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Thriving Swindon caravan dealership celebrates 25 years
A BUSINESS is celebrating a quarter century of promoting holidays on wheels.
Swindon Caravans, in Greatfield, was founded in 1988 by Guy Collister, who is now 65 and still in charge.
The company expanded to establish the Oxford Caravan Centre in 2006 and the Reading Caravan Centre in 2009.
Over the years Mr Collister has seen fittings upgraded and design fashions come and go, but he says caravanning still has the same basic appeal for devotees.
“We like to caravan now in comfort, and the modern caravan has so many gadgets in it that it’s very comfortable,” he said.
“For many people caravan holidays are still the ones they remember as the best.
“It’s still the way my kids remember being kids – having a caravan and going to France.
“They loved it, we loved it and those are the holidays that we all loved the best.”
One of those children was Tom Colllister, 33, the company’s marketing manager. He is still a caravan fan.
He said:“It’s the freedom, the freedom of being able to explore the great outdoors.”
The company sells new and used caravans, accessories, equipment, awnings and tents, and also has a workshop and a caravan hire service.
Caravans fror sale range from basic used examples at a few hundred or a few thousand pounds right up to luxurious six-berth models with price tags of about £25,000.
Guy said: “I worked for a caravan manufacturer in the 1980s part time.
“Because I knew about caravans I started buying and selling used caravans. I used to buy them, sell them at a dealership in Gloucester and split the profits.
“After a bit I thought, ‘This is silly – why am I splitting the profits?’”
The Greatfield site was secured shortly afterwards and the business has never looked back.
The three locations sell about 1,200 caravans a year between them and employ about 60 people.
As part of its silver jubilee celebrations, the company has launched a prize draw for a Bailey Pagasus GT 65 caravan worth £18,000.
The model is so new that it has yet to even be put on sale.
The prize draw will be held in July, and further information about the prize and the caravans currently on sale can be found at www.swindoncaravans.com.
Swindon Caravans can be contacted on 01793 772096.