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Dick Lane Motorhomes, Dick Lane, Thornbury, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD3 8QD.
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..although the roots of the firm go back almost as far again to 1936 when the father of Stephen Buckley, the present Managing Director, set up a motor business in the Frizinghall suburb of Bradford. The way that the original company grew, sprouted subsidiaries and took on a variety of car franchises is now ancient history but the important fact that led to the involvement with motor caravans is that the Dick Lane branch of the Buckley group of Companies was a Volkswagen agent.
At this point it is worth mentioning that there is no ‘real’ Mr Richard Lane. The business is actually named after the road on which it is situated – Dick Lane – although Stephen has received many a letter addressed to ‘Mr Richard Lane’ and readily answers to the name at the various shows he attends.
In the early sixties there were few places where one could go to view motor caravans. Volkswagen, however, was already strong in the infant post-
So great was the interest shown in the VW caravan during the few days that it stood at Dick Lane before the customer took delivery that it was decided to order another for stock. Within a few days of being put on display, the second ‘van was sold and so a further order was placed, this time for two. VW motor caravans, it was soon discovered, sold like the proverbial hot cakes and within a couple of years motor caravan sales were exceeding those of cars and all at Dick Lane were themselves converts to the motor caravan world. In 1975 the decision was made to pull out of the car business and concentrate solely on VW motor caravans.
Dick Lane Garage became the Yorkshire distributor for Devon, Dormobile and Danbury, and also for German Westphalia while it was officially imported by VW (GB). In 1983 the company was invited by Autohomes (UK), the successor to the original CI brand then based in Poole, Dorset, to become their sole distributor and service centre for Yorkshire, and in so doing introduced them to the newly launched Peugeot Express chassis. Up to that point Dick Lane had been solely and loyally VW orientated – but times were changing and VW were no longer dominating the market as they had before. In the mean time, however, the original family group of companies had been reorganised and its various dealerships divided between individual family members. Stephen Buckley made sure he found himself with the motor caravan sales department, then located in North Bradford at Saltaire, virtually next to the famous world heritage site of Salts Mill, and the motor service section in the original Dick Lane premises, which benefited from the legacy of the workshop facilities of the earlier VW franchise.
Success with the Autohomes franchise found Dick Lane rapidly becoming one of the manufacturer’s select “Top Ten” dealers and the growing volume of business, not to mention the growing size of the average motorhome, called for some rationalisation. The Saltaire site was small with no possibility for expansion. On the other hand, the Dick Lane site extended to around five acres and, although the buildings there were old and less than suitable, it offered considerable scope for re-
In fact, there are good historical reasons for a major motor caravan development on this site for it is just around the corner from Parry Lane, which road gave its name to one of the great motor caravan classics of the sixties, the “Paralanian”.
Today the workshop side is the heart of the Dick Lane operation and is managed by Kevin Fryer who was VW trained and has been with the Buckley family enterprise now, from VW’s to the latest model motorhomes, for over forty years. Kevin has forgotten more about motorhomes than most people know about them. With the legacy of the years when the VW car franchise was held, this side of the business has the equipment and skill to cover the needs of the motor caravan, from tyres to top vents. Dick Lane has computerised tuning and diagnostic equipment for any mechanical work, including routine chassis servicing, and bodywork repairs can also be undertaken. There is also an MOT test facility. On the caravan side, naturally every aspect is covered from the simple fitting of a roll-
The comprehensive facilities and skills of the workshops at Dick Lane provide the after-
For visitors and service customers there are secure facilities for overnight stops, including hook-
Where is Dick Lane?
Dick Lane Motorhomes is actually situated directly between Leeds and Bradford, on the ring road.
Dick Lane is a major road running between Thornbury gyratory on the A647 Leeds-