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Coventry Steel Caravans Ltd

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mickw
nuneaton
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1 of 8  Fri 6th Dec 2013 3:32am  
Member: Joined Oct 2013  Total posts:445

Hi all, I`ve just watched a programme called George Clarke`s Amazing Spaces on Channel 4. A young lady had converted a 1950s caravan into a mobile beauty salon. What caught my attention was the make of the caravan, it was a Coventry Knight model, built by Coventry Steel Caravans Ltd. A quick look on the internet, I found the company was founded by an engineer called Clifford Dawtrey at the end of the 1930s. His factory was in Clay Lane. On the same programme there was a Bedford coach which was converted into a mobile cinema, the bodywork was supplied by Coventry Steel Caravans. I found that they had also built specialist vehicles for the government for dental and medical use. As I`m a fan of anything with wheels I was surprised I had never heard of any of the above and it doesn`t seem to be mentioned anywhere on the HC site, so I thought it may be an interesting subject to investigate Cheers Cheers
Coventry Steel Caravans Ltd
Midland Red
Cherwell
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2 of 8  Fri 6th Dec 2013 9:38am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5646

The local telephone directories tell a slightly different story The company first appears in 1938 at Quinton Road In 1942 the address changes to Brooklyn Works (no address) with a Kenilworth telephone number 1947 sees the addition of a second telephone number - in addition to the Brooklyn Works number, there is also a listing for Exchange Works, Market Place, Warwick 1948 only shows the Exchange Works number, but in 1950, in addition to Exchange Works there is a listing for Brooklyn Works, Leek Wootton (same Kenilworth number as previously) In 1953, the Leek Wootton address is listed alongside Central Chambers, 148 The Parade, Leamington Spa The Leamington Spa address is the only listing for 1954 For 1956-58, the company is shown as being at 15 East Dene, Lillington There do not appear to be any further listings, and at no time is there a listing for a Clay Lane address ***** **** PS I now find that his employers, Airlite Trailers, were in Clay Lane (link) Thumbs up Edited by Midland Red, 6th Dec 2013 9:49 am (PS added)
Coventry Steel Caravans Ltd
Midland Red
Cherwell
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3 of 8  Fri 6th Dec 2013 9:44am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5646

No doubt you've seen this link The telephone directories show C R Dawtrey at a variety of addresses in the area, from Woodside Avenue, Coventry in 1938-41 to a number of different addresses in Leamington Spa Born in Halifax, he died in Leamington Spa in 1958 aged 54
Coventry Steel Caravans Ltd
Foxcote
Warwick
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4 of 8  Fri 6th Dec 2013 9:53am  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:901

An interesting topic Cheers Only a quick look into it so far, but it appears that there was a company named 'Airlite' in Clay Lane. Mr Dawtrey was a designer with them and then moved on with his own company. Warwick Knight Caravan
Coventry Steel Caravans Ltd
Midland Red
5 of 8  Fri 6th Dec 2013 9:54am  
Off-topic / chat  

willys
north wales
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6 of 8  Tue 24th Dec 2013 7:39pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2013  Total posts:1

Hi, I'm new to this forum but thought I'd like to contribute to this Coventry Steel Caravans thread. Here's a couple of pictures of my mobile ex-dental unit made by CSC sometime around 1952ish. It was formely used by the South Staffordshire Health Authority. It's exceptionally strong, made from double skinned extruded aluminium vertical panels, and mounted on a truck type chassis. Loads of character too.
Coventry Steel Caravans Ltd
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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7 of 8  Tue 24th Dec 2013 8:06pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4395

Hello Willys Wave & welcome to our Coventry forum Wave Wave Thank you for your introductory post. Thumbs up
Coventry Steel Caravans Ltd
CKcharlie
Stockbridge
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8 of 8  Mon 26th May 2014 10:17am  
Member: Joined May 2014  Total posts:1

I own 5 Coventry Steel Caravans, CSC. I tried to buy the one in Wales, hope the restoration's going well Willys. Clifford used to design cars before caravans and worked for Standard cars and Swallow pre Jaguar. His son Brian is living in the New Forest. Ahead of the times with his designs, Clifford produce specialised trailers as well as caravans, mobile banks, vets, labratories, dentists. I have a Ministry of Defence recruitment unit in my collection, a Martins Bank, a CK49 caravan, another caravan that has now been converted to a bar, and a Warwick Knight 50. I used to own the CK that was in the programme mentioned and a Lloyds Bank semi trailer. Brian has written a small book on life during the war in the area. See it on Amazon here. Please have a look at the CK owners group on Facebook here Paneltex brought CSC and are still making specialised vehicles. Info here. More info at Amazon here I believe the Corn exchange in Warwick became a Woolworths and has since been demolished. Clifford Dawtrey was a brilliant designer and one of the best of a small handful of this era. I wish to sell my collection of Coventry Knight Caravans and Mobile units due to lack of space and ill health. Charlie T
Coventry Steel Caravans Ltd

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