Bailey of Bristol - 65 Years
Founded in 1948 Bailey Caravans is the longest established UK independent manufacturer with sixty five years experience in caravan design and production. During this period it has grown to become not only the UK’s number one caravan brand, accounting for approximately one in three new caravan sales, but also now one of the largest in Europe.
More recently the company has brought this same level of expertise to new product sectors including motorhomes and leisure homes, which are caravans designed specifically for siting on seasonal pitches, as well as expanding to new exports markets such as Australia and New Zealand.
The first Bailey caravan was built by Martin Bailey in his garage in South Bristol in 1947 and was subsequently sold at Ashton Gate market for the sum of £200. A year later F G Bailey Ltd was formed and went into production. The company developed rapidly throughout the 1950’s eventually outgrowing its original site and moving to its present address at South Liberty Lane in 1960. In 1977 the company was purchased by Patrick and Stephen Howard and Bailey Caravans Ltd as it now known has remained in Howard family ownership ever since.
Three years ago the company introduced the Alu-Tech body shell construction system which is seen by most observers as the most significant development in leisure vehicle production technology for over three decades. Providing genuine design innovation, this fully patented technology, means that Bailey leisure vehicles are now some of the best engineered and the most technically advanced products on the market which keep owners comfortable safe and secure no matter how tough the conditions.
Today Bailey employs over 300 local people on a 14.5-acre South Bristol site and currently manufactures 7,500 leisure vehicles per year to generate an annual turnover in excess of £ 90 million.
Bailey’s 65th Anniversary celebrations started on Thursday 22nd November with a historic visit from Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, to the company’s South Liberty Lane manufacturing plant. The Royal Party received a guided tour of the main assembly line, meeting a number of the Bailey production team members in the process, and also inspected a Unicorn Cadiz touring caravan and an Approach SE 760 motorhome. The visit attracted global media attention generating a great deal of positive coverage for both Bailey and the UK Outdoor Leisure Vehicle Industry in the process.
Commenting on reaching this significant landmark Managing Director Nick Howard said “Bailey would like to take this opportunity to thank its customers, retailers, suppliers, plus the consumer clubs and the caravan media for the significant contribution they have made to the Company’s continued success of the past sixty -five years.”