Few businesses can say they’ve been around for almost 90 years, let alone that they’ve belonged to the same family over all this time, but Roundstone Caravans, in Southwater, is the exception.
Founded in 1930 by Sussex resident and touring caravan devotee, John William Whitehouse (Bill), Roundstone Caravans first started out building and selling trailer caravans. Along with wife Beatrice, Bill lived on the site – where the company still stands today – in a large rectangular van, high off the ground on iron-tyred cart wheels.
The business started well, but ground to almost a complete halt during the Second World War, when Bill relied on an income from the park’s five tenants. Following the end of the war, Roundstone Caravans flourished once more, and when Bill died in 1951, his grandson Bob took the reins.
Fast forward over half a century, and Roundstone is now run by Bill’s great-grandaughter, Rosie: “I’ve been managing Roundstone for the past seven years. I had a business background and wanted to apply what I’d learned in my career to the family business. Some of our staff have been with us over 25 years and, together with them, we work to keep the family legacy alive, while ensuring we always move with the times.”
This year, Roundstone is taking a bold new direction by supplying a range of touring caravans by leading UK manufacturer, Compass. The move to Compass marks an exciting new era in the company’s long history, but it’s one that Rosie and the team are very optimistic about.
“We were impressed by Compass’ cutting-edge solid technology,” Rosie explained, “Their British built caravans are high quality and durable, meaning they’re a great investment as they offer longevity and reliability.”
While Roundstone is committed to moving with the times, the company still remains loyal to its roots, and when asked what she believes is the secret to the business’ success, Rosie explained: “What was important to my great-grandfather in 1930 is just as important to us today. At the heart of our business is ensuring our customers get the right caravan for them. We go to great lengths to match people up to the caravan, establishing which they’re going to get the most enjoyment out of, and which best fits their requirements. We put such a huge emphasis on our customer service, and I’m positive it is this that has earned us the reputation of being the go-to experts in caravanning.”
The new range of Compass caravans will be on display at Roundstone in Southwater from mid-September. Rosie and the team invite anyone interested to visit the park, where they will be welcome to view the caravans and ask staff any questions they may have.
For enquiries please call 01403 730 218 or visit www.roundstonecaravans.com