Fond memories of motorcaravanning with his grandparents never left reader Ian Sawkins, and a decade ago he was able to reignite his passion – find out how!

My love and interest in motorcaravanning has been life-long, my grandparents having bought a Commer Dormobile in the late 1960s and carrying out the famous Richard Holdsworth conversion.

I only have vivid memories and a couple of dog-eared photos of the Commer, because I was only six when my grandad passed away at the age of 59 and the Commer was sold.

But the dream of motorcaravanning never left me, even though marriage, children and life took centre stage.

That all changed in 2006.

Opportunity knocks

Divorced and now in Cornwall, I got a job at a motorhome firm in Helston. My motorhome dreams were reignited with vigour!

As one of the company’s valeters I got to drive, clean and drool over all manner of motorhomes every day.

Then one day, in the autumn of 2006, a 1986 Talbot Glendale 1000L arrived in a sorry state, taken in part exchange for a brand-new McLouis.

Despite the Glendale’s rusty front end and tired interior I wanted it, and after a chat with my boss a nominal fee changed hands and it was mine! Much work followed and after a respray the Glendale was ready.

Many trips were taken in it over the next four years, culminating in a 10-day holiday to the picturesque Heartbeat area of Yorkshire.

Trading up

The Glendale made way for a larger motorhome, a 1991 Hymer B 534 called Henry, which I still own. I now have copious cupboard and wardrobe space, and Henry is dry and warm and everything works perfectly.

I’m married to a lovely lady called Debbie who has embraced the motorcaravanning life with a passion and verve that nearly outdoes my own. She even insisted Henry was given a wash and polish and used as her wedding vehicle – ideal for transporting her and her bridesmaids on our wedding day!

We’ve had many hols away in Henry, from day trips to camping locally on one of the many campsites here in Cornwall, as well as a long holiday touring Wales.

Henry has had a recent gearbox overhaul and is now ready for thousands of more miles and adventures.

Who needs three musketeers when we have Henry, Debbie and me? Oh, and a small dog-eared photo of two elderly people standing alongside a blue Commer.

Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent motorhome reviews

Swift Escape 604


The Practical Motorhome 2018 Swift Escape 604 review – 1 - The Fiat Ducato-based Swift Escape 604 has a licence-friendly MTPLM of 3500kg – it is £47,580 OTR, £49,275 as tested (© Peter Spinney/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Auto-Trail Imala 732 review – 1 - The 2018 Auto-Trail Imala 732 is a four-to-six-berth, with two-to-four travel seats, depending on options (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Adria Coral Supreme 670 SLT review – 1 - The silver 2018 Adria Coral Supreme 670 SLT is certainly a head-turner – and has a handy 3500kg MTPLM (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Wellhouse Terrier Lux-XL review – 1 - The Wellhouse Terrier Lux-XL is priced from £42,000 OTR – this example is £44,175 OTR (© Nick Harding/Practical Motorhome)

Devon Vitesse


The Practical Motorhome Devon Vitesse review – 1 - You get an unusually high pop-top in this Mercedes-Benz-based camper van from Devon Conversions (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)

Auto Campers MRV


The Practical Motorhome Auto Campers MRV review – 1 - The Auto Campers MRV is priced from £47,500 – this example with its options comes to £53,836 (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)