1966 was a great year (not just for football) but also for the world of caravans as this saw the launch of Lowdham Caravans by George Crafts (father of current Chairman, Roger Crafts).
Initially, selling residential and static caravans the business then took advantage of the franchise opportunity for tourers with Willerby, Astral, Mardon (egg shaped), Knowsley, Abbey, Swift, Ace (Terry Reid) and Buccaneer. The site was a small, but perfectly formed, three quarters of an acre with customer parking was on the street. As you can imagine there was a lot of pressure for space!
Moving into the 70s & 80s, 1978 saw the first ABI solus commitment and the addition of the Ace & Elddis franchises.
Expansion followed in 1986 with the purchase of Midland Counties Caravans. 1989 saw ABI going solus again and we relocated the brand to the Midland Counties Site.
The 90s saw a huge investment in the company with our move to a 26-acre brand new sales centre at Gunthorpe. No more street parking for our customers!
Steve Sharpe joined the company in 1996 and oversaw the further expansion of the business with an extension to our showroom and the addition of a storage compound.
Finishing the 90s on a high note with the arrival in 1996 of the first motorhome (Buccaneer) at Gunthorpe. Mr John Smith was the proud owner of the first Buccaneer motorhome built.
Lowdhams went on to display the new four berth and six berth models at the NEC Show in February 1997. Our first European import (Laika) swiftly followed in 1998 and the addition of the prestigious Hymer brand of motorhomes and caravans in 1999.
Moving into the 00s, 2002 saw the further expansion of the business with our second branch at Huddersfield being purchased.
Steve Sharpe added additional motorhome franchises with Carthago, Dethleffs and Knaus motorhomes coming on board.
Aftersales on motorhomes was our next focus with a new workshop being acquired at Bingham.
We finished the decade by adding Autocruise & Swift motorhomes to our already impressive portfolio in 2007, then Chausson motorhomes also came on board in 2009.
Auto-Sleepers Motorhomes come to Lowdhams
Auto-Sleepers are choosy about their dealers and we were delighted to meet their requirements, launching our Auto-Sleepers Motorhomes selection at our Huddersfield branch in the summer of 2010.
Knaus motorhomes entered the UK market again in 2011 after a period of restructuring and immediately found favour, winning customers and press awards.
Lowdhams were a natural dealer choice, having imported new Knaus motorhomes from 2001.
2012 saw the re-organisation of the Hymer dealer network in the UK and Lowdhams were appointed as a dealer for these prestigious new motorhomes and caravans, from probably the best known manufacturer in Europe.
As the champagne flowed following England's win in the 1966 World Cup, a modest caravan dealership opened up in the Nottinghamshire village of Lowdham. Is it really 50 years since George Crafts opened our first caravan dealership? How time flies! It's incredible to look back at all the many black and white photos from our past.
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