer blondes'): UPDATE 23/4/07 These are the current responses on the offical ABC Collectors forum where you can post feed back...
Mrs Ardel Prout: 50's Caravan 20/4/07 John Walsh was a pioneer of the Caravan Industry. He had caravans at Bathurst during WWII, was a director of Carapark, Sydney/Newcastle and later his own John Walsh Caravans, Maitland Rd., Mayfield West. I am his neice and worked for him from 1958-1962. He & his wife Iris were my foster parents.
Came across this from the Morris Owners Club files which may be of interest
“Walsh caravan, hired from Walsh Caravans Mayfield, towed by 1950 side-basher Morris Minor (918cc and 27bhp!) to Melbourne and return in 1956 Olympic Games by the Tudor Family who reported the trip completed without a single problem.”
( I bet 1st., 2nd and 3rd. gears copped a workout!!)
I have been able to contact the above mentioned Mrs. Prout who has confirmed that John Walsh sourced most of his caravans from other suppliers. The small 'van above has a striking resemblance to this “Purdon” 'van, taking into account the difference in their age ...... one 1951 the other 1959.
But I think it more likely that the larger “Newcastle” 'van is based upon this “Carapark Cardman” ..... although there have been numerous changes to the way it has been fitted out inside.
The following photos and information regarding John Walsh and “Newcastle Caravans” has been given to me by Mrs Ardel Prout who was John Walsh's niece and worked for him in the late 50's.
Newcastle Caravans were established at 293 – 295 Maitland Rd. Mayfield West in December 1949.
Mr Walsh did not actually build 'vans from the ground up but used shells supplied to him by other makers, and then fitted them out to the specific requirements of his customers.
Some of his suppliers were--- Purdon Bros. In Maitland for the “Newcastle 9' ” which was a four berth 'van used mainly for his hire fleet, he also used a two berth 'van for his hire fleet called “Airlite” possibly made by Purdon Bros. ( can anybody confirm if Purdon Bros made a 2 berth named “Airlite” ? ) AS TIME GOES BY WE LEARN MORE.... SEE THE 'AIRLITE' THREAD IN DHL.
He also bought 'vans from Neil Shaw in Hurstville Sydney who made “Bass Caravans”, ...... Alex Chesney, Brisbane..... Eric Mills, Tamworth, (Does anybody know of this builder ?) .....and Les Gough Melbourne.
This Photo would have been taken about 1958 because the name was changed to “John Walsh Caravans” soon after that.
The business was sold in 1984 and the site is now a motel.
Ardel has kindly given permision for this photo to shown here
Iris and John Walsh.... Photo taken in 1986, after their retirement.
, I remember that place well. I live just across the railway line in Waratah and it's not much more than a mile and a half from my place which ever way you go, either via Hanbury Street and Maitland Road or via Maud Street and Maitland Road, either way you have to cross the railway line. That Vanguard Spacemaster with the caravan with the boat on the roof is an interesting shot. I've seen cars with boats on the top of the car towing caravans but never a boat on top of a what was then a fairly full sized van. Very rare and interesting shot. Thank you for posting that shot cobber, it brings back memories of a slower more relaxed time. A time when people generally had more time for one another and our community was a real community.
I was talking to my manager the other day, (at the moment I'm working in his office on light duties) and he told me there were 50 or 60 kids lived in his street when he was growing up and everyone knew everyone and they all played together (on the road, even I can remember that) and had picnics and barbeques together. He said that he has lived in his current house for 14 years and the neighbours 2 doors down have been there longer but he doesn't know them or have anything to do with them other than to say g'day occasionally if they happen to see each other, our lives these days are so busy. Perhaps it's harder to make a living or perhaps we just want more these days.
Post by Don Ricardo on Jul 8, 2015 16:29:12 GMT 10
Caravan believed to be a Newcastle belonging to Franklin1:
Photos of the van as purchased:
Due to its condition, the van was subsequently re-built from the chassis up by Franklin1 using the components from the van as a template but incorporating a number of features designed by Franklin1 himself:
A detailed thread of the re-building with pointers to its Newcastle origins and many photos can be found here.
It has been determined that John Walsh, the proprietor of Newcastle caravans, bought unfinished shells from a variety of makers and then finished them off. Franklin1's caravan bears a strong resemblance to a model produced by Castle Caravans - seen here. It seems likely that Castle also bought caravans from other manufacturers then sold them under the Castle name. It is therefore possible that Franklin1's caravan may have been built by Castle or alternatively that both Newcastle and Castle bought vans from another manufacturer.