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Bilston trader to represent West Midlands at National Youth Market

By Alex Ross | Entertainment | Published:

A food trader from the Black Country has been chosen to represent the West Midlands at The National Youth Market.

Thomas Allen, 24, from Bilston, with his Cocoa Caravan

Thomas Allen, aged 24, from Bilston, will take his Cocoa Caravan to the event in Manchester next month.

Mr Allen purchased his caravan, a 1970 Sprite Cadet, from eBay, paying £500.

The former St Thomas More Catholic School pupil said: “As this is the first year for The Cocoa Caravan, this is a much welcomed accolade – hopefully the first of many.”

Mr Allen received support from the Prince’s Trust to launch his start-up business.

He said: “The caravan had character, and we thought it was quite rare because it’s got a back door, and a roof which lifts off.

"Sprite-Cadet stopped making the model halfway through 1970, because people wouldn’t fasten the roof properly and it blew off. Around 300 were made.”

The National Youth Market – now in its fifth year - returns to King Street, Manchester on September 1.

It features 30 businesses operated by young people.

Alex Ross

By Alex Ross
@alexross_star

Chief Reporter at the Express & Star. Everyone has a story - tell me yours.

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