ERNIE’S GALLOPERS

Modelled by Ernie Summerhays and Stuart Legg

Ernie Summerhays started this model about 30 years ago, inspired by the Noyce family’s galloping horse roundabout. It is a 1:6 scale model of an original built by Savages of Kings Lynn. For many years Ernie and his wife Phyllis exhibited his renowned horses and other carvings. These are highly prized works of art in their own right. Ernie made more than 50 of the horses. Their perfection meant that progress was slow. Before the project could be completed Ernie became frail and is now in care. Ernie asked Stuart Legg to look after the horses, and was delighted when Stuart also said that he would finish the model. Stuart is a prolific modeller and includes 11 traction engines in his output. He began work on the gallopers in May 2012. He built the Centre engine and the little organ engine and has completed the frame structure. Current work is concentrated on the spinning frame. Ernie is looking forward to seeing the model finished.

To get an idea of what the finished model will be like, there are some excellent pictures at http://carousels.org/psp/NoyceGallopers/. The finished model will relate to an earlier era before it was festooned with electric light bulbs and be lit by a dozen lamps. The ride today has cockerels as well as horses. At one stage in its life it suffered some wood rot and many of the horses were ‘cut and shut’. the resulting gaps were filled by cockerels carved, like the horses, by J R Anderson of Bristol in 1900/01. The ride was bought by James Noyce in 1950 and is still in the ownership of the Noyce family. It still travels widely around the UK in the season and often in Leicester Square in London at Christmas.