View of the old Mile Hill Garage sales office and
workshop which were built in 1926 to accommodate the
increasing demand for motor cars and their servicing
needs in Romsey. 4 new petrol pumps were also installed
in 1926, being some of the first pumps in Hampshire and
replacing Pratt's petrol sold in cans. This photo was
taken c1932 but B A Rolfe and sons did not become a
limited company until 1948.
The main Rolfes complex at the top of Winchester Hill
The main Rolfes
garage at the top of Winchester Hill Romsey c1965
Pump attendant 1977
"So Long" was an early post war production model for
Country Life Caravans built in 1946. It was the longest
caravan made in the UK at the time and cost £1,500 new.
The So Long was designed to also double as a semi
permanent home with the housing shortage after the end
of Second World War.
A page from an unused fuel ration book from late 1949.
Different unit amounts are different colours to match
the amount of petrol purchased.
The "Highwood" was produced from 1948 at a price of
£598. More of an affordable model for Country Life
Caravans and streamlined for aerodynamics.
The first streamlined towing caravan prototype produced
in 1935. Called the "Romsey", manufacturing started the
following year in 1936. This model was the forerunner of
Country Life Caravans which became one the UK's largest
caravan manufacturers in the post war period. Bertie
Rolfe with his son Alec Rolfe testing the new model.
The very stylish "Languard 47" was manufactured from
1947 and cost £888 new. This early Languard with a
curved front end is photographed in front of Bertie
Rolfe's home Highwood House, Romsey (now a private
school, Stroud School). Country Life Caravans were
ramping up production with half a dozen new models in
the post war period and this van was shown at the
Chelsea Flower Show in 1948. Later models had flat front
Inside the caravan factory in 1947. Making up the frame
for a roof structure at Country Life Caravans in Romsey.
Inside the caravan factory in 1947. Jig Shop. Cutting
out the metal panels at Country Life Caravans in Romsey.
Over 10,000 caravans would be built between 1947 and
1959 at the Romsey factory.
Inside the caravan factory in 1947 at
Caravans in Romsey.
Inside the caravan factory in 1947. Making up the wooden
frame for a side wall of a Languard 48 in the Jig Shop
at Country Life Caravans in Romsey
Important war work. Adding snorkel wading equipment to
Sherman Tanks. To enable the tanks to drive on the
seabed they had to be sealed to make them completely
watertight including removing the gun turret to add a
rubber seal. This was an alternative to floating tanks
and the wading equipment could be quickly installed or
removed. Sherman's arrived in Romsey from Southampton
docks, were altered by Rolfe's of Romsey and sent off to
the army for deployment in Europe. Wading tanks were
used in the D-Day landings in 1944.
Filling station in 1944.A unique feature of the petrol
station was a fishpond complete with goldfish!
The "Daydream" was another early post war caravan
manufactured from 1947. The Country Life Caravans
Daydream had a luxury interior and cost £695 new.
A 1906 Rover 6HP, one of the many classic cars owned by
the company in the late 1930's.
1949 newspaper advert for the Languard 49 caravan
courtesy of Kenneth Mayhew.
A c1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III owned by the company.
Another view of above car
First Country Life Caravan Co trade show in October 1948
at the company premises in Romsey.
Caravan production staff in 1946 at Country Life
Caravans in Romsey.
The 1946-7 model year Cruis-Alon caravan from Country
Life Caravan Company in Romsey. Cost £598 new in 1947.
The 26 foot "So Long" c1946 from Country Life Caravans
Country Life Caravans trademark from 1948.
Cars of sale c1946 outside Rolfe's of Romsey. Getting
back to business after the end of the war.
A new Hillman Minx estate supplied to Lord Mountbatten
in 1947 by Rolfe's of Romsey.
A Daydream caravan in Ireland in 1947 with Bertie Rolfe
and Alec Rolfe. Country Life Caravan Company, Romsey.
Workshop greasing bay in 1947 before remodeling.
Allard car towing a Languard caravan outside the Country
Life Caravan Co in Romsey in 1949.
Fire! One of the caravans being saved from the factory
fire at the Country Life Caravan Co in Romsey in 1949.
This looks like the period after the fire with the
construction of new buildings.
Health and safety 1949! A Languard caravan taking first
prize in the Hastings Carnival. Country Life Caravan Co,
26 members of the caravan production staff getting ready
to climb on top of Languard caravan outside the Country
Life Caravan Co in Romsey in 1949 to demonstrate the
strength of the roof structure.
26 men from the caravan production staff all standing on
top of Languard caravan outside the Country Life Caravan
Co in Romsey in 1949 to demonstrate the strength of the
roof and the build