GRANDDAUGHTER RESTORING ANCIENT VAN TO TAKE IT ON A LAST TRIP

GRANDDAUGHTER RESTORING ANCIENT VAN TO TAKE IT ON A LAST TRIP

A granddaughter is on a mission to complete her granddad’s life-long project to renovate his camper van and take it on a last lap around Britain.

Emma Swannack, 27, has undertaken the project in memory of her beloved grandfather who used to spend every day working on his Bedford CF van.

Derek Phillips, who suddenly died in 2014, had planned on converting the van into a camper van for his family but was never able to finish it.

Two years after his death, Emma has now taken over his challenge and is planning on driving it on a tour of her the locations she used to visit with her granddad.

She said: “I had a big think about it and I thought we want to finish it.

“Maybe we could actually drive it somewhere and do some of the things he had wanted to do with it.”

The blue Bedford camper has passed its MOT with a clean bill of health and Emma is now working to install an interior, sticking to her granddad’s specifications as best she can.

Emma, from West Wickham, south London said: “It’s a lovely van, it’s in really good condition.

“It was not going to go on the scrap heap by any means.

“I just wish he had been able to finish it before and I wish he had been able to use it.”

Derek was described as the centre of a close knit family who “utterly adored him”.

Emma hopes she will be able to finish the camper van before September, when she plans to complete its final lap around Britain visiting locations she visited with her granddad.

She added: “All of us just completely and utterly adored him.

“He spent a lot of time in the garage, he was a complete car enthusiast and a mechanic all his life.

“The plan is to take it around his favourite race track in Dartford, Brands Hatch after we’ve travelled around Britain.

“He was a great man and definitely someone who is missed massively by his family.”

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    • Associate news editor John kicked off his career in journalism when he was with news agency SWNS in its’ earliest days over 30 years ago. During this time he’s had the honor of working with some major newspaper titles including the Daily Express and The Sun, both as district and head office reporters.

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