Post by greatsouthernland on Nov 25, 2012 15:35:23 GMT 10
Vintage “Burwood Caravan” Supplied by Les Gough & Sons Hawthorn Melbourne
Hi I was hoping someone might be able to help me with the age / year of this caravan? All I could find so far is that it was supplied by Les Gough & Sons who also supplied the Hawthorn caravans. Thank you
Hi all, I believe Cobber is correct about Les Gough not making his vans. I know that in the early sixties he was supplied by Coronet caravans. Dad said he sold vans to Les who branded them Hawthorn. Les onsold some vans to Roma until they went direct to Coronet. I don't know who made the vans before coronet, but I will ask dad if he knows. Hope this helps
Post by Don Ricardo on Nov 26, 2012 22:36:12 GMT 10
The van you have there is very interesting to the caravan history buffs on the forum, like me. We have read about Les Gough's 'Burwood' brand caravans, but not actually seen one on the forum before. I am stoked to see the pics of it!
As I think you have probably gathered from the forum, Les Gough produced some of his own vans early in the piece (the late 40's and early 50's), which he sold under the Hawthorn brand name, but then began to sell vans built by various other manufacturers, all under the Hawthorn name as well.
However, he also sold vans under the Burwood brand name, but at this stage we don't know how they fit into the picture. Your van is different to the Hawthorn vans we've seen, but then almost every Hawthorn seems to be different from almost every other Hawthorn, so perhaps that doesn't tell us much... What we do know though is that there aren't many other Burwood vans around, so what you have is a bit special.
I'm wondering if you could do us a favour and have another look at the Burwood name plate on the back of your van. There should be a number stamped in the middle of it. If you can tell us what the number is, it may (note I said may) tell us something about the rough age of the van.
Thanks for posting about your van on the forum. It's made my day!
By the bye, now that we have some hard information on Burwood caravans I will create a new Down History Lane thread and copy the info about your van to that thread.
Post by Don Ricardo on Dec 8, 2013 22:33:52 GMT 10
As you may have seen from the DHl Burwood thread here, Burwood vans are pretty thin on the ground, and we are nowhere near understanding Les Gough's numbering system - except that no 659 is presumably later than no 459, which is the only other Burwood we've seen on the forum.
Unless of course, we're talking about the same van? The serial number on the plate on the van in the Burwood thread is a bit indistinct, but it would be amazing if the only two Burwood vans we know about have a serial number ending in "59".
Probably the best way for us to be able to give you an idea of the approximate age of the van is if you can post some photos. It will be interesting to see what it looks like.
Can't go anywhere in a vintage van. Yeah it was a long run up from Ballarat. Take another look at the start of this post. Where the four linked photos are. That is this van. Its nice to be spotted though. We took out the "peoples choice" award on the day. I'm sure that it was the van that did it.
Thought you might be interested in Les Gough's letterhead from 1955 which has a photo of the Hawthorn caravan which appears identical to the one above. The document is the receipt for the deposit that my grandfather paid for our Burwood caravan.
Post by Don Ricardo on Mar 21, 2016 16:52:29 GMT 10
As we are aware, while Les Gough did build some of his own Hawthorn caravans in the 40's and early 50's, from the late 40's on he also began to sell caravans built by other manufacturers under the 'Hawthorn' or 'Burwood' brandnames. And from the mid to late 50's onwards, it appears that he had given up building his own vans and that all the 'Hawthorn' and 'Burwood' vans he sold were sourced from elsewhere. Further it appears that the vans that he sold as 'Hawthorns' came from quite a proliferation of other builders in at least three states (South Australia, Victoria and NSW), such that we have seen scarcely two Hawthorn caravans that are the same. Well here's another Hawthorn to ponder...
One of the caravans present at the Maldon vintage caravan weekend in February 2016 was this van owned by Barb and Billie:
The steel plate for the gas tank was added by Barb and Billie, but the additional bracing under the A-frame they think is original:
It's quite a compact van, so fairly difficult to get comprehensive interior photos without a wide angle lens:
The caravan has 'Gypsy' badges on each side at the rear, but Barb told me that they were added by the previous owner, and that she and Billie have simply followed the theme by calling the van 'Lil Gypsy'. The remains of Hawthorn signage can be seen above the front window in the second of the above photos, and again in the following photo:
Interestingly, this van has the same sliding and locking mechanism for the hatch on the door used on the genuinely Les Gough-built Hawthorn van owned by Wanabe seen higher up this thread here. In other words, the hatch is not hinged at the bottom, but slides up and down in tracks and can be locked in various positions:
The van isn't a one-off because Barb's daughter gave her a photo of an identical (but unbranded) caravan which she took outside the Lake Bolac store in Victoria sometime last year - so there are at least two of them! The Lake Bolac van was painted yellow and black, but the design of the livery and flash were the same. It was being towed by a yellow and black FE or FC Holden station wagon which according to Tubbygra61 belongs to a member of the Victorian FE/FC car club.
Does anybody have any ideas about who may have built this van? I've checked up a few possibilities, but haven't come up with anything yet.
Post by Don Ricardo on May 11, 2016 17:53:24 GMT 10
Looking through some old photos last week, I came across the following:
I don't recall now where or when I took it, except that the caravan tow car appears to be a VN Commodore, which would indicate that the photo was taken in 1988 or later.
At first I thought that the caravan in the photo was a little Globe Trotter, but then I looked more closely, and I realised that it was actually another example of Barb and Billie's Hawthorn that I photographed at Maldon in February (more photos in the post above):
The photo at the beach doesn't really help us in the search to work out where Hawthorn may have sourced this model van, but it does go to show that there were at least three (including the other one Barb's daughter saw) - unless of course the van at the beach is an earlier photo of Barb and Billie's van!
Post by Don Ricardo on May 12, 2016 15:51:21 GMT 10
Good to see that you're a forum member. I hadn't connected your forum name with your little Hawthorn. Apologies for that.
As you can see, we haven't got any further in identifying who may have built your van (except that it wasn't Hawthorn themselves), but having the photos on the forum means that there's a reasonable chance that someone will come along one day and be able to tell us more about it. It has happened on the forum many times with different caravans.
In the meantime continue to enjoy your van. It really is quite an unusual van and a pretty shape, to my mind anyway.
This advert is of interest because it shows a photo of Les Gough's factory and stock of caravans, which appears to have been more extensive than we might have guessed. In addition to manufacturing Hawthorn and selling badge engineered Burwood caravans, Gough also acted as a dealer for Carapark Superb and Hunter de Luxe caravans, and at another point for Jennison Pathfinder.
Post by Don Ricardo on Aug 3, 2017 18:08:50 GMT 10
Photos of a Hawthorn-branded caravan, serial number 701:
We know that Les Gough of Hawthorn Caravans procured the vans he sold under the 'Hawthorn' brand name from a variety of manufacturers. At this stage we do not know who built this van. However, it is evident that it has been re-clad in aluminium at some point. It has wood framed windows and would originally have been clad in bondwood.
I can't remember who originally posted these photos, or where. Apologies to the forum member concerned.
Post by Don Ricardo on Feb 7, 2018 21:28:43 GMT 10
In March 2016, I posted photos of Barb & Billie's little Hawthorn (ignore the 'Lil Gypsy' on the side - that's their addition):
Further photos can be seen higher up this thread.
This was the first example of this model caravan we had seen on the forum, and its background has been a bit of a mystery, although we know that Les Gough of Hawthorn Caravans sourced the vans he sold under the Hawthorn and Burwood brand names from a variety of manufacturers in Victoria as well as elsewhere (and built some of the early Hawthorn's himself).
With this in mind, I was excited to find the following information in the 1962 edition of the Winser caravan manual (yeah, I know I get excited by strange things! ):
(Source: Keith Winser, Australian Caravan and Touring Manual for 1962, 1962, page 147)
So, Barb & Billie's van is a 9 ft 'Baby-Van Deluxe' and was being sold in 1962. That's the first indication of a date we've had for that model.
Interesting also to see the advert for the 12 ft 6 in model, which I don't think we've seen on the forum as yet.
We still don't know where Les Gough procured either the Baby-Van or the 12 ft 6 in model. That's still a mystery to be solved. Gough appears to have stopped building caravans himself in the early to mid-50's, so we're looking elsewhere for the ultimate origin of these two vans. But looking the front window set up and the shape of the wheel arches on both caravans, I reckon there's a very good chance they came out of the same factory. If anyone can suggest any ideas about who might have produced them, the 12 ft 6 in van in particular, we might be a step further.
Hi DonR, The 12ft 6 model in the Winser manual picture seems to be a shorter version of the van you posted in the Owen Bailey thread yesterday. Also seems to be the same rear corner of the tow car in both pictures, but different backgrounds behind the vans.