He’s a gifted architect, lecturer, writer and the inspirational presenter of some of TV’s most popular property shows, including The Restoration Man. But as George Clarke revealed to delegates at this year’s BH&HPA Conference, his love of design is also matched by another enthusiasm held since childhood. It’s an out-and-out passion... for caravans. ‘I’m obsessed by them, I simply adore caravans!’ he confessed, tracing his infatuation back to the many blissful family caravan holidays he enjoyed as a boy.
The holiday caravans in which he stayed with his parents were largely set on parks in North East England, not too far from the family’s home in Washington, Tyne and Wear.
He recalled blissful days, sealed in his memory forever, of waking excitedly each morning in the holiday hideaway – and even enjoying the oft-heard pitter-patter of rain on the roof.
Snug, enclosed, the great outdoors all around and neither parent having to hurry off to work; the magic of a caravan holiday cast a spell on George which many other grown-ups will recognise. Fast-forward a few decades and George still thinks caravans are brilliant. In fact, he even bought a dilapidated model for £300 a few years ago and turned it into a stunning holiday home. The hunt is on for electrifying ideas to take the traditional ‘static’ caravan holiday home into a new design era – and television’s ‘Restoration Man’ says it’s time to think outside the box George Clarke launches his search for static electricity!
Even just the sketchiest of sketches, with an accompanying written explanation, will allow the judges to determine if there is some exciting static thinking going on here.
The field is wide open for turning traditional design approaches on their head, and injecting new elements which reflect the way we live our lives today and changing
priorities and concerns.For example, should caravan holiday homes let in more natural light? Does the internal layout have to follow existing norms? Should more energy-
saving – or even generating – features be included? ‘It’s time to come up with the most
imaginative, the most appealing, the most daring and the most wished-for caravan holiday home this country has ever seen,’ said George.
Caravan holiday homes aren’t just for grown-ups – and neither is this challenge. There is a special section for children (aged up to 12) to put forward their own ideas on what
would make their holiday heaven complete. The entry requirements are the same: George is looking for inspirational thoughts – in words or pictures or both – on what a caravan holiday home could deliver in order to turn an ordinary stay into an extraordinary one.
George accepts, of course, that a child’s-eye view of a perfect holiday home might be a little different from what’s feasible. A wall-size TV monitor and chocolate fountains in
every room, for example, might pose a challenge too far. But sometimes even the wackiest of ideas could prompt a new perspective on reimagining the modern
caravan holiday home. And who is to say that a youngster might not identify a fresh feature which set-in-their-ways adults have overlooked?
You have until November 30thto submit your ideas.
If you would like to take part in the challenge, please send your ideas to
George Clarke Challenge
6 Pullman Court
Great Western Road