a bit of Canterbury Pitt history lives on in my bus…

Best camper cooker

In my mind, a campers not a really a proper camper if you’ve not got some kind of cooker in it so you can stop and make a roadside cuppa on your journey! 🙂 That was, without doubt, one of my favourite bits about my old 1965 camper with its Canterbury Pitt interior, it had a fantastic cargo door-mounted gas cooker with a storage cupboard underneath for associated drink-making bits an’ pieces!

Happier times on my road trip in France
Happier times on my road trip to France

So when I’ve been thinking about getting an interior sorted for our ‘new’ bus, having a working cooker was one of my main priorities. I already have an original and fully functional 1950’s Coleman 425B petrol stove, which is an option as a freestanding/portable cooking option, but I loved the convenience and simplicity of my old door mounted gas cooker.

The Canterbury Pitt door mounted cooker folds out for use with 2 rings and a grill
The Canterbury Pitt door-mounted cooker folds out for use with 2 rings and a grill

Cooker, grill, storage

It really was one of the most practical cooker arrangements I’ve seen on a vintage VW camper. Really quick and easy to set up and use, everything stows away compactly and neatly when it’s folded away in its cargo door mounted wooden cabinet, plus it gives extra usable storage underneath – the perfect compact road trip kitchen!

Well to my surprise, I just happened to be browsing the SSVC forum (Split Screen Van Club) as you do, and to my surprise, there were three of these rare Canterbury Pitt cooker units up for sale! The beautiful early alloy version of the cooker I just missed out on, but I did luckily manage to grab a later model one that was just like my old cooker, happy days!

cargo door mounted Canterbury Pitt cooker storage unit
cargo door-mounted Canterbury Pitt cooker storage unit

The cooker was apparently all in working condition and even came complete with the black enamel grill pan, which was missing on my old one – perfect for making toast for breakfast in the mornings! 🙂

lower storage area of the Canterbury Pitt cooker cabinet
lower storage area of the Canterbury Pitt cooker cabinet

Room for a refresh?

The wooden unit itself was in an OK usable condition, a little battered around the edges which I guess is to be expected because of the age. It’s had a ‘new’ top retaining door made at some point from a mix of Oak and Mahogany, as I assume the original got broke or was missing? In my mind, this would add to its quirky character. As I’m not after a concourse looking bus, and it’s not a genuine Canterbury Pitt camper anyway, these little oddities are not an issue for me. Overall there was nothing that couldn’t be fixed up with a little clean and some TLC…

original Canterbury Pitt 2 ring cooker, grill and grill pan
original Canterbury Pitt 2 ring cooker, grill and grill pan

The actual cooker itself, grill and grill pan are in great shape, can’t wait to give it all a bit of a refresh and get it fitted and hooked up in the bus ready for the first brew up! 🙂

beautiful aged patina on the Canterbury Pitt Argyll gas burner caps
the beautiful aged patina on the Canterbury Pitt Argyll gas burner caps

Cooker sorted

Just need to get it cleaned up, find a method for fixing it to the cargo door and getting it all plumbed in ready for use! Feels like we have the beginning of an interior coming together now at last!

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