Graham Bodle purchased an original 1951 HY Citroen van, with a vision to restore it and use it as a unique space to serve refreshments from.


The project, proved to be a complete success with the help of local students who successfully restored the classic van in just four months.


At the start, the van was in such a poor state that it had a ‘roof resembling a colander’. But it was left in the safe hands of students at Communication Specialist College, part of Doncaster Deaf Trust. 


Starting the project in September, they managed to turn it around in time for Christmas, learning lots of techniques and skills along the way.


The extensive amount of work involved creating whole new body pieces from scratch, remodelling the brakes to make them safe and giving the whole thing a paint job in the correct original colour at the end. 


Andy Boothroyd, tutor at the college, said: "I first inspected it and boy was it bad. No one panel was without major issues. The work was all repairable or replaceable but it was going to be a long job.


"We got stuck in though and pulled it off, while giving the students experience in such a wide range of skills that are used in traditional workshops.”


To show gratitude for all the hard work from the students and tutors, Graham and his team designed and landscaped a bespoke garden for the college.


Graham added: "We cannot thank the students and staff at the college enough for their tireless hard work in getting this van ready for Christmas time.


"It will make a brilliant addition to our site and we can't wait to show it off in all its glory to our visitors.”


With some festive finishing touches, the van was used to sell freshly baked mince pies and mulled wine in December.


For further information about what is on offer at Communication Specialist College Doncaster visit