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The Sugared Almond
Article from The Light Car Magazine Feb 1954 by ANTONIUS
Thomson Brochures - Thomson Caravans Index - The T-Line Story

A description of a popular caravan from north of the border which combines a smooth and attractive appearance with a most tasteful interior

Elegant Exterior

The Scots have always been known as a rugged, robust and reliable race, and as the possession of such virtues by a caravan is undoubtedly a good thing, it was with great eagerness that I recently arranged to road test a product of Scotland's largest caravan manufacturers- Thomson's (Carron) Ltd. I collected the 'van-a 14-ft. Thomson Almond-from Mr. Charles Roth, the Woodford distributor.
Knowing that the Almond was designed as a holiday touring 'van the prospect of mid-winter occupation was not perhaps as inviting as it would have been in slightly warmer weather, but I need not have worried. Either the Scottish summers are not as warm as those in other parts of Britain, or else the Almond was built with those hardy individuals who indulge in perennial week-ending in mind, for the aluminium exterior, insulation combine to provide an "indoors" which is remarkably resistant to temperature change. By using for a short period the gas fire which had been kindly loaned with the 'van I was able to maintain the temperature at a comfort­able level throughout the night.
The attention to detail which is shown in the body construction is also reflected In the general finish and comprehensive equipment, for although the lay­out is simple, as befits a light touring model, nothing has been spared to provide comfort of a very high order.

Floorplan of the 1954 Almond MKV
The interior of the Almond is divided by a folding wardrobe door, into two compartments. The forward section contains one transverse double bed, the wardrobe, and the kitchen unit; in the rear there are two single beds divided by a central gangway. At the end of this gangway there is a dressing table cabinet, with ventilated cupboards beneath, to which is attached the larger of the two folding tables. The smaller table hooks on (with very sensible fasteners) to the kitchen cabinet to provide extra working space.

The beds, which are equipped with " Liateez " mattresses covered in the same patterned material as the curtains, are among the most comfortable that 1 have experienced; the double, in particular, provides a more pleasant night's rest than many domestic beds. Unfortunately, however, it cannot rival these in ease of bed making, although this, of course, is by no means unusual in a caravan.
When space permits, a separate end kitchen is usually preferable to the centre type, but the Almond kitchen is a model of efficiency. The small table already mentioned and the folding draining board provide plenty of space for culinary impedimenta, whilst the shelf which runs at head level round three and a half sides of the 'van enables crockery to be put within easy reach. Cooking utensils present no problems, for these form part of the standard equipment and are neatly stowed in one of the two cupboards in the lower half of the kitchen unit.
Another praiseworthy feature of the kitchen is the provision of a man-sized Main gas hot-plate with a folding rack above it and a heated shelf beneath. The sink is the usual plastic type with a soap recess, and is covered when not in use by the oak-faced draining board.

Room for everything

The" bedrooms," no less than the kitchen, reveal the work of practical caravanners, for several of the useful little things so often omitted in competitively-priced lightweights are found on the Almond. The wardrobe, for example, has a most sensible catch and handle, and contains not only a shelf over the wheel arch and a sliding hanger rail, but also a number of coat-hooks fixed to the inner walls. There is a large plate-glass mirror on the door of the wardrobe and another on the dressing-table lid-though it is perhaps unfortunate that when the partition is closed both mirrors are in what would, with normal family use, be the children's bedroom.
Lighting in the Almond is generous, the two well-placed Calor Gas burners being supplemented by two 12-volt electric lights which are most convenient to use during short stops when the 'van is not unhitched from the car. During the day-time the interior is lit by three fixed and five opening windows, in addition to two Perspex roof ventilators. The rear compartment, which serves as a dining room during the day, features the end" picture windows which are becoming so popular.
Storage space for personal belongings is provided by the three roof lockers at head level, as well as the continuous shelf mentioned earlier. Bedding and bulky articles not suitable for the wardrobe or cupboards are well catered for by the large lockers beneath all three beds. The only items for which no special space seems to have been reserved are the water jacks, but as these are more or less continuously in use they can usually be stowed in a corner without becoming a nuisance.
Taken all in all, then, I consider the Thomson Almond to be an attractive, soundly-constructed and well-equipped light­weight which should, at the present price of £298, become increasingly popular with owners of 10-12-h.p. cars who require a good all-the-year-round family caravan.

Home from Home
Reproduced by Thomson Caravans History & Information October 08
The Almond Mk v Caravan Test No. 2/54
Thomson Brochures - Thomson Caravans Index - The T-Line Story
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