Fairground model given new lease of life by Men’s Shed

PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 September 2018

Peter Youd, Brenda Taylor with grandson and Mick Cox. Picture: Contributed.

Peter Youd, Brenda Taylor with grandson and Mick Cox. Picture: Contributed.

Open Door

A handmade fairground carousel model made during World War Two has been given a new lease of life after a visit to Exmouth’s Men’s Shed workshop.

The refurbished carousel. Picture: Contributed.The refurbished carousel. Picture: Contributed.

The Open Door Exmouth Men’s Shed, based at Clayton House, Littleham, brings men of all ages and backgrounds together to work on projects for the community.

From building benches for the local primary school to making planters to sell at Christmas, the list of project jobs is often quite varied.

But when Councillor Brenda Taylor brought a model of a fairground carousel into the workshop, it was like nothing they had seen before.

Mick Cox, Men’s Shed project leader, said: “It was a fascinating project to work on and we were delighted with the end result – a working fairground carousel looking much as it had in 1943.

Peter Youd, Brenda Taylor with grandson and Mick Cox. Picture: Contributed.Peter Youd, Brenda Taylor with grandson and Mick Cox. Picture: Contributed.

“Hopefully the carousel can continue to be enjoyed and cherished by the next generation.”

The carousel had been in storage for many years in a non-working condition and arrived in a very poor condition.

The model was constructed in 1943 by Brenda’s father, C Pipkin-Milton, during World War Two.

He had made it as a Christmas present for his three daughters, one of whom was Brenda, although they knew nothing about it until Christmas Day 1943.

It was stripped down, cleaned, missing parts replaced and other parts repaired.

They replaced the small screw-in bulbs in the canopy with LED’s as it was not practical to find replacements for the originals.

The main problem was the ‘sound system’. Most of the original was missing, but it appeared that the sound was probably produced by a 78 rpm record played on a wind-up record player upon which the carousel was mounted.

The solution to this problem was to ‘go modern’ and fit a small electronic device which had been pre-recorded with the music from a 1955 fairground organ.

The Open Door Men’s Shed began in 2014 as a space for men to socialise, learn and share practical skills and to work on projects for the community.

You can find out more about Men’s Shed at www.opendoor

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