May 2014 sees the launch of ‘Blue Sky News’, the official blog of Blue Sky Recreation, and the Pennine Rehoming Centre.
The blog is maintained by MD, Alan Young, himself a seasoned veteran in all aspects of camping, from basic back packing, through to top of the range coach built motor homes.
Blue Sky was bourne out of a need identified by Alan in April 2013, when he bought his first Pennine folding camper, a 1998 Pennine Sterling. The Sterling was in excellent condition, but missing a few original parts, including a wardrobe (although the sliding mounting brackets were in place) a kitchen shelf unit and a dining table. There were also one or two minor brackets, poles, screw covers etc which had been lost or broken over the years.
Alan set about trying to source replacement parts, both from online auction / sale sites, and directly from Pennine themselves. Pennine were able to supply the current equivalent of the dining table, which was exactly the same dimensions as the original table would have been, and allowed for the making up of the 3rd double bed. Unfortunately, that’s where their help ended. They were happy to provide a replacement wardrobe and shelf unit, BUT this would have cost a little shy of a thousand pounds, and, because they no longer use that wood colour, it would not even have matched the rest of the camper. Another couple of months of trawling the internet for parts revealed nothing. Clearly these parts were extremely difficult to find.Alan’s Sterling On It’s First Outing
Solution; buy an identical ‘Spares Or Repairs’ Sterling on eBay, for £225. This camper was in very good condition, but with a badly damaged canvas. As these cost £1,700 for a new replacement, it was beyond economical repair, and the sellers had neither the time, the money nor the inclination to have it repaired, and just wanted rid of it. The wardrobe and shelf unit were removed and installed in the original Sterling, along with various miscellaneous small parts, leaving the rest of the furniture, fittings and equipment, along with the basic trailer / Al-ko chassis. Knowing how difficult it had been to source these, Alan decided to put them up for auction on Ebay. Such was the demand, that they raised a little under a thousand pounds in total.
Nothing more happened, for a year, other than the ongoing refurbishment and enhancement of the original Sterling, until, late one night, after a couple more vodkas than is normally wise, prior to looking on eBay, Alan spotted a Pennine Aztec, which looked liked it needed a little TLC, but at a price that the vodka could not ignore. The rest, as they say, is history…