First in Wales for 50 years of Excellence and Quality
A Little Bit Of History
Whitney affectionately known as Captain Whitney after his exploits in the
RAF, moved with his family to South Wales in 1960. Harry and his wife
Phyllis spent many years as comedians in Music Hall touring the country
and often stayed in caravans as this was more convenient than using hotels
or the famous theatrical digs where you had to be in by 10.30 or face the
wrath of the landlady.
could see that television was taking a firm foothold and many theatres
were closing. As a fast talker who knew much more than most about touring
caravans, he took a gamble and set up Sunnyhaven Caravans. Little did he
know how the business and the popularity of owning a touring caravan would
grow. Starting from scratch in a converted garage at Gorseinon he began to
sell caravans with the help of his young son Eddie (who appeared on stage
at Leeds with Harry and Phyllis when he was only 3 weeks old!). Harry
found no problems selling the caravans, in fact customers were clamouring
to see the “square deal” men as they had become known. Some of our
older customers many remember the logo used in those days.
the business grew Eddie got married and introduced his wife Maureen to the
wonderful world of caravans. She immediately put the womans touch into the
business and customers began to notice an accessory shop had sprung up in
the now smart ex-garage. (The first caravan accessory shop in Wales.) In
the mid-seventies Harry and Eddie with a push from Maureen became Avondale
Coachcrafts first dealer in Wales, a partnership which has flourished to
this day, resulting in a number of top dealership awards. In 1984 Harry
and Phyllis decided to call it a day and retired from the business knowing
it was in safe hands. Phyllis in fact she still dabbles in show business
and often plays panto —
specialising as fairy godmother.
1985 came the opening of Blazers Caravans run by Eddie’s friend Bruce.
They met when both were playing in the Wizard of Oz at Swansea Grand. An
approach was made by Bailey Caravans of Bristol in 1986, this was accepted
and both depots then became stockists of Avondale and Bailey caravans —
again resulting in a number of top dealership awards.
was now flourishing with lightweight well-insulated caravans being
manufactured with all the facilities you’d expect even in the home with
full blown air heating and double glazing. Fully fitted kitchens and
Harry and Phyllis would have enjoyed using these caravans on a wet cold
January night in Cleethorpes. Also with the improvements in sites
caravanning was now an all year round pastime. Expansion was now required
and was duly completed in 1994 with smart new premises and showgrounds.
by this time had produced a boy and a girl, Richard and Toria and you’ve
guessed it Richard is in the caravan business and Toria is in show
business. (following her grandparents), but loves to go in to the shop and
sell accessories (following her mother).
after almost forty years in Swansea and anticipating all the changes yet
to come, Eddie and Bruce’s colleague Ian Fearn has been appointed
managing director as we look forward to the new millenium.
would have thought when Harry and Phyllis were sitting in their cold
little caravan on a wet night all those years ago, that there would be
over half a million caravan owners enjoying their holidays all though the
year and that Sunnyhaven and Blazers would be the success story it is