Hello, I’m Eloise …
I was born in France as a little Citroen HY Van, designed to be the working man’s best friend. My relatives on the hand-finished production line went off to forge careers as farmers’ trucks, market stalls and police vans. But I was special, I was the chosen van.
In 1969 I was taken from the factory to Holland, where our Managing Director at Citroen was about to retire. His team turned me into a camper van for Monsieur to take his family on the long holidays he had always dreamed of. I was presented to him on his last day and we never looked back.
My insides are still totally original and I have everything you could possibly need for a small family. I sleep four, and the kitchen has a gas cooker and even a basin, where Monsieur used to shave and Madame put on her delightful fake eyelashes.
They had two sweet little children, and we were all very happy together. For five lovely years we toured around France. We particularly loved the Breton coast, spending many a glorious summer exploring the countryside and beaches.
Eventually the children grew too big and Monsieur too old. My new life consisted of long, lonely years ageing in a barn. My only friends were the owls.
Later, I was bought by Nico, who collects people like me. My neighbours in his huge shed became firm friends – a VW van, two of my brothers, a couple of army trucks and even some old boats – but I really missed the children.
One day I got lucky. Nico had put me up for sale and Laura, my new boss, was looking for a JoJo Road Show Van. Harriet, Laura’s very old friend and a fellow director at the company, came across me online and forwarded my picture. It was love at first sight – Laura booked a flight and came to Holland to check me out.
I was not looking my best when I became the JoJo Road Show van but a lovely man called Ben put hours of time into making me gorgeous again, and Phoebe masterminded my interior.
I’m so looking forward to meeting all the children who will visit me – do give me a kiss on my nose when you see me. I may be a van but I have a real personality.
Love Eloise (the JoJo Road Show Van) xx