As we emerge from several months’ of enforced lockdown, opportunities are re-opening for getting away in your caravan.
Although the leisure industry has certainly not emerged from the crisis unscathed, there is enough good news making the headlines to encourage outings into the great outdoors once again.
Here are just a few of this week’s news stories and tidbits.
Camping & caravan sites: what to look out for before you book
Sunny weather and a surge in people looking to enjoy a staycation as their principal holiday this year means that camping and caravanning sites are more popular than ever, said the Express newspaper on the 21st of July. It also means that it is essential to book your pitch in advance and not simply turn up on the off-chance.
Before making your booking, here are some of the points to look out for:
- because of the continuing need for social distancing, sites will have a lower capacity than usual – and, if you are travelling as a group, that means you might not all be able to stay together;
- the Camping and Caravanning Club among others will be introducing contactless check-in and payment, identifying your pitch by the registration number of your vehicle – through a system called Auto Balance Collect;
- some communal areas – reception and play areas, for example – at certain sites may remain closed;
- you may notice the need to queue before entering certain shared or communal areas; and
- expect to see enhanced cleaning regimes carried out by caravan park staff.
Major expansion of a caravan park near Carlisle approved
Carlisle City Council has approved major expansion plans submitted by Green Meadows Country Park, revealed Cumberland’s News and Star recently.
The plans involve the addition of 25 more static caravans – to the existing permit for 37 such holiday homes – and further space for 27 touring caravans and 20 tents. The park also intends to build two new water features on the site.
Although some concerns were raised about granting permission for parking spaces for up to two vehicles for each of the new pitches, the plans were nevertheless approved unanimously.
Caravan giant Swift announces job cuts after loss of sales
There is no let-up in the misfortunes hitting caravan manufacturers Swift. In an article on the 13th of July, the Hull Daily Mail announced the loss of 50 more jobs at its factory in Cottingham.
The job losses follow the recent lockdown during which production orders were lost and dealerships and caravan showrooms were closed.
Although Swift intends to resume production at its plant with effect from the 1st of September, it will be accompanied by a 5% reduction in the size of the workforce.
The current downsizing follows our report at the beginning of this year on the closure of Swift’s other factory at Mexborough, in South Yorkshire, amid news even then that the company was striving to streamline its business.
Pictures recalling the history of the caravan
As we approach the centenary of the first appearance of the modern towing caravan on British roads, and at a time when caravanning has received a major boost from the numbers of people taking a staycation, the Yorkshire Post on the 20th of July published a collection of photographs celebrating this style of outdoor life.
The black and white photographs are evocative of family holidays in pre-war 1930s Britain and were taken at various locations across the country – they are definitely worth a look!
The piece reveals that: “Holidays on wheels began in 1919 with the Eccles, a caravan named after a district of Manchester but produced 100 miles away in Birmingham. With small opening windows on the front and sides and with paraffin for heat and light, it looked like a shed on wheels – but once parked it could be extended with awnings and offered the travelling family all the comforts they could expect from a typical B&B, and more besides.”