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Joy Wheel

Joy WheelVery little, if anything, has been documented about this ride. Joy Wheels were a popular, though short-lived, novelty ride in the early part of the last century. A conical polished disc in the centre of the enclosure revolved with increasing velocity, gradually throwing all the riders off. The wheel was often surrounded by tiered bench-type seats, and needless to say, spectators usually exceeded riders.

SaJoy Wheelvages built around eight examples from 1910, including ones for W C & S Hancock (pictured right), H Wallis, J Evans jnr, S Bolesworth, A Ball, C Thurston, J W Waddington, and W H Marshall. Orton & Spooner also turned out around four, including one for E C Farrar.

Joy WheelIn latter years they were more likely to be found on permanent sites than on travelling fairs. The Trust’s example is almost certainly one of the Savage ones, and was rescued from Tofts yard in Ireland by Colin Jones around 1989, and later acquired by the FHT. It is almost certainly the only surviving example of a travelling version of this type of ride.

Despite its age, the ride is surprisingly complete, taking up most of a 40’ artic trailer. Some of the timbers are in need of renewal, and a large amount of conservation work will be needed. The board from above the entrance has survived, as have all sixteen of the carved rounding boards. It is hoped that when these come to be unpacked they will give some further clues as to the ride’s origins.