Page last updated at 11:07 GMT, Thursday, 21 August 2008 12:07 UK

'Oldest' caravan celebrates 100th

The 1908 caravan
The caravan was given "on loan" 12 years ago

An Edwardian holiday home is marking its centenary at a motor museum, which claims it could be the world's oldest caravan designed to be pulled by a car.

The wooden caravan was built in 1908 by a Derbyshire-based artist, and has been described as a "shed on wheels".

The single-berth van, last used in 1960, is on loan to the Motor Museum in Llangollen, Denbighshire.

Meanwhile, Elfyn Llwyd MP officially launched a new 200,000 motor home produced by a Gwynedd company.

The 1908 caravan was presented to the Motor Museum "on loan" 12 years ago by its owner who lives in Bala, Gwynedd.

Ann and Gwilym Owen, who run the museum, decided to research the caravan's origins to coincide with its centenary and its potential significance to the caravanning industry.

The Wanderer
The horse-drawn Wanderer pre-dates the 1908 caravan by 24 years

According to The Caravan Club, the earliest known horse-drawn "leisure" caravan was called The Wanderer, built in 1884 by Dr William Gordon Stables.

Museum owner Mr Owen said caravans designed to be pulled by motor vehicles were generally thought to have been introduced in 1915.

He added: "This puts our caravan some seven years earlier than the current histories believe, which makes it a very important piece of British motoring heritage."

The caravan was built by a Mr A. W. Haslam, an amateur artist from Heanor, Derbyshire and was used on his painting expeditions.

He went blind in 1940, but his family still took him for holidays in the caravan until he died in 1958.

Its last known trip was in July 1960, after which it was stored in a barn by Mr Haslam's granddaughter until 1988.

The Tycho
The Tycho costs between 168,000 and 200,000

Mr Owen said: "It's had a little bit of modernisation over the years, such as new wheels and axle from a 1930's Austin and a more modern hitch but everything else is basically the same as it was when constructed.

"It's very much like a garden shed on wheels and I can imagine it was very cosy in its day, especially if you tried to fit more than one person inside it."

In Penrhyndeudraeth, MP Elfyn Llwyd officially launched the latest line of modern motor homes on Thursday.

The "Tycho," made by MCL Motorhomes, is described by its makers as the first "A-Class vehicle" of its type which weighs under 7.5 tonnes and can be driven using a car licence.

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