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Fairground wagon solves extra bedroom problem

By Sue Austin | Mid Wales | News | Published:

A couple's search for an extra bedroom for when a relative came to stay led them to a remarkable renovation of a fairground showman's wagon.

The finished wagon

Now Graham and Jackie O'Hanlon are inviting holidaymakers to also enjoy the fruits of their labours and enjoy a break in the restored wagon in Mid Wales.

Mr O'Hanlon said: "We were originally looking for a shepherd's hut to give us an extra bedroom for when my mum came to stay and somewhere along the way we got distracted. A half-hearted bid on an online auction site and we found we owned a 1950s fairground showman's caravan."

Graham watching the wagon off the low loader

The first challenge was getting the wagon from the fairground wintering site in Bradford.

"When we went to see it the vendor left us with no illusions about the state of repair and even offered us the opportunity to back out. But we were taken by the scale and potential; sure it would need gutting and rebuilding but how hard or expensive could that be."

They said they started to realise the challenge they had taken on when they tried to get it back to their property, Coed Cae, near Dolgellau.

With the help of the vendor it arrived on the back of a low loader.

The wagon is nudged into place

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"A local family of farmers then helped us to get the wagon up our drive, with the loss of a gate post and a silver birch tree in the process."

Covering it with a huge tarpaulin they set about the renovation.

Months of painstaking work began including putting in new oak panels and replacing the lounge stove with a log burner and a full size bath with a shower.

Much of the wood used was cut and milled by Mr O'Hanlon who also built the staircase up to the wagon and even the oak bed.

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Now, as well as relatives, holidaymakers can make use of the wagon, available for two people with its own kitchen and its own garden.

Mr O'Hanlon said: "We hope people will enjoy it. Externally it retains its original fairground character, with the exception of a new 'stargazing' roof in the lounge. Inside it makes use of local materials and the work of local artists and craftsmen."

More information about the restoration and the wagon can be found at showmanswagon.co.uk

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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