This galloper ride started life as a steam-driven dobby ride, which means that the animals just hung from the top frame, without a platform and without any galloping movement. That was built by Walkers of Tewkesbury in 1894. They were made for Samuel Ashley from Nottinghamshire. The ride was converted to a full sized galloper by Tidmans after the First World War and a set of horses carved by Spooner were added in 1925. These were said to be the last ones carved by Spooners (actually being made by various outworkers contracted to supply Orton & Spooner in Burton-on-Trent).
The band organ at the ride center was supplied by Gavioli, although this was badly damaged and replaced by another Gavioli, dating from the 1870s, in the 1940s. The steam center engine was also replaced by one made by Savages which dated from 1887. The ride stayed with the Ashley family until it was purchased by Jack Schofield in 1979. It is believed to have been a steam powered ride since new.
Twelve of the outer horses on this three-abreast set of gallopers are the original Spooners from 1925. Other wooden horses, all by Spooners, make up the rest of the ride, except for 3 cockerels (roosters). The original cockerels were carved by Andersons in 1924 and Jack Schofield still owns these. They are now very fragile and three fiberglass replicas take their place on the platform. The Gavioli organ has been rebuilt and still travels at the centre of the ride.
Restoration of the rounding boards is currently in progress, with the main section with the lettering being completed two years ago. Redecoration work on these is being carried out by Vicky Postlethwaite.
This ride appears at various steam rallies and other special events from May until December each year.
Click on one of the pictures above to view a larger image. When a picture is displayed, use the following to navigate through the show: