Post-war prosperity. Butlins Holiday Camps, better road infrastructure – the 1950s was the classic decade for the British holidaymaker. The first Carlight Colonial appeared at the 1948 Motor Show; subsequent improvements and modifications led to the Colonial V for the 1950s. Managing Director WR Earl, brimming with post-war confidence quotes, “…all the irritating inconveniences which are invariably found in original designs have been eliminated and the latest Colonial V is well nigh proof against all criticism.”
Now sporting a comprehensive hot-and-cold water system, an immersion tank and reclining settees, the Carlight of the 1950s was the epitome of comfort and luxury. The Colonial had a hardwood frame, panelled in light alloy; double walls incorporated a system of air-sealing, offering exceptional insulation. Extensive use was also made of glass fibre. Windows were fitted with rubber draught excluders, and gas points were fitted for the use of the fire, gas poker – and iron!
An anthracite solid-fuel stove provided heat while hot water was produced through its back boiler. The wall lights could be powered by battery or through the mains – electric hook-ups at static sites were becoming increasingly popular.
Plentiful storage was available inside the Carlight Colonial – it even had an airing cupboard – and careful thought was given to maximising the layout of the beds for daytime seating. Much attention was paid to detail: a sideboard-dressing table unit incorporated glass-lined recesses for handkerchiefs and ties for the gentlemen and cosmetics and brushes for the ladies. A wall-mounted bookcase and shelf for a radio (an aerial was built into the roof), velvet curtains, fitted carpets and linoleum kitchen and washroom flooring all enhanced the holiday experience.
Sophistication had crept into the washroom as well – a hand-held mixer shower spray provided an instant hot shower any time of day, thanks to the built-in immersion storage tank.
The brochure for the Colonial V, printed for the 1952 Motor Show, proudly boasted its standard features, such as a three-inch cavity floor, two entrance doors, hot-and-cold water system, electric immersion heater, 9 electric lights, 5 gas lights, folding built-in steps, anthracite stove with boiler, varnished rub rail…all this and more, for £1,675.