|Transcribed from an article in the Northants Evening Telegraph, published April 8, 1952
|Tucked away in a paddock beside a stream just outside Burton Latimer is the latest thing in houses. It is the Latimer Mobile Home, named after the home town of its ingenious designer, Mr B B Lewis.
In appearance it is an atttractive bungalow - with the fittings of a modern flat. Officially it is a caravan.
Actually it is two caravans and a bridge section comprising a roof, floor and wall sections. The front caravan, with a homely porch entrance, contains a kitchen with every modern convenience, bathroom and toilet; the bridge forms the living room, complete with French doors opening onto a sheletered veranda; and the other caravan is a good-sized bedroom.
The whole structure stands on wheels, although Mr Lewis thinks that the majority of buyers with have no intention of moving it about.
According to a report by the Town & Country Planning Association on mobile dwellings, of the post-war output of good trailer caravans, at least 80 per cent have been bought as homes.
Although a high proportion are used as stationary dwellings, costly chassis, braking and towing system and springing wheels are provided, and the considerable amount of labour, steel and rubber in these components is mostly wasted.
The Latimer home is on caster wheels, so being in the mobile dwelling category it can be built without a licence. Its mobility will be a boon to families who move about a lot. the usual method of transport is a platform lorry and trailer. Loading is helped by the caster wheels, and as the sections are only 14 feet long, special vehicles are not necessary.
The centre section can be stacked upright next to the cabin of the lorry and the roof of the bridge carried in the roof of one of the caravan sections.
It can be dismantled and reassembled in a very short time.
The only foundation needed is a level concrete area, and at Mr Lewis' site near the old Burton Mill, steps are built to the porch and French doors.
As the structure is light weight, its designer thinks that land freshly levelled after mining could be utilised.
The site near Burton Latimer is perfectly fitted for mobile homes, and Mr Lewis is to build three there. There is every amenity and even telephones could be installed.
Room for a 'Frig'
The inclusion of a "frig" would have sent the price up, so Mr Lewis has fitted a ventilated food cupboard the same size as a refrigerator that could be replaced if the owner wished.
In addition, there are five cupboards and a heat-resisting table in the kitchen.
Mr Lewis, whose hobby is caravanning, admits that the modern caravan is ingenious and well fitted, but road limits of size (7ft 6in by 22ft) make it almost impossible to provide amenities for full-time occupation in that space, he says.
His first three mobile homes have been made in Burton Latimer, but Mr Lewis hopes to place his idea in the hands of a bigger firm for production on a large scale. He sees no reason why it should not become an export product.