This film is part of Free

Fair People

A lovely film of a couple who dedicated their lives to amusing local children, and in doing so also preserving a horse drawn Edwardian carousel.

Non-Fiction 1977 3 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


A chance to see possibly the only extant film of 'Gilligan's Galloping Carousel', a horse drawn roundabout that husband and wife pair Lawrence and Hilda Gilligan made famous, taking to fairs, as well as the streets of their native Castleford for forty years. Here we see local children enjoying the rides before they return, Steptoe and Son like, to their terraced house home in 1977.

This is a rare film by Mavis Spence of Aberford, Leeds, wife of keen amateur filmmaker Roger Spence. Roger, an active member of Wakefield Movie Makers, made award winning films on Super 8 and 9.5mm, adding sound to the films, and was also a member of the I.A.C. Lawrence Gilligan and his wife Hilda were nicknamed locally by the children 'Ma and Pa Jingle Bells'. They had been travelling with their Edwardian carousel since the 1950s. The carousel, which was cranked by hand, is now part of the toy collection in York Castle Museum, although there were reports in the local press in April 2014 that some of the horses had been stolen.