WE LOOK INSIDE a lot of vintage caravans and have noticed that many retro vanners are very proud of their crockery. When they show us around their van, they often make a particular point of showing us inside the crockery cupboard.
There are many different reasons for this fixation on chinaware. Sometimes it is actually the cupboard that is interesting, since vintage vans often have cupboards with special slots and cut-outs to hold the individual plates, bowls, glasses, egg cups, and so on. These crockery cupboards can be quite ingenious, and certainly catch your attention.
But usually it’s the crockery that people are proud of. Many vintage vanners like to have crockery of a similar age to their van, to help re-create the authentic feel of the era. A few of them are lucky enough to have the original crockery that was used in the van when it was new. Others have inherited crockery of the right era from their parents or other family members.
THE SEARCH FOR CROCKERY
But for many vintage vanners, finding suitable crockery has become a slightly obsessive hobby. They hunt around in retro stores and swap meets to find what they are looking for. Depending on their tastes, that may mean collecting old willow ware, or early forms of melamine, brightly coloured dinner sets, or the crockery they used at home as kids.
But the Holy Grail for such crockery collectors is chinaware decorated with pictures of vintage vans, especially if they depict the brand of their own caravan. Other table items, like teapots or salt and pepper shakers, also come in the shape of vintage caravans and are real collectors’ items. Many of these items aren’t even old; they just look old-fashioned. But that doesn’t matter. Even a new teapot can take pride of place in a vintage caravan if it is made in the shape of a retro van.
WORDS AND PICS Keith and Susan Hall
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