A spectacular gypsy caravan belonging to John Lennon is to be restored after finding its way into the hands of a charity.
The caravan, much like John’s famous Rolls Royce, was painted with the motif of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, although unlike the car, it went missing and was thought to have been lost forever.
In 2012 it was found and it has since been handed over to The Delight Makers, a charity which aims to restore it to its former glory.
Sam Koshare-Edouardes, 54, chairman of the charity, said once it has been restored they want to take it around the country to spread John’s message of love and peace.
But before then it has to be restored piece by piece, a painstaking task, which is being undertaken by Sam’s partner. “Restoring this is like the Mary Rose,” said Sam. “We are trying to salvage every single piece that we can to keep it as authentic as possible.”
The caravan, which had been built as a present for John’s four-year-old son, Julian, had long been thought lost until it was found in 2012. Built in a workshop in Chertsey in 1967, the caravan made for quite a sight on its journey to John’s house in Weybridge, but it was soon forgotten.
“John and Yoko left it behind when they went to America, although they were hoping to come back,” said Sam.
“Ringo Starr moved into John’s property and then John died. When Ringo sold the house he moved the caravan to his next property in Longcross and then for some reason he left it there.”
While at Longcross, the caravan was “turned to splinters” when a tree fell on it during the Great Storm of 1987 and was not rediscovered until 2012 when the house was sold to a new owner, who in turn passed the caravan onto the charity.
Sam said the project is very much a labour of love, and in the process they have had to move away from Virginia Water to south east England in an attempt to find the space to work on it away from “fanatic” fans. “It probably looked like mission impossible,” Sam said. “By the time it’s finished it will have cost more than £150,000. Every single piece we have has to be preserved and it has some that would be from the 1800s.”
A documentary about the caravan’s restoration is being filmed, but Sam said they would love more information about the journey it has taken, particularly those early miles it travelled from the workshop to John’s home.
“The debut date of the caravan was July 24, 1967,” she said. “The journey was several hours and they had a mishap on the way and had to pause several times, so there are plenty of possibilities that people may have caught a glimpse or a photo.”