By Mark Entwistle
In the 1980s and ’90s consumerism was rampant. Everything seemed to revolve around materialism and you were only as good as the brands you wore and drove, or how high profile a job you had.
Things have changed since then, however, with the last decade witnessing the rise of environmentalism and concern over the impact humans have on the natural world.
Now it’s all about experiences and spending time living and working to do that in a flexible way that doesn’t necessarily mean working in an office from 9am to 5pm.
The Borders is an ideal location for families wanting to do just that, with an excellent quality of life yet easy accessibility to Edinburgh and Newcastle.
One family which has grasped the chance to relocate to the region is Mark & Verity Tuckwood and their two small children.
They moved to Ettrickbridge two years ago. Mark is currently working in Edinburgh but wanted to spend more time in the Borders and enjoy his new lifestyle.
So he and Verity came up with the innovative idea of buying three VW camper vans and have now equipped them so that they offer couples and families the opportunity to enjoy life on the road in style, with the freedom to explore the South of Scotland or the North of England, or indeed further afield.
The vans will be available from June for week lets and short breaks.
The couple saw a gap in the market for such campervans, which are available in other parts of the country, but not in the South of Scotland. They offer Borderers and visitors alike the chance to experience retro in style.
Mark & Verity are marketing Classic Camper Holidays via their website www.classic-camper-holidays.co.uk and also via Facebook and Twitter.
As well as the VW camper vans, the couple are currently building a self-catering cottage beside their house which they hope will be ready to let later this year.
This will allow them not only to help the Borders tourism economy but also to enjoy a rural life with their family and to fully appreciate the move they made.
“We are really excited about this venture and believe that we have seen a gap in the market for classic VW camper vans,” Mark explained. “We already have had a lot of interest in the venture, not least from friends and family in Edinburgh, many of whom have already spread the word.
“What could be better than escaping to the beach for the weekend with a classic VW van – it’s what memories are made of.”
All three vans are classic VW campers. One is called Heidi – named by a previous owner who found it hiding in a shed. The second is called Rolf, as it is from Australia, and the third van, which is blue, is yet to be named.
To mark the launch of the new venture, Classic Camper Holidays and The Southern Reporter would like to offer readers the opportunity to name the van.
The successful winner will win a short break in the vehicle for up to four people.
Either email your name, address, telephone number, together with your proposed name for the VW camper van to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a postcard with the details to : Classic Campers Naming Competition, Bright Light Marketing, Unit 7, Ettrick Riverside, Dunsdale Road, Selkirk, TD7 5EB.
Southern Reporter competition rules apply.
Deadline for entries is April 30 2010 at 5pm.