For Sale

'Albert Hall'
Fine, Original Watson of Belper
Showman Caravan

Built by William Watson

'Albert Hall' is a stunning example of a fully restored Watson of Belper Showman Caravan. Dry stored in its own barn by the present owner for around 20yrs and carefully looked after. The van is in beautiful condition all round, tastefully decorated in traditonal style throughout. Typical of a Watson build it has an exquisite interior, housing a separate bedroom at the rear end. It has a fully fitted queenie stove, with an appealing floral tiled fire back. There are numerous cupboard spaces and several bevelled, cut glass mirrors. The windows are traditionally semi-etched with a floral design, The main door window bearing the 'Albert Hall' motif - a reknowned showman, working the Derbyshire, Midlands region around 1891, whom the caravan was originally built for. He operated a 'travelling rifle saloon'. There is a full width belly box as well as a kettle box at the rear. The caravan would have originally been horse drawn, having wooden spoked wheels and as motor vehicles became dominant, many showman had their caravans converted to run on pneumatic tyres, allowing for greater speed of travel, comfort and less maintenance. Reluctantly the showman is now for sale due to moving house.

'Albert Hall' has several historical connections to previous owners and a credible
history to its origin.

16’  5”   - 500cm  long
6’    9’’ - 206cm  wide
10’  1’’ - 300cm   high

History of the Builder
William Watson was noted for building high quality living vans between 1881-1922 and other fairground equipment such as two-tube shooting gallery waggons. Greatly respected, he had regular orders on his books by many of the regional showman. Watson often had underworks built by a local wheelwright Mr. Bradford. Although it's claimed his last van was built in Aug 1922, Watson was creditied with constructing in 1923-24 the largest caravan on the road in Derbyshire, however the actual size is unknown. Herbert Varney trained under Watson as an apprentice, later setting up on his own in Belper, building similar type vans.

Offers in the Region of : £21,995 ovno

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