By Pat Jones
AST week's letters on the housing shortage 4 might lead us to think this is only an urban problem, but a reader living in a remote part of Wiltshire says that even there accommodation is almost impossible to obtain.
This man ended his search by buying a small caravan, the same expedient taken by many service families living nearby. He feels that the caravan would be a good temporary answer for homeless families if the following improvements could be achieved.
1. Lower cost by cutting luxury fittings which often hide bad workmanship.
2. Better and less confused laws concerning sites; some sites are frankly unhealthy.
3. Less snobbery towards caravan dwellers. "The public," says my correspondent, "seems to regard anyone who lives in a caravan as slightly beneath them, and subject to suspicion. On this site we have two civil servants, a school teacher, a cinema manager, a charlady (war widow) and several R.A.F. families. The old itinerant junk-dealer type now has a job to find a site that will take him.
"The value of a caravan declines rapidly once it is purchased (10 per cent p.a.) due to deterioration from shoddy workmanship and lack of care. Our war widow lives with her teenage son in a 1944 caravan, well looked after. The type (a "Peoples") seemed to be a prefab-substitute designed for the job (e.g. internal gas-bottles which will not freeze up in winter) and still going well."
AFREQUENT and tragic item of national news and catastrophic caravan fires in which, as one couple said, "We lost everything except the clothes