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Busy Caravanning.Com - where caravans are cool

4 February, 2010

Swift’s Special Restoration Project

Swift Group may be working flat out on its latest models for 2010 but a little corner of their giant plant is devoted to a very special project – the restoration of three classic caravans.

Chairman, Peter Smith has owned the classics for some years but with the Eccles celebrating its 90th birthday in 2009, it seemed a good time to get the restoration project off the ground.

eccles_1938 Oldest of the three caravans is the Eccles President from 1938 which made its debut at the 1937 Motor Show. The Eccles has spent most of its life under cover and was used for many years prior to the second world war. The caravan is complete with its original crockery pots and pans including egg cups and sherry glasses.

It has amazingly high specification with 12V lighting, built in water tank and wet cell radio, a table that has a cover for card games and a mat on the other side for letter writing. Thankfully some things have improved though as it was challenging to tow, max speed 25 mph and the nights were freezing.

To the get the Eccles back to its former glory, looking exactly as it did when it left the factory, the President has been stripped back to its shell and has been painstakingly brought back to its original condition.

Being worked on alongside the Eccles is one of Swift's originals, a 1964 Clubman Ten – which is having new upholstery, curtains and carpets to match the originals. Thanks to the skill of the time served craftsman, this 45 year old van will look as good as new.

The third classic project is a Safari Minor from 1948. This two-berth caravan was one of the first Safari caravans to be built and is again getting new soft furnishings in addition to body work repairs to return it to its former glory.

The three classics will be centre stage on the Swift Group stand at the NEC National Boat, Caravan and Outdoor Show 23-28 February 2010.

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5 January, 2010

Neil Oliver At The Scottish Caravan & Outdoor Leisure Show

Neil Oliver The Caravan Club is delighted to announce that TV favourite Neil Oliver will officially open The Scottish Caravan & Outdoor Leisure Show on February 4, 2010, and he will become the latest celebrity to join the Caravan Club.

The show, Scotland's only dedicated event for caravanners and those who love the outdoor life, will take place at the SECC, Glasgow from 4 -7 February 2010. This year's show is a one stop shop providing products and services from over 150 companies. Visitors will be able to get up close and personal to the latest 2010 models from all the major caravan and motorhome manufacturers. There will be holidays parks and the largest collection of holiday homes in the UK, as well as outdoor leisure accessories, camping equipment, small boats, marine products, industry clubs and associations.

Commenting show organiser, Jamie Taylor said "With many people choosing a holiday or short-break in the UK, we are expecting more visitors than ever."

Nick Lomas, The Caravan Club's Director of Marketing comments, "We are looking forward to Neil Oliver being with us at the show.  The Caravan Club offers some 180 locations across Scotland and Club members spend over £17m in local communities when caravanning in Scotland."

The show will also feature

· Free towing lessons & motor caravan manoeuvring lessons with The Caravan Club

· Go Green  - hints and tips to help you keep your carbon footprint to a minimum. To encourage car-sharing visitors leaving the show with 4 or more people in one vehicle will not be charged for parking.

· Cookery and wine tasting demonstrations

· Free expert advice

· Exclusive money saving offers

Entry prices have been held at 2009 levels…making it the ideal crunch-beating day out.  For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.caravanshowscotland.com or call the ticket hotline 0844 395 4000:     Advance tickets are £7 or £6 for seniors and on-the-door tickets are £9 each or £8 for seniors. Kids go free.  All tickets include brochure RRP £4.50. The show is open from 10am to 6pm daily.

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1 January, 2010

Winter camping for Christmas staycations

caravan_snow Despite the snow and ice thousands of families are choosing the peace and quiet of the countryside over overindulgence and television repeats in front of the fire at home, according to the latest research.

Record numbers of cash-strapped Britons forced to tighten their belts switched to 'staycation' holidays in UK in summer and have now extended the concept of money-saving breaks to New Year despite the plummeting temperatures.

To read the full report from the Daily Telegraph click here

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13 December, 2009

The Boat & Caravan Show 2010 at the NEC


nec_2010_showThis year's show consists of over 560 exhibiting companies offering visitors' the first opportunity to see the latest 2010 products from some of the leading outdoor manufacturers. Free activities, demonstrations, help and advice add to a great day- out for the whole family.

Talk of doom and gloom and the recession were sidelined last year, when over 96,384 (84,423 visitors and 11,961 exhibitors subject to ABC Audit) walked through the doors of the UK's largest outdoor leisure show.

Discover the freedom and adventure of independent holidaying – whether in a tent, a caravan, folding camper or motorhome – and visit the show where friendly help and advice is available from leading clubs and organisations. Beginners can try towing a caravan or driving a motorhome at the show – all free of charge.

We have ten pairs of tickets to be won in our ticket competition - to enter go to our main page here

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13 November, 2009

Staycation Britain creates all time record sales of £28 million for Swift Group at NEC Show

Britain's rediscovering of the benefits of caravan holidays helped Britain's largest manufacturer, Cottingham based Swift Group, achieve all time record sales of £28 million at the International Caravan and Motorhome Show held at the NEC, Birmingham last week.

The company, which displayed a wide range of its touring caravans, motorhomes and holiday homes, provided a spectacular main feature at the show with a display of over 100 products covering a massive 7,000 square metres.


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Stylish Nights in an Airstream Luxury Caravan

The iconic American Airstream trailer has come of European age with a model made specifically for the European market.  It hasn't lost all the glitz that differentiates an Airstream from the rest but it has been slimmed down slightly for our smaller, twisty roads.  For the largest model you'll still need a mighty 4×4 to pull it but the aerodynamics could reduce your fuel bill by up to 20% compared to a standard "white" caravan.  You'll also need a hefty wallet but you'll never be lost in the crowd!

For a full report from The Telegraph click here

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8 November, 2009

The Scottish Caravan & Outdoor Leisure Show 2010 - Win Tickets!

secc_2010_logo Scotland's only dedicated event for caravanners and those who love the outdoor life - The Scottish Caravan & Outdoor Leisure Show - will take place at Glasgow's SECC from 4 - 7 February 2010.

We have 12 pairs of tickets to give away in our competition!

Our 12 lucky winners will each receive a pair of tickets for the show which brings together over 150 companies showcasing the latest caravans, motorhomes, holiday homes as well as outdoor leisure accessories, camping equipment and small boats – all under one roof.

Go to our competition page here

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25 October, 2009

Caravanning - the "Lifestyle Choice"

Those buying a caravan could make a lifestyle choice by allowing them to holiday every weekend, it has been claimed.

Brits who opted for a caravanning holiday this year could make it a regular occurrence it has been suggested.  According to The Caravan Club, those who spent their holiday in a caravan could decide to make that sort of break a lifestyle choice.

Spokesperson Nikki Nichol explained the rise in the number of Brits opting for this kind of holiday is likely to continue and said it presents people with a different option.

"Who wouldn"t want a holiday every Friday night?  If you have a caravan, you can do that," she said.  The comments come on the back of what caravan park operator Park Resorts called a "record-breaking season". Sales of the mobile holiday homes were up by 40 per cent in the first half of the financial year.

Meanwhile, an IM Financial Services survey found that 89 per cent of respondents would consider buying a caravan to holiday in the UK.

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East Yorkshire Caravan Firms On Top

Jim Hibbs, managing director of east Hull firm Coachman Caravans, said despite last year's near collapse, the sector had experience a "massive turnaround" in recent months.  He said the recovery was being driven by young families choosing to buy caravans instead of holidaying abroad.  The weak pound is also making caravans built in East Yorkshire attractive to foreign holiday park owners, which is bolstering export sales.

Mr Hibbs was speaking after local firms reported record sales at the annual International Caravan and Motorhome Show, held in Birmingham last week.

Beverley manufacturer Swift Group achieved total sales of £28m at the show – £10m more than last year.  It sold about 600 caravans.  Coachman, based in Amsterdam Road, sold 410 caravans, beating its 2007 record of 354.  The firm almost doubled its sales on last year, from £3.5m to £6.8m.

Mr Hibbs said: "It is a massive turnaround.  "More people are taking British holidays because they can't afford to go abroad. Its having a huge effect on the market.

Swift commercial director Nick Page added the company's performance in Birmingham had "exceeded our wildest expectations".

He said: "The mixture of existing owners coming back into the market and a large number of younger couples and families spending their holiday money on our products for the first time is really positive news going forward."

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11 September, 2009

Win a pair of tickets to the NEC Caravan & Motorhome Show 2009

CARAVAN NEC 2009 Yet again, we are pleased to announce that in partnership with the International Caravan & Motorhome Show we are offering the chance to win a pair of tickets for this ever popular show at the Birmingham NEC taking place between 13 and 18 October 2009.

Go to our competition page here.

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