John Lennon Caravan Restoration

John Lennons gypsy caravan from the 60s
John Lennons gypsy caravan from the 60s

Monday, 15, Apr 2019 04:42

By William Coleman

Well this is certainly news to me! Who knew that John Lennon was into caravans? His gypsy style caravan may not be quite up to modern standards, but what a magnificent piece of caravan history. The van is now set to go through a full restoration process following its rediscovery.

The amazing 1800s style caravan has found its way into the hands of a charity who are going to be putting the van through a restoration. John Lennon actually gave the caravan to his, at the time, young son when the Sgt Pepper album was released in 1967.

The world famous Beatles member had the caravan painted in the design as the Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, along with his now famous Rolls Royce. The caravan fell off of the grid over 50 years ago and nobody thought it would ever be seen again, that was until 2012 rolled around.

Back in 2012 the caravan was found and then stored safely until it was handed over to The Delight Makers. Their mission is to have the caravan restored to its former glory and prestige.

Chairman of the charity, Sam Koshare-Edouardes, 54, has said once the caravan in fully restored they want to take it around the UK and spread the words and messages of John Lennon, messages of peace and love. Something I think we can all agree the world needs more of right now.

There is a lot of work that needs to be done before the caravan is show worthy again. The project is being very cautiously put together by Sam's partner who it putting the van back together piece by piece.

"Restoring this is like the Mary Rose," said Sam. "We are trying to salvage every single piece that we can to keep it as authentic as possible."

The caravan was built in a small workshop in Chertsey in 1967 and turned a few heads when it made its way for delivery to John Lennon's home in Weybridge. Following the delivery and a few years in storage it seemed vanished and did not reappear for quite some time following the unfortunate passing of John Lennon.

"John and Yoko left it behind when they went to America, although they were hoping to come back," said Sam.

"Ringo Starr moved into John's property and then John died. When Ringo sold the house he moved the caravan to his next property in Longcross and then for some reason he left it there."

During its time at the Longcross the van fell into a state of disrepair following an incident where a tree fell on top of it during the Great Storm of '87.

There the caravan sat rotting away until 2012 when it was rediscovered following the sale of the house to a new owner who then passed it onto the Delight Makers charity.

The project has not been a straightforward one and has very much been a labour or love. During the early stages the van had to be moved from Virginia Water to south east England in an attempt to find the space to work on it away from "fanatic" fans. Good to see that Beatlemania is still running wild.

"It probably looked like mission impossible," Sam said. "By the time it's finished it will have cost more than £150,000. Every single piece we have has to be preserved and it has some that would be from the 1800s."

Currently a documentary is being filmed to show the full restoration project, but Sam would love to find out as much history and information on the caravan to he can piece together than van and its journey.

"The debut date of the caravan was July 24, 1967," she said. "The journey was several hours and they had a mishap on the way and had to pause several times, so there are plenty of possibilities that people may have caught a glimpse or a photo."

Story Credit- SurreyLive

Photo Credit- Mirrorpix, BILL ZYGMANT/REX

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