"'Reading Waggon', 19th century."
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
"Lithograph by Allen Davies made 1960-1980 after a drawing by J Tatlow. It shows a colourful gypsy wagon known as a Reading Waggon. Also known as the gypsy vardo, the Reading Waggon got its name from the fact that builders with the best reputation for building the vehicles were Dunton and Sons of Reading. The wagons were a common sight on Britain's roads from about 1870 until 1930, by which time many travelling gypsies had switched to petrol-driven vehicles. Containing a stove and beds as was the case with all gypsy wagons, the characteristic feature of the Reading Waggon was its sides, which slope outwards from the floor up to the eaves. Early examples were much less ornate than later ones."