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X-Ray production team X-Ray production team | 17:25 UK time, Monday, 6 February 2012

The empty site at Vale of Glamorgan Caravans

The now empty site at Vale of Glamorgan Caravans

Customers of a failed caravan business have lost their vehicles, and thousands of pounds – but they still have no idea what's happened to their property.

Vale of Glamorgan Caravans, run by Llantwit Major businessman, John Gould, was an agency that sold caravans on behalf of their owners.

But when the business collapsed last year there was no sign of some customers’ caravans. None of them has had any explanation for what happened to their caravans or the money the business may have got for them.

Grandmother of eight Linda Davies, from Cardiff, took her caravan to the company in 2010 but it did not sell until the end of June 2011. The company should have paid off the finance on her caravan and given her more than £5,000 from the sale. Owner John Gould promised payment within 14 days. But it never arrived.

“My son got a little bit suspicious. And decided to pay him a visit. When they got down there the place was locked up and all the caravans were gone,” she said.

“I was just absolutely devastated. I couldn’t believe it. No caravan, no sign of any caravan, nothing.”

Mrs Davies – who is still paying £115 a month on a finance deal for the caravan – has had no explanation for what's happened to her money.

Chris Callaghan from Caerphilly also lost out when the company was dissolved in July last year.

“All of a sudden around about July the phone wasn’t answered and it went straight to answer phone message,” he said.

“Eventually I went down there to find it was chained up and the yard was empty. To this day I don’t know where my van is and what happened to it.”

Creditors did have a chance to ask owner John Gould about the fate of their property at a creditors' meeting last year. But they say they got no answers.

Chris said: “All of us were surprised at how casual he seemed to be. He just didn’t seem to care.”

According to a liquidator's report there are eleven individual creditors who are owed more than £70,000. The business owes a total of £244,000 according to the report.

Mr Gould was running two companies from his base on the Vale Business Park near Cowbridge. The company which collapsed was called Vale Of Glamorgan Caravans Ltd. He also had another company – Vale of Glamorgan Caravan Sales Ltd. – which was registered as a non-trading company at Companies House.

But customers’ contracts were in the name of the non-trading company. Both companies have outstanding court orders to pay thousands of pounds in debts.

Mr Gould has refused to speak to X Ray about the collapse of the business and about what happened to customers' money or caravans.

His lawyers say he's been advised not to speak at this stage because liquidators are investigating his affairs and because of threats of legal action.

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