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Buff Rock Camper Hire: Bury St Edmunds and beyond vision for camper van company

A first time entrepreneur is hoping to combine a growing market for travel and accommodation letting with his startup Buff Rock Camper Hire.

Amos Owen, 50, who lives in Bury St Edmunds with his wife Caroline, was for 30 years a police officer in the town but is now enjoying a completely different venture.

“I had a camper van before this one and it was the only vehicle that my children were excited about me buying,” he said. “I wanted to do this to provide a facility for people who wanted to use a camper van but weren’t able to afford it.”

Amos and Caroline Owen with the camper van in the arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds
Amos and Caroline Owen with the camper van in the arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds

After retiring from the police last year, Mr Owen set up Buff Rock Camper Hire in September after buying a Volkswagen T6 camper - which he has named Wilson, inspired by the film Cast Away.

He has refurbished the van, which can sleep four and charges people to hire it for a minimum of three nights.

The T6 model is a significant upgrade on the classic VW Campervan and includes a toilet, kitchen, lights and has charging points. Until the end of March, daytrippers can hire Wilson for a one day test run for £99.

Mr Owen said the idea came about after noticing a trend for a shared economy, with individuals cashing in on their spare rooms and driveways.

“I started it just after the summer season, which has given me time to create the website and get the name out there by attending trade shows.

“Since then it has really been picking up and I was not expecting it to be so quick, but at the start of the new year, people were getting in touch about booking holidays.

“I have really been enjoying it. It is certainly very different from being with the police!”

Mr Owen said some of his earliest takers were music fans heading to festivals such as Glastonbury.

“People have been realising that with the camper van you do not need to worry about accommodation. And you can go from place to place on holiday but always have somewhere to stay. A popular option at the moment is the North Coast 500 route in Scotland.”

He added: “Wilson is ideal if you are planning to attend any festivals this year. You can pick up in Bury St Edmunds and drive to your chosen festival, arrive, put the kettle on, your feet up and watch everyone else battling with tent poles.”

Like its volleyball namesake in Cast Away, Wilson is currently the only focus but Buff Rock could soon be offering a greater range of supplies for hire.

For more information, visit www.buffrockcampers.co.uk or call 07539 434591.

Next story: West Suffolk Council pledge £99k to look into Brandon Leisure Centre potential

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