A one-off opportunity to enjoy a classic Victorian fairground ride for free is coming up during the Easter school holidays.
Derbyshire’s Hansons Auctioneers has decided to offer parents the opportunity to give their children an unforgettable treat.
On Tuesday, April 3, from 10am-4pm, families can take their children to enjoy a ride on a stunning antique merry-go-round that’s coming up for auction.
The ride, which was made in Burton-on-Trent in 1895, is currently housed at the firm’s headquarters in Heage Lane, Etwall – the biggest auction item ever manoeuvred into the saleroom.
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons, said: “I thought it would be a lovely Easter gesture to invite families to enjoy this marvellous merry-go-round, which we are very proud to be auctioning on April 5.
“It is quite extraordinary. It’s hand-made, hand-turned and a delight to behold. Bright and beautiful, it demonstrates the wonderful craftsmanship of days gone by – and immediately takes you back to your childhood and the sheer excitement you felt when the fair came to town.
“The smell of candyfloss and hotdogs, the lights, the colours and the fairground characters are a feast for the senses. Surely every child remembers the joy of being taken to a traditional fair for the first time?
“That’s what gave me the idea to offer children this special opportunity before the item is sold. It deserves to be in a museum, American buyers may well be interested and, who knows, it could leave British shores.
“I would love to see families enjoying this wonderful merry-go-round while it’s with us. Bring your children to have some fun and enjoy the spectacle.”
The ride, which delighted old and young alike at fairs across the Midlands and beyond for decades, will be sold at 8pm on April 5 and, due to its rarity, could fetch up to £100,000.
Mr Hanson said: “It’s an important, very early and unique carousel which captures the essence of the Victorian fairground. Made more than 120 years ago, it was last used at Nottingham Goose Fair in 1979.”
The ride is 18ft in diameter and features 12 individually carved ponies and six peacocks along with two peacock chariots, which can carry nine children in each.
No two carved figures are the same and they are all suspended on twisted, brass-covered iron rods. It also features mirrored ceilings and a mirrored centre.
It was made by George Orton, Sons and Spooner of Swan Works for Fred Westrope and was a regular visitor at Burton’s statutes fair every October.
According to historical documents, it’s the only 10-section, three-abreast carousel ever built and, apart from redecoration, is exactly as it was back in the days when Queen Victoria was on the English throne.
Families are welcome to bring their children to enjoy the ride on Tuesday April 3, 10am-4pm, at Hansons Auctioneers, Heage Lane, Etwall. Plus, if you’re sitting on treasures, free jewellery and silver valuations are also available on Tuesdays, 10am-4pm. If you are interested in bidding on the carousel, or wish to know the estimate, email [email protected] or call 01283 733988.