The story of Bob the Golden Galloper

Ode to Bob

Meet Bob the Golden Galloper, truly one of a kind
On the swirling, whirling carousel he’s the only one you’ll find.
You see Bob unlike his counterparts is made of newer stuff
No woods, metals or plaster here but fibre glass…so tough.
You see Bob is not original, he’s the second to bear that name
Whereas all the others who ride with him have always been the same.
For many years this carousel was at home in another place
Giving joy, laughter and thrills and putting smiles on every face.
Then one day, in ‘98, time came to move his home
But those who had looked after him, wanted to keep Bob for their own.
Original Bob, wooden Bob, Bob from the very start
Stayed where he had been living, as he was so dear to their heart.
So we received the carousel with one prancing galloper short
And set about to fill the void, “a great idea” we thought
“How about we rebuild Bob, to honour the original horse?”
We thought about it for a little while and then we said “of course”
“Let’s mould him out of fibre glass and paint him colours true”
“Then place him back where he belongs, in amongst the galloping few.”
So that’s what we did, and we did it well and Bob was home once more
It truly is a beautiful sight, and one you’ll be glad you saw.
So there we are, an ‘Ode to Bob’  and how he came to be
Missing, replaced, now whizzing around bringing joy to you and me!

Golden galloper horse at Folly Farm

We think our ‘Ode to Bob’ tells the interesting history of how he came to be 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 carousel! So we set about faithfully recreating new Bob in old Bob’s likeness. I think you’ll agree the specialist company we hired did a great job.

Our Golden Gallopers have a rich history. 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 and it’s there that original wooden Bob still lives as a memento of their time with the carousel.

Golden galloper on the carousel

Modern materials were used in the re-creation of Bob. That’s why he is unique amongst his friends. Every other horse you see on our carousel are 1922 originals made of wood, whereas Bob is made of fibre glass. If it wasn’t for us pointing out his name you’d never know the difference!

Our gallopers have pride of place in our vintage fairground collection and in this day and age of modern gadgetry and electronic gizmos, Golden Gallopers are very much back in fashion. Rides such as these play a vital role in connecting us with our past.