Celebrating their 100th birthday this year, our gallopers have pride of place in our vintage fairground collection.

Our Golden Gallopers have a rich history and are still a firm favourite in our Vintage Fairground. Originally built by Savages of King’s Lynn they were first delivered to Yorkshire showman Chris Johnson in 1922. At the outbreak of World War Two the gallopers then passed to Billy Smart, the operator of ‘Holiday at home’ fairs. From there they were passed to Billy Manning who used them both in Battersea and in Southsea. It’s from this final destination, Southsea, that the gallopers were bought by us.

Golden Gallopers 1947

Golden Gallopers 1980

Golden Gallopers 1983

Golden Gallopers 1991

Golden Gallopers 1999 – here at Folly Farm

When our founding director Glyn Williams took ownership of the gallopers in 1998 we found that we were one horse short of a carousel! This was due to the previous owners wanting a memento of their time with the ride. Every single horse you see on our carousel are 1922 originals made of wood, bar one, which is made of fibre glass. Our team have done such a magnificent job of restoring the ride to its former glory that you’d never be able to tell which one it is, (we don’t even know)!

Here’s Fairground Manager Andrew firing up the Gallopers ahead of our Winter Weekend opening:

I think you’ll agree that our Golden Gallopers are iconic? And what better way to celebrate it’s 100th birthday than by taking a ride during our last remaining ‘winter weekend’, before we close for the Christmas fortnight and re-open for weekends only on Saturday 7th January 2023.

Happy birthday, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Photos courtesy of the National Fairground and Circus Archives

Children on fairground ride at Folly Farm
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