Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Round and Roundabout

This is a roundabout at Nottingham’s famous Goose Fair about thirty years ago. I’m indebted to Simon Garbutt who posted the picture on Wikimedia Commons. It shows a traditional carousel of the kind with which Victorian children would be familiar. Since those days showmen have recreated the wonderful carousel rides and, last Autumn, during a visit to England, I spotted this model on Bournemouth’s sea front.

 It’s a modern recreation of the old-style ‘gallopers’ and beautifully decorated. It was a very quiet day but if only one child wanted to ride they still set the carousel in motion. I tried to to get all the names of the horses down in my notebook, but I think I may have got some of them wrong, so please allow poetic licence in my my fanciful homage to:

The Carousel.

The music begins as, slowly, 
the painted horses
start to rise, and fall, in rhythmic order.
Gathering speed, 
they gallop now,
in perpetual circular motion.
Stanley Reeves, “proudly presents,
for your pleasure, his
Golden Galloping Horses Carousel!”
Kaleidoscopic trios,
named for the children 
of this famous fairground family,
Here come Tommy, Krystal and Leigh,
Regal Elizabeth, 
Royal James.
Exotic India and Africa,
Colleen and Bernadette
from the Emerald Isle.
Flags flutter furiously in the Bournemouth breeze,
as Kitty-Rose, Debbie and Hayley
prance by in stately unison.
Elliot and Eileen,
Paul and Patricia, 
grin in their equine dreams.
Barbara, Barry and Betty,
Sophie and Stanley,
Ride on remorselessly.

Coloured lights flicker and flash, 
illuminating nearby signs for 
“Rock and Hand-made fudge”
Rosemary, Julia and Autumn
fly by like a half-forgotten dream.
Gilbert gallops, Ron rears.

Natasha and Julia 
keep a maternal eye on young Emily.
“Please hold onto small children” reads a sign.

Between the ranks
are two fiery, gilded dragons, 
full of giddy, giggling children.
The organ blasts a fanfare,
as Chester rears his head
and speeds past.
Then, suddenly, it’s all over.
We dismount, laughing 
And find ourselves once more
On solid ground.

Marilyn Brindley

“You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back”
Wiliam D. Tammeus

This is my companion piece to ‘So Long at the Fair’ and is posted in response to Sepia Saturday’s photo prompt of a fairground ride of long ago. Climb aboard for thrills and spills!


  1. This is absolutely beautiful. I have never seen one like that in real life.

  2. Lovely carousel and it's painted in such bright & happy colors. I've always like the fact that the animals on carousel's have names. I've also learned a new word today at Sepia Saturday: roundabout. I've always known them as carousels or merry-go-rounds. Roundabout sounds very English and I like it.

  3. ...and what a pleasure it was to sit on those horses for a short moment and see the world go round and round to the music...the carousels were elaborate with colour and gold, all wonderful fantasy. Lovely poem, let those patient horses be alive; a really great post. May the fairs never lose their attraction to big and small children.

  4. The was one very similar to this at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the Christmas before last, when we visited on a Victorian themed day. Wonderful.

  5. Such bright beautiful pictures. I can almost hear the music playing too.

  6. For sure this roundabout is charming and awesome indeed. No comparision with the "magic roundabout" at Swindon...
    All good wishes.

  7. Nell! Beautiful pictures, and I appreciate your descriptive poem too. What a grand post. You know, I didn't even know that they were called roundabouts ... we call them merry-go-rounds and carousels.

    Kathy M.

  8. What a gorgeous merry go round. So elaborate.
    The one we used to ride in balboa park, San Diego had a gold ring that if you caught it you got a free ride. With three of us in our family, we could ride all day because one of us was sure to get the ring.

  9. Such a beautiful merry-go-round! Thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos and your lovely poem.

  10. Beautifully descriptive poem. I am so glad that fairgrounds have kept this people-pleasing style of decoration. It always lifts my spirits to see it, and I like to go around funfairs looking at the details myself. These roundabouts are particularly nice when the music is provided by one of those old fashioned organs.

  11. This reminds me of a carousel I once knew well in my youth, at La ronde, the amusement park built for Expo'67 and that still exists to this day, the park, I mean. The carousel, I have no idea. But it was also part of something else, the generic of a television show on french canadian television, "Quelle famille", (roughly translates I guess as "What a family", where you see all of them riding that carousel. Awh, memories...