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Here is a rare photograph of a Bedford Dormobile in which Burgess travelled with his second wife Liana Burgess and her son Paulo Andrea Burgess around Europe in the 1960s and 1970s. In this picture taken in Italy in 1971, visible through the windscreen are (right to left) Liana, Andrea, and an unidentified travelling companion – it may be that Burgess is behind the camera.
Burgess writes in ironical, expansive terms in 1988:
‘It is a little over twenty years since my wife and I bought a Bedford Dormobile. This was the trade name for a vehicle fo British manufacture meant to serve as a mobile home. The bodywork was of fibreglass, plain of appearance, not lacking elegance, giving the vehicle the look of a large ambulance. The interior was equipped for driving, cooking, eating, sleeping, living. By an ingenious adjustment of stout screens, the whole could be turned into two bedrooms which collapsed to form a dining room with a bar at one end. There was a cooker fuelled by butane gas, a sink into which water could be pumped from concealed tanks, and a secluded chemical toilet. There was ample cupboard space and a genuine wardrobe. The whole was a miracle of economy. … It was home. In some ways, it is the only home I have ever seriously acknowledged.’
‘The World Doesn’t Like Gipsies’, reprinted from One Man’s Chorus, 1998.