Rebel Vanners, How it all started


In 1984 Alan and the Animal were at Alan’s sisters house for a family Bar-BQ when the topic of conversation as always got on to

Vanning and Customising, after many beers and burnt sausages they started to talk about forming their own club.


For several years now they both had been members of the NSVA, attending as many shows and meeting as money would allow them to,

at a meeting if you saw one, the other was not far from sight as expected the Animal would either be dancing shaking his stuff and partying on,

and close by, his little Brother Alan keeping an eye on him.


That year they had gone to the NSVA Nationals held at the East of England Show Ground and partied with a group of Vanners called Rebel Truckers,

 the drinking went on long into the early hours leaving a very big pile of ‘Dumpy’ beer bottles over in the corner of the Event Tent, probably 400 bottles,

it was a good night, and it only stopped because the beer ran out.


So on with the story, at the Bar-BQ, one of their wives suggested they become Rebel Vanners as they drove vans and both were rebels,

 Alan and the Animal looked at each other and smiled, knowing this was the name of things to come, so the Rebel seed was planted.


Animal set to work designing a patch to fix on the back of their Denim Jean Jackets, and don’t laugh, he used embroidery to make up the design,

all done by hand, it took hours and hours for each on to be completed, only three jackets were completed Animal’s, Alan’s and Alan’s wife.


Over the next year, the Brothers of Vanning, wore their jackets with pride, until a matrimonial breakup, ending in one

of the jackets being destroyed by Fire, the remaining two jackets continued to be worn at shows around the country,

then during the late 80s’ as times were getting hard and new family commitments and money becoming short, the Brothers had to

hang up the Vanning scene and take time out to build their families.


Then in  1988  Alan attended the 16th Van Nationals in  Springfield, Ohio, that’s in the good old U.S of A,

and he gave away his old  rebel jacket to a very close dear friend, leaving Animal’s jacket the last remaining Rebel Vanners Jacket in the world.


Rebel Vanners had  evaporated as a Van Club, but the two brother of Vanning did not stop their passion for Vanning,

 after about 5 years away from Vanning, the two started and ended a couple van clubs, some of them you may remember as The Sheep Shaggers,

 and the better run, Road Pirates.


The Road Pirates held three Custom Shows in their 5 years, and around 70 vehicles attended the last Road Pirate show, held at a sports club in Eltham,

 South London, some of the clubs that attended were Smoke City wheelers, with the Party Bus, a roof chopped double decker London bus,

Boogie Vans, Solo Truckers  The Dutch House came down with loads of quality vehicles, and of course the NSVA cam, just to have a look.


Then it happened, Brighton, the 2000 AGM, By chance, Alan bumped into a big guy from Oslo, he was wearing a black leather waistcoat,

on the back was a Rebel Vanners patch, the same design Animal had created back in 1984,but this one  looked very cool,

Alan and this guy ‘Smilie’ had a real long chat, and afterwards Alan left Brighton, with a ‘BIG SMILE’ and came home, on the way he called Animal,

 to find out if he was home from work, once Alan had reached Animal’s house, still smiling, said to Animal, as he opened the front door,

 ‘Bro, what do you think about starting a Van Club’.


Animal looked at Alan, and said ‘Bro, What ever’ ‘If you want to do this, we do it right, co’s I’m getting to old to keep starting clubs that don’t

go any ware. SO, what’s on your mind, Alan explained again, who he had met at the AGM, in Brighton, and that this Guy ‘Smilie’ had a

Van Club in Norway called Rebel Vanners and they had about 90 members, and it’s the same patch that you made back in 1984,

and this Norway Club, have been going since 1997, and I have been asked to start a Department in the UK, What do you think.


Animal, rolled his eyes, and asked Alan, ‘How do they run the club over there then, Alan explained that the Norwegian Rebel Vanners,

has a top governing members board and they ran the club, Animal went to the fridge a pulled out a can of cider looked at Alan, pulled the top

off the can, lifted up the can to his lips, and said, ‘ Yeh’ sound s good to me Bro’ BUT, if we do it we do it with ground rules, we need to set

out foundations for the future growth of the club, no more stabbing around and playing at being a club, A Family of friends that have the same passion,

 this is what will make us the best, and then downed the whole can.


So on that day back in 2000, Rebel Vanners UK, was born, Alan, would be the President, and his Big Brother The Animal, would be Vice President,

the UK Department was off and running, and the rest, Well, It’s the future of Vanning in the Uk and Europe, or Vanning History in the making,

come and party with us, where ever you see a Rebel Vanner jacket, you are sure to be made Welcome.


Animal N

Vice President

Rebel Vanners Europe