R M English are proud to present, what is believed to be, the last Berkeley Statesman in existence. These caravans were brought into production in 1951 and were designed in part to try and deal with the housing shortage after the Second World War. The design of these caravans was ground breaking, offering sleeping accommodation over two floors, living/dining area, kitchen and separate shower room.
Back in 2004 the vendor was contacted by the Historic Caravan Club, making him aware that they had found a Statesman hidden away on a farm in Bedfordshire. After viewing the caravan it would be safe to say that our client completely fell in love with the Statesman’s character and revolutionary design, this was the start of what would be a gruelling three year restoration process bringing this piece of history back to life.
The Statesman’s structure was in poor condition with the hardwood frame completely rotten and the floor in need of replacement. Some work had been done to the exterior, with the roof having been reskinned with hammer finish aluminium, this probably turned out to be the caravan’s saving grace, protecting it from the elements. The original chassis had rusted away and a number of internal features had been removed.
What followed over the next three years was a miraculous transformation only made possible by the commitment of one man with a passion for vintage vehicles. The renovation was captured by The Caravan Show on Quest TV, which even now is still repeated and well worth a watch to fully appreciate the time and effort that went into the project.
When looking at the Berkeley Statesman now, it is apparent that it has been sympathetically restored both the internally and externally, maintaining the character whilst incorporating modern appliances where necessary.The interior was designed by John and Sylvia Reid who were the formost furniture and fabric designers of their day. The kitchen is still very much in the style of that of the 1950’s, with a free standing oven with two ring gas hob, aluminium work surface which incorporates a stainless steel sink with drainer, various storage cupboards and retro fridge. The living/dining area has further storage and includes a fitted table to one side with space for chairs. There are two single beds with overhead lighting on the ground floor and a double bed can be found up the stairs. There is a shower room with w/c and hand basin, a fantastically designed room which makes use of all the space on offer.