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T-Line Story Logo
1956t-line range

David Thomson was re-organizing the factory just after the war, when Robin Traill, the present sales director, joined the company. He recalls, "My first impression was of a light and airy building, more a joiner's shop than a factory." There was no such thing as a production line. Caravans were being built alongside the machine shop where the timber was cut. Painting was going on near by. But the basic construction, using jigs, was the same as today, though with less mechanization. There would be 25 or 30 people on the floor, including Thomson father and son.
"The output in 1946 sounds un­impressive at one-and-a-half caravans a week, say six a month. But every­thing was on ration, with the building industry crying out for materials and not much left for caravans by way of aluminium, plywood and steel for chassis."
The first post war models were the 14ft. 6in. Endrick and the 17ft. 6in. Kelvin, replaced in 1949 by the super de luxe Kelvin Star, which cost £875. This had both gas and electricity plus a solid-fuel stove and water tanks. Unfortunately the Star was no greyhound, weighing about 25cwt.

1920 Lantern roof

The smaller Endrick scaled at least a ton, typical of the ratio of these days of l½ cwt. per linear foot.
It was in 1947 that Thomson decided to go in for the lightweight market. This, incidentally, was the year when Thomsons (Carron) Ltd. was formed with the responsibility-which it still has-of manufacturing caravans. The Swift (8ft. 6in.), later re­named the Dart, was launched as a 6cwt. camping trailer costing £175. With light steel chassis, aluminium skeleton members and panels, it was manufactured almost completely at Carron. The rear end lifted up to form a canopy and inside were two berths and folding table. The lightweight models lasted three years, being superseded by a more conventional caravan that seemed better value at £185, the 9ft. Carron (two-berth, end kitchen) with a delivered weight of only 10cwts.
In the 1949-50 season caravan production rose to 10 a week-to be precise 547, of which 190 were sold in Scotland , 345 in England , and a dozen went for export.
In 1950 the Almond re-appeared, continuing with various improvements up to the Mark VII, until in 1957 it evolved into the Glenalmond, the name that has remained current. Up to that time all Thomson caravans were called after Scottish rivers. The change to Glens coincided with a significant change in Thomson design.
Through the 'fifties and beyond, Thomson always marketed one or two large caravans of up to 22ft. They were capable of being towed, but were mostly luxurious heavyweights, like the 1951 Braemar which scaled 36cwt. and was essentially a residential caravan.

Reproduced from a 1970 publication by Thomson T-Line Caravans Ltd called The "T-Line Story"
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