It was a damp Saturday here in Suffolk, so we visited the Long Shop Museum in Leiston. The first item I saw was a 'Living Van'. Followers of my blogs will know that I have developed a fascination for shepherds' huts, living vans and sleeping vans. It was good to find a new example of these sheds-on-wheels that afforded shelter for those whose work involved an itinerant and often essentially outdoor lifestyle.
Living vans like the one in the pictures would have been hauled along by a traction engine or steam roller. A total of 117 Sleeping Vans were manufactured by the Suffolk firm of Garretts during the 1920s. They were often used by road workers or threshing crews.
|Made in 1923|
I have seen a photo of the van in its former delapidated state. It was found near Biggleswade in 1984. It reached Leiston in 1986, and was magnificently restored with help from the Science Museum.
The Suffolk firm produced numerous items as you can see here.
You can view another Garrett Living Van here.
I particularly like shepherds' huts, which usually had small cast iron wheels, but were not built for road transport. I have posted photos of the one at NT Sutton Hoo before (and here in relation to my Sutton Hoo poem), and have mentioned others.