Exclusive: Hattie & Flora create library-caravan for primary school pupils

Hattie and Flora created a retro library caravan for the pupils of London Colney school
Hattie and Flora created a retro library caravan for the pupils of London Colney school

Thursday, 27, Mar 2014 12:48

by Norah Lindsay

The team at CaravanTimes have come across yet another great way to transform an old, neglected caravan into a useful, pride-worthy possession.

Once upon a time...

On 18 March, a brightly coloured retro caravan was wheeled through the gates of London Colney School in Hertfordshire and the pupils' break time was never to be the same again.

The creators of the magical caravan are the colourful, fun-loving designers, Harriet Creedy and Jodie Gardner of the event design company, Hattie and Flora.

We had a chat with the girls about the company and the story-telling van, all the while wishing we had two fairy godmothers like Hattie and Flora.

The team have been responsible for styling and designing big names including CarFest for BBC Children in Need and Jamie Oliver's Big Festival.

Activities at their events have included pom-pom and postcard making.

But apart from styling gorgeous bouquets, table centres and other beautiful decorations for weddings, designing and styling festivals, exhibitions and parties, the crafty twosome also have great success with their creative caravans.

Junior, the girl's first caravan was renovated last year with the vision that it would be a vehicle for creative learning.

Hattie and Jodie aren't only creative wonder women but also advocates of dynamic and interactive learning.

As stated on their website, the creative caravans "provide young children and young adults with a place to design, create and develop their creative business skills."

They have already used the caravan to teach children at Northampton School for Girls.

The girls spent two days with pupils, guiding them to make bunting, pom-poms and bracelets, as well as talking to them about the nature of running a creative business.

The cute, crafty company have a colourful purpose for every situation.

So, when Hattie and Flora told us that their caravan studio is opposite London Colney School, we knew it would only be a short while before head teacher, Lisa Valla, spotted Hattie and Flora's caravan parked in their car park and wanted one for her pupils too.

This isn't a fairy tale

The story-telling caravan looks too good to be true.

So much so that the pupils of the school couldn't believe the caravan was theirs to keep forever.

"Lots of children said they had never been in a caravan before so it was a lovely experience for them," Lisa said.

"They were constantly asking Lisa 'Do you live in the caravan? When is it going back?'" Hattie and Flora explained.

The exterior of the caravan is mainly turquoise blue with the top section of primary blue and yellow stripes.

The seaside-themed mobile caravan also has cute features such as a bird house, which the girls hope can actually live up to its purpose, and a voluptuous flower pot beneath the window.

More surprises inside include white pom-pom decorations, hanging watering cans and buckets, lots of cupboards for book storage and multi-coloured and polka-dot cushions with owl and apple motifs.

Small black boards cover one wall while the main interior paint job is pink.

It really is the perfect setting for kids to read and lose themselves in their imagination.

The caravan definitely meets the requirements of providing the children with a dream-like environment that they can explore and dream.

"The overall look has a sort of boho theme," Hattie says, "We hope the atmosphere will encourage them to read more."

The creative story-telling caravan was such a great success that Hattie and Flora say that they still see the children, from their studio, lining up in large numbers eagerly waiting to enter the caravan.

Also, another primary school in Northampton has shown interest in having a caravan for their school.

Hattie and Flora's retro, vibrant style has sparked interest not only from schools but also festival-based businesses.

The girls tell us that a company who make children's outwear clothing want a caravan where they can store their clothes and wheel around at festivals, selling their garments to festival-goers.

Hattie and Jodie are very particular with the model of the caravan they choose to style.

Hattie specifies that the make they are most fond or are the Thomson models from 1971.

Hattie describes the type of caravan as "nice, round and retro."

Jodie said, "We like older caravans with glass windows as opposed to plastic."

Jodie also added that apart from using eBay, the girls are always on the look-out for used caravans, even trying to spot them while they're on the motorway.

And the stories continue

Future plans for Hattie and Flora include a brand new caravan HQ for their company to operate out of.

The brand new tourer will need to put up with the countless number of festivals they'll be attending this summer.

We love the retro chic creative caravans made by the girls at the CaravanTimes office and we wish Hattie and Flora a bright and successful future with their amazing business.


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