Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown
Representing the 99%!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Lambretta Scooter Folding Caravan 1959 By The British Pathé

Just when you thought you couldn't buy an affordable, reliable touring two-wheeler! Lambretta scooter pulls a folding caravan in style. But wait; there is more to this story than meets the eye! Ken Strugnell, a scooter engineer filmed in this short commercial may still be looking for his co-star today! 

Caravan advert man in search for his screen wife of '59  

Ken Strugnell, then a scooter engineer, was filmed riding his Lambretta scooter from Emsworth to Bosham Quay, to advertise a new fold-away caravan in 1959.  The advert, made by Pathe for the Southbourne Sheet Metal Company, showed Mr Strugnell, then 26, ride his scooter towing the caravan, with his 'wife', and 'daughter' in a sidecar.  When the family arrives at the seafront, they put the caravan up, and set up beds inside.    

Though the caravan itself was not a success - Mr Strugnell, now 77, says it was probably too small to catch on- the advert has drawn renewed attention and is to be used later this year in a BBC programme which will see him recreate the film.  Watch the advert  Mr Strugnell said: 'They called me, and we have filmed a piece in which I relive the ad, putting up the caravan in the New Forest.'  Mr Strugnell, who now lives in Havant with his real-life wife Jean, wants to find the woman who played his spouse. He said: 'As the ad's going to be on TV again, I really want to get in contact with her and let her know.    

'I already managed to speak to the girl, who's now 54, of course.  'But the woman in the ad, I don't know. I don't know her name, so it's really hard. I'm just hoping she will read this and can get in touch.'  Mr Strugnell admitted he still sometimes watches the two minute 38-second ad.  But not as often as his wife Jean, who said: 'I can't stop laughing at it. 'There's a moment when the wind catches the caravan as he's putting it up and it looks like it might fall off the quay into the sea. It doesn't, but it's very funny.' 

To contact Mr Strugnell, call (023) 9248 4832.

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  2. Hi, the tv programme " Inside Out " DID manage to track all 3 of us down ... I am the toddler in the side car. They arranged a get together for us all at Ken's house, and it was the first time we had seen each other since the film was made! It was my father, Peter Checketts, who made the caravans at his factory in Southbourne, which could be how I got involved too. Ken was chosen as he had the scooter, and the other lady was a secretary at another nearby factory. My mum Marion can be seen towards the end sitting on the wall by Bosham Sailing Club, with my older brother Terry Checketts, watching the filming.

    1. Hi, thanks so much for sharing this! What a great piece of history to add to an already fantastic video. :) Thank you again and happy holidays!!