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History of Sprite Caravans
#1
Some of you may have seen this website before. I enjoyed the read so thought I would share the link.

https://www.classicspritecaravans.co.uk/history
Riggers - 2020 Swift Celebrate Super QEB & 2019 Volvo S90.

"Some cause happiness wherever they go - others whenever they go!" - Oscar Wilde.





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#2
Cameron Burns is treasurer/founder member of our Retro Caravan Club UK. His knowledge of old caravans is phenomenal, but on Sprites he is like an encyclopaedia! How one so young can absorb so much knowledge astounds me, and what he doesn't know, his partner Chris will find out.
I'm quite proud to call them friends.
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#3
Yes!   It's familiar - but an interesting read all the same.    In 1966 when we wanted to change from our tiny Bluebird 9, we decided to buy a new Sprite Musketeer.   This is it on one of our first weekends in it.

[Image: Musketeer-at-Frensham.png]

Although it had a sink and a hob, it had no water, no electric -  either 230 or 12 volt, no toilet, although it had a toilet room, and there was no heating.   It was lit by two gas lights.   Over the years, I added pumped water, heating, mains electric and 12 volt lighting.   We kept the Musketeer for 18 years before selling it on.   The topic of water ingress never arose and had it been there, it's white-painted hardboard interior would surely have shown its presence.

The founder of Sprite - Sam Alper was a remarkable man.   When he stepped down from his company, he became the founder of the Little Chef chain of roadside restaurants.   In retirement, he took an interest in growing vines and revived the winery at Chilford Hall.   He was also one of the founders of the Curwen Print Study Centre for teaching printmaking.
https://www.curwenprintstudy.co.uk/site/index
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#4
Our first van was in 1971, so next year we will have been caravanners for 50 years, toddlers compared to Jaydug

Our van was a 1971 Cygnet 9'6" made locally (at that time) as we live in Wiltshire and the van was built in Cirecester we had fantastic holidays for about three years then we went bigger and bought a Eccles Topaz two berth. again loved this van, so much space compared to our Cygnet
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#5
My husband, John, and I started caravanning in 1970 when we bought our first caravan a second hand, Sprite 400 from Cambridge Caravans, in Cambridge. Not sure what year the caravan was but I know the actual date we put deposit on the van on 9th January 1971 and was for £5.4s.0p. The van was £245. The Insurance was £1.10s.0p. 2 gas bottles, regulator and hose was £11.15s.0p. Number Plate was 10 shillings Total of bill was £253.10.0. Picked it up a week later.

We, together with our children Karen then 11 years old and Nigel 9, enjoyed many happy weekends and holidays in it even though, we did not have all the mod cons of today, like an inside toilet and washing area, just a tent outside with an Elsan in it. I can tell you it was very eerie and sometimes cold visiting there in the middle of the night. Daily washing, cleaning teeth and washing hair etc:- had to be done at the kitchen sink as not many toilets and shower blocks in those days.

At the beginning we only had a two burner gas hob to cook on but we soon added to this with a Radford oven that John fitted in the cupboard under the hob. Gas lights, with mantles that kept breaking, were the only form of lighting. Water was stored in a carrier outside of the van and pumped through to the kitchen sink via a foot pump which was a disc in the floor that you twisted around with your foot to make the button in the middle pop up that you then pumped up and down with your foot and hey presto water came out of the tap. All warm water had to be heated up in the kettle on the hob

This photo was taken at Grimes Graves Norfolk.where we use to visit most Sundays if not away. You couldn’t stop the night. We use to often go out for a picnic on a Sunday morning and take the Caravan there or to the Kings Forest in Suffolk. The kids use to love it and friends with their 400 use to join us.

Later on our friend bought more caravans and hired them out branching out to be a most successful Caravan Dealer in Mildenhall. named M&M Caravans. The Haverhill branch still thrives run by the eldest Son.


[Image: 6-F2836-CF-E4-BD-415-D-8-DEF-02-EF5-B3-C5107.jpg]
For info on Touring in Europe go to http://www.joysofeuropeancaravanning.co.uk
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#6
Dianne, how did you manage with four of you in such a small van, but you did and came out the other side and I bet you loved every minute of your time in that little Sprite, those were the days, simple caravanning no high tech no damp to worry about.

The only high tech item we had was an Elsan Recirculating Loo, we thought we were the bees knees, on Rallies it created great interest from other Ralliers until quite a few bought one
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#7
(17-11-2020, 09:19 AM)Admiral Wrote: Dianne, how did you manage with four of you in such a small van,

Dianne's Sprite 400 small as it was, was a foot longer than our first van - a Bluebird Nine. We only kept it for a few months before changing it for the Musketeer. Here it is:-

[Image: Cortina-with-straightened-Bluebird.jpg]

Talking prices. The Ford Cortina in 1964 cost £700 and the Sprite Musketeer was £360. After the deposit was paid on the Musketeer, the balance was paid at £10 per month for two years. I can still remember the relief when it finally finished.
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#8
We paid £500 for our little Cygnet, I towed it with my company Cortina 1600 cc, no mover required with the Cygnet, I could shove it around one handed, can't remember the Gross weight but it was very light by today's standards
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#9
We started with a 2nd hand sprite 400 too. As basic as it comes! Almost a tin tent! But we loved it and 2 years later bought a new Abbey Durham. Still fairly basic though, a toilet compartment but no toilet. No hot water just a foot pumped cold water tap. That was in 1978.

TF
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#10
(17-11-2020, 09:19 AM)Admiral Wrote: Dianne, how did you manage with four of you in such a small van, but you did and came out the other side and I bet you loved every minute of your time in that little Sprite, those were the days, simple caravanning no high tech no damp to worry about.

The only high tech item we had was an Elsan Recirculating Loo, we thought we were the bees knees, on Rallies it created great interest from other Ralliers until quite a few bought one



Forgot to say + 1 German Shepherd.
At the end of Caravanning for 12 or so years there was just 2 of us with this large caravan touring 14 countries in Europe


[Image: D835488-B-8-DD0-4404-9641-DD72-E33872-FD.png]
For info on Touring in Europe go to http://www.joysofeuropeancaravanning.co.uk
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