Set up camp in another era
STEPPING up to Brian Loadsman's caravan is like taking a step back in time.
From the custom-made Great Gatsby leadlight window to the retro flying ducks on the wall, the fully functional 1950s-era teardrop camper has proven to be a great conversation starter wherever it goes.
And there's plenty of conversation to be had - Mr Loadsman built it from the ground up.
"People flock to it like bees to honey," he said.
"A lot of people have said I've never seen anything like it and couldn't believe it was home-built."
The caravan, nicknamed Joycey's Junket, is fully self-contained and decked out with a sink vanity, complete kitchen, a double bed and retro antique furniture and appliances.
It even has a chimney that puffs out curls of white smoke, thanks to a hidden smoke generator.
Mr Loadsman said he always loved antiques and was able to deck out the caravan for the most part with things he had collected over the years from secondhand stores and sales.
"You've got to be eccentric to do something like this," he laughed.
"I like a project, I always have something going."
His partner, Philomena Jabour - Philo to those who know her - said the idea for the project was conceived two years ago when Mr Loadsman came home from a Show and Shine in Yamba excited about a great caravan he had seen.
Inspired by the 1948 Cabin Car, he sat down and drew his own design in an A4 exercise book.
The sketch later provided a full-scale template for the project, which took Mr Loadsman just over a year to complete.
Working long and often odd hours as an operating theatre nurse educator, the Grafton resident said it was good to have a project to come home to at the end of the day.
"Work can be demanding so it's good to come home and get away from it all," he said.
"I've always loved hot rods and that scene and now it's progressed to this.
"The next stage is to move to a hot rod."