Members motor – Mel Gulliford – Platybus

For this edition of Member’s Motor, we look
at Mel’s Bay, called “Platybus”. This is what she
had to say about it.
Back in 2010, my husband Mark announced
one day that he’d always fancied getting an old
camper van. This was news to me, but I figured
it was just a passing fancy and that he’d soon get
over it! Anyway, to cut a long story short, he did
some research and after a couple of false starts,
eventually found a van that someone in North
Wales was selling.

The van had originally been imported from
Australia and had eventually ended up in sunny
Wales. She’d been converted to run on both
petrol and LPG. Bearing in mind that Mark had
never driven a camper van before, he persuaded
a mate to drive him to Wales and then Mark
would drive the van back! As you can imagine,
my main concern was that the van would break
down on the way back and I would have to go
and fetch him from goodness knows where.
Fortunately, the van behaved itself and he got
safely home, after an epic 5 hour journey.
Over the next 3 or 4 years, our family had a
couple of trips in it down to Wales and 2 trips to
Devon. Despite a couple of hiccups, we got there
and back in one piece. Then about 5 years ago,
we went to an open day at Just Kampers down in
Hampshire. We’d already discussed having a full
restoration on the van and we met a chap from
a company called Voodoo VW. We duly agreed to
take the van down to his workshop in Newbury
so we could talk about what we wanted done on
the van. We felt totally reassured that they would
carry out the work we wanted done and basically
left them to get on with it. You know the saying
“be careful what you wish for?”.

Well, unfortunately things didn’t pan out the
way we wanted them to; the company went
bust and we had to fetch the van from down
near Newbury and pay someone to fix the bits
that hadn’t been done properly. We eventually
got the van back and at present it’s sitting on
the forecourt of a friend’s garage, waiting for the
engine to be taken out to investigate an issue
with the hydraulics. We love the van, she’s been
brilliant when she works, but it’s like they say, it’s
been a labour of love.

She’s called the Platybus, because when we were
cleaning out the glove compartment, we found
an Australian coin with what we thought had
a platypus on it. It transpired that it’s actually a
Spiny Anteater, but we decided to stick with
Platybus.
I really hope that one day soon we can get to go
camping again in the bus and that we can iron
out all the little niggles we’ve discovered since
the van was “restored “. We’ve since discovered
that the chap who ran Voodoo VW is back
running a company restoring camper vans, after
declaring to us that he wanted nothing more to
do with the VW scene… ! Hey ho…”
Best wishes,
Mel