Four Generations at Andrewshayes
The 60th Year Anniversary for Andrewshayes
Did you know that Andrewshayes Holiday Park is one of the county’s longest operating caravan parks?
Andrewshayes Farm first opened a field for campers before World War 11 and became a popular stopping place for holiday makers travelling along the A35. The campers and intrepid caravanners were welcomed by dairy farmers Stan and Marjorie Lawrence who had moved to the farm in 1929.
Visitors enjoyed the fresh milk and eggs from the farm and some even helped out. The park was granted a licence under the Public Health Act of 1936 and despite the basic facilities offered, many returned year after year.
An Unexpected Family Tragedy
When Stan died unexpectedly of cancer in 1949, Marjorie was soon struggling to make ends meet at the farm.
Fortunately, after the war more holiday makers started to arrive supplementing the farm’s income.
With help from her children Valerie, Harry and Richard and farming support from the local community, this was enough to save the Andrewshayes from being sold.
Mrs Lawrence Junior
In 1959 another Mrs Lawrence came to live at Andrewshayes, Stephanie, the new wife of Harry.
Later on in that year the family were made aware that new regulations were being brought in, to be known as “The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960” . Significant changes would be needed in order to obtain a new site licence.
It was decision time as it meant that flushing toilets and running water would have to be provided for campers. Something we take for granted these days. Up until then campers had made do with old style Elsan chemical toilets located in a shed!
1959 – Decision Time
Stephanie had good office skills, an ambitious mind and convinced Harry that this could work. With their combined saving of just £350 added to a small bank loan, they had just enough and applied to the local authority for a new licence for the park.
Harry built the first proper toilet block, dug out a road and marked out pitches for static caravans. Meanwhile Stephanie started to work out where to advertise and how to run a business. It was a steep learning curve!
Over the years, little by little the park has developed into what you see today.
(Photo: Harry, Stephanie and Mrs Lawrence senior, 1963)
1960 – 2020
Now 60 years on the park is a far cry from the early days. It boasts a swimming pool (where once stood a cluster of elm trees) a small bar, café , takeaway and modern toilet facilities for everyone.
With 150 touring and camping pitches, 75 static holiday caravans and a new development of 10 luxury lodge style caravans it has become a thriving family business.
The park has weathered the storm of the financial ups and downs of the country and maintained it’s reputation as a unique friendly family holiday destination.
Andrewshayes about 1973
Now with the fourth generation lending a hand it seems a good time to celebrate our achievements as a family.
Andrewshayes is a great example of a family business that has making people happy at the heart of its strategy. The park continues to thrive in an uncertain world. Where time spent with family and time out from the daily stresses of life are more important than anything, Andrewshayes is the perfect antidote.
Writing on behalf of the third generation, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to my parents Harry and Stephanie who have enabled us and our families to grow up and to stay living and working in such an amazing place we are proud to call home.
Peter, Stephen and Clare