This film is part of Free

Carlyon Carousel

A new old carousel is turning not just heads in Carlyon.

News 1969 6 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive

Overview

TV reporter Andy Price talks to fairground attraction owner John Lovett who has just purchased an old carousel as a seaside fairground attraction in Carlyon Bay. Lovett believes the carousel or merry-go-round was originally installed at Kew Bridge in the 1890s and the height of Victorian amusement. It would have been driven by steam and called a Galloper. The up and down and round and round was designed for adults, not children.

One of the ornate carvings is marked with Orton and Sons and Spooner of Burton-on-Trent. A wheelwright by trade, Orton joined forces in 1894 with Charles Spooner, a woodcarver and together they built some of the best roundabouts for fairgrounds. Carousels have an endearing quality, perhaps the scene in Mary Poppins where animation makes the fairground animals come alive has forced us to permanently equate them with having fun even if they look gaudy. The rides have not lost their charm. The engineering, carvings, artworks, decorations and piped organ music are now the subject of a museum, the Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre holds the National Fairground Collection at Litton in Devon.