Carlight trailers, until recently, were built at Sleaford in Lincolnshire. From the 1930's they mainly produced expensive 'top of the range' tourers for gorgios. They were coach built to very high standards and have always been comfortable and very expensive. In the non-Gypsy 'caravaners world' they have been considered the 'Rolls Royce' of tourers. The 1950's saw the introduction of the distinctive and classic Carlight shape which remained the same until the 1980's. A certain section of wealthy Travellers prefered the more subdued luxury they provided and liked the larger vans, the ultimate being the twin axle 'Colonial' 'specials' for travellers. They were much favoured by the 'carpet sellers'. Although not 'flash' in the way the other makes were in later years, (the company refused to add any stainless steel to vans after one attempt that was not considered successful), there were 'show trailers' displayed at the fairs. They must have made a stark contrast being generally plain gleaming 'white' compared to the stainless steel encrusted 'Travellers trailers' displayed. They certainly ranked in the 'top level' of trailers and are still popular today. In the 1990's two 24' vans (new shape) were built as 'travellers specials', one lined with white formica and one with oak , the decision was then taken not to build anymore. 2009 saw the company name change to 'Classic Caravans Ltd.' and the change of premises to North Rauceby, Sleaford. The company now concentrates on refurbishment of older vans and other coachbuilt trailers, but the new range is available to special order only from £43,450 to £44,950 !! Amongst travellers, the old style 'tourers' are once again popular for 'going away' to fairs etc. Very sadly the company appears to wish to 'brush under the carpet' the history of their Romany clientelle which is a shame from a purely historical aspect of 'Carlight', as over many years the Gypsies were a major part of the sales of the business and indeed probably the finest and most expensive vans built were commissioned by travellers!.
A later Carlight 'Continental' at Stow Fair. 2007
A rare 22' Carlight 'Colonial' twin axle.
This would have been a very expensive trailer. c 1972/3
thanks to Davy Jones for these pictures
the Carlight website is of interest though out of date
This picture illustrates the 'class' of travellers
that liked and could afford the large Carlights, 'lemon' trailer and matching Rolls Royce !
1950 caravan magazine cover
Superb twin axle 'Colonial' special built for Rudi & Shirley Price