Fair ground?

Here’s a really interesting one that came in today, and it has so piqued my interest, that I’m going to throw it straight out there. The email speaks for itself – honoured, I am – but I’m hoping readers can help, perhaps Andy Dennis, who I think lives locally to the site in question, or Chasewaterstuff, who seems to know all about this kind of thing.

Just one observation: The picture of the ride in the advert: is it me, or is that Chasewater? Would this sale have coincided with the winding down of the permanent funfair, by any chance?

Tanks to Michael for the enquiry. Lets see what the readers come up with…

Please comment here or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers!

Lakin Muffin

Fascinating. From the ‘Worlds Fair’ classified advertisement magazine, which was like Exchange and Mart or Daltons Weekly. Not sure where the Muffin comes into it, though. Click for a larger version.

Hello Bob,

Having searched online for a local history resource for Brownhills, I came up with your blog. Don’t know if you can help or not, but I thought it was worth an e-mail to ask.

We’ve recently acquired the little fairground ride in the attached ad for the Fairground Heritage Centre in Devon (www.fairground-heritage.org.ukq). We know how it started life, with the Thurston family in Norwich in the 1930s, and we know where’s it’s been for the past 35 years – since, presumably, it was sold from this ad (it went to Henry Crick at Rhyl’s Ocean Beach Amusement Park, and subsequently changed hands a couple more times).

The query is, do you know anything about Mr Peace, or what went on at 59 Whitehorse Road, Having checked on google maps/earth, the address seems to relate to a large plot of land, entrance gates opposite Hanbury Avenue, and these days backing on to the M6 toll. There’s one building on the site, which uses the address 59, and which is currently a care home. I believe there’s also a planning application for the site to build houses. Have you any idea if the site was at some stage a park or recreation ground, or whether it might have served as a showman’s yard or winter quarters? Is it possible that the ride might have opened on Whitehorse Road?

Would appreciate any information you can share with us. We like to try and find out as much information and history as we can for the items in our collection.

Kind regards,

Michael Smith

Secretary to the Trustees
The Fairground Heritage Trust
Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre
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17 Responses to Fair ground?

  1. Pedro says:

    Muffin the Mule? The children’s TV Puppet.

  2. ziksby says:

    A few years ago I did some family history research for the Cricks, a well known fairground family, now spread across the UK. You mention Henry Crick from Rhyll, and looking on the Crick family tree I see that he was a cousin of Laurie Crick, who I did the research for. I have a few Crick contacts, sadly none locally now that Laurie Crick has passed away; but I know a fairground artist from Manchester who may very well have worked on this ride, or know who did.
    More if I find anything out.

    An great resource for anyone researching fairground history is Pauline Gashinski’s excellent website http://www.members.shaw.ca/pauline777/TravellersUK.html

    • fred butler says:

      I used to know Will Peace, he did live in Whitehorse rd , his family were involved with fairgrounds and later on amusement arcades, ( he was a good footballer ).I believe he now lives in Australia , but I may be wrong.

      Fred Butler

  3. Andy Dennis says:

    I have a hazy memory from primary school days of a boy named Peace, who lived at the bungalow that is No 59. At the rear, from Google Earth, is a large enough area to store a ride like the one pictured, so this may have been a showman’s yard.

    I don’t recall a fair there or anyone saying there was one. The local fair seems always to have been in Holland Park in my lifetime, though something tells me that longer ago there was a fairground somewhere between HIgh Street and the canal.

    The Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain might be a useful source, but locally the most knowledgable is perhaps Councillor Anthony Harris, who runs the Pat Collins Funfair – http://www.patcollinsfunfairs.co.uk/#/homepage/4535712275. His yard is on Lindon Road at the corner of Clayhanger Road. Cllr Harris is a past president of the Showmen’s Guild and still a prominent member today. It might be worth putting an enquiry through the website as the operators have access to a lot of local knowledge.

  4. Nick Dean says:

    I’m 40 yrs and lived in Brownhills all my life. The picture of the fairground ride is at Chasewater and i have a coloured photo of me on it and sitting on the horse which is in the fore front of the advert. I don’t remember too much but my mother said that once it started going round i did’nt like it and they had to stop it (i was only 2). Happy memories and this certainly brought a few back

  5. david oakley says:

    Michael Smith’s query, ” Is it possible that the ride might have opened on Whitehorse Road?” seems to convey the possibility that at one time a lone operator could offer entertainment in this way, at a time when fun for kids was at a premium. Perhaps this was less likely from the ‘fifties onward, but I remember that in the ‘thirties, near my home in Walsall Wood. a gentleman kept a roundabout (hand operated) on a patch of ground near his home. For local fairs, fetes and carnivals, it was dismantled and taken to the venue. At other times it was re-assembled on its original site and was available for rides by the local kids at a penny a ride. The owner would operate the ride for as little as two customers ! I never knew his first name. He was known throughout the Wood as “Dobby ‘oss Doody.”

    • Pedro says:

      Hi David,

      Looked in the archives on the off chance of finding something on Doody.

      There was a Richard Doody from Shelfield who was charged with stealing 55 pounds of coal in June 1909, from Atlas brickyard in Aldridge…There was a J Doody in 1901 from Walsall Wood who won the 1 mile flat handicap at the Sports…R Doody in 1903 won the Two miles walking contest in the Sports held at the Horse and Jockey….James Doody (12) of Walsall Wood pleaded guilty to stealing sweets in 1901…Stanley Doody of Walsall Wood mentioned in 1914.

      Regards Pedro

      • david oakley says:

        Hi Pedro,
        Thanks for your interest. “Dobby ‘oss” could well be in that mix as, by the dates, all could have been active in the ’30’s. Doody was a popular name in Walsall Wood at that time and being a small village, most were probably inter-related. As for coal stealing,that was quite rife in those difficult times and one successful attempt is graphically described by ‘Staffordshirebred’ in an earlier blog of Vigo memories.

        Regards David.

  6. leeky54 says:

    I used to go to school with William Peace and the family lived with his grandad also William Peace at 59 Whitehorse Road. William elder used to own a lot of the rides on Chasewater and always told young William that it would all go to him when he died. Used to spend a lot of time either at number 59 or over the fair during school holidays. There was another fair ground in Brownhills remeber my Mom and Dad talking about Pat Collins wakes ground which was most of the land where the flats used to be. Hope this may help.

  7. andy B says:

    The ride was definatly at Chasewater for a number of years. it was sited next to the concrete cascading waterfalls. it always had a small train ride next too it and was dismantled onto an old foden i think each winter and stored in what was the old car park opposite the amusement arcade.

  8. William Peace says:

    Hi all Will Peace here yes living down under but return to UK often
    re the Muffin ride at chasewater yes it was one of our rides which we operated at the park this particular ride stood at the bottom of the steps by the fountain bowls.
    Our family have lots of good memories of the time we spent there running the cafe ,arcade and rides.

    • Peter Leek says:

      Hi Will, Just wondering if you are the Will Peace i used to go to school with?/ be good to catch up if you were’

      • William Peace says:

        Hi peter not sure don’t remember your name I went to watling st junior school at the top of White horse road, then went on to chase terrace comp.

  9. allan boyd says:

    can u tell me was there ever a rollercoaster at chasewater thankyou

  10. JOHN BARLOW says:


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