LITTLE BACKGROUND ON THE STEAM CAROUSEL | RETURN TO FAMILY RIDES MENU|
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The Steam Carousel (No 1 Galloper) built 1890 by Frederic Savage for William Toft of Dublin, this ride was used in southern Ireland until approx 1945 it was then stored in their yard in Dublin until 1989 when the remains were sold to Keith Emmett and Sons.
During September 1989 I was taken to see the ride by a family friend Cliff Dorman after a couple of visits we decided to purchase the ride from Emmett's then work started we assessed what vehicles would be required to bring the ride home, friends rallied round a low loader was borrowed from the Bamford Bros and Charlie Gooch came with his car transporter. On the second weekend in November the ride came home to people saying whatever has he bought that load of rubbish for.
We had no horses, no main swifts, only eight cranks, all the quartering but no tie rods, all the rounding boards the centre pole and gears were in good condition but the main centre trailer was completely rotten, only two horse rods had any brass left all the rest had been robbed, we had a set of platforms and steps but most of the wood was rotten. During November & December I started to purchase wood for new swifts and steel for tie rods, a set of horses were ordered, to save money we decided to make two chariots we purchased two trailer chassis with axles for the new centre trailer we was going to have to build.
A Foden lorry was found and purchased from a local dealer, new brass was ordered for the horse and platform rods. A visit to the Savage part of the Kings Lynn museum proved very interesting after a look at their micro film I managed to locate our ride. We purchased a set of drawings, a copy of the original showing the age and all of the top frame sizes also the same drawings had been used for the construction of six other rides.
During January we worked on the centre trailer, we made a new set of swifts, repaired the damaged rounding boards. A local fibreglass firm from Nottingham was busy making a mould of the best bottom dropper as there were only six and they were all rotten, the new brass had arrived we decided to make new horse rods using the top forks off of the originals. In February we managed to locate a organ in Holland a friend took me out there to see the organ, the organ was a 52 key Koningberg in a part finished state but still we could just afford to buy it (we still have the organ on our Cake-Walk ride). Albert Barker showmen friend and artist took on the mammoth task of decorating the rounding boards top, centres, bottom, boards swoops and steps, good to have friends. The horses and cockerels were coming on well the youngest member of the Dorman family Jamie (16 years old) was making a fantastic job of painting them whilst the rest of the family made them.
March came with our first booking Easter bank holiday will your ride be ready? A few phone calls later we confirmed the booking by now all my family was at work my wife's mother and father, all my children - Racheal, Kelly, Brandon, and their friends,Vicky, Leanne, brother in law Michael and the only payment anybody got was their name on a horse. We made the booking and we manage to make it to pull in one of our own places first Ollerton a proud moment for me and my family. A good friend Neil Hughes help us manage the ride during the first year and has been a part of our family and business since Neil manages the families Cake-Walk ride.
100 years since its original debut the ride is on the road again. The first booking of many, during the season of 1990 we travelled the ride reasonably close to home Ollerton, Luton, Coventry, Market Harborough, Hinckley, Oxford, Victoria Embankment Nottingham (good news got the answer back for Goose Fair - Yes!) Markeaton Park Derby, slip out mid-week to do fashion show at Northampton then came our first film part in sunny south Wales, Lewisham, Chesterfield, smile week Telford, Nottingham city show , Matlock Bath, Nottingham Goose Fair, Ilkeston, Nottingham Bonfire, Hull city centre Christmas light switch on, Nottingham Christmas - not bad for our first season.
Lol (Bimbo) Bishton.
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