Storm over historic fairground gallopers

A historic Victorian fairground ride which featured in the musical fantasy film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang alongside Dick Van Dyke has become the centre of a furious row.

A historic Victorian fairground ride which featured in the musical fantasy film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang alongside Dick Van Dyke has become the centre of a furious row.

Coveted for the high quality of its preservation, the 36-horse set of gallopers dating from 1893 has starred in a number of big screen films and also featured at a Buckingham Palace charity event at the request of the Queen.

It is owned by Norfolk businesswomen Nikki Jones and Phillipa Masters, who also own Norstead Hall Kennels on the edge of North Walsham.

They are particularly proud of the ride because it was originally made in Norfolk by King's Lynn engineer Frederick Savage before spending most of its life outside the county.


You may also want to watch:


Last year, the gallopers were used at the North Norfolk Railway's Holt station for part of the summer - an arrangement aimed at tying in two types of heritage attraction.

Wanting to repeat the Holt visit, but for a longer period (this time needing planning permission), an application was considered by members of the west area development control committee of North Norfolk District Council on Thursday.

Most Read

Neighbour concerns, both among residents and managers at Kelling Hospital, which is

150 metres from where the ride was sited last year, focussed on the noise coming from the organ and whistle of the gallopers.

One neighbour said the noise was "intrusive, nerve wracking and intolerable".

The gallopers' owners took advice from leading international acoustic expert

Adrian James and said they would move the ride to the north, change the direction the organ faced and use the railway's rolling stock to block some of the noise.

While these moves satisfied council officers that the gallopers should be allowed to be

used at Holt for a year while they were monitored, members of the committee disagreed.

Henry Cordeaux said the problem was not simply the noise itself, but the fact it was continuous and repetitive. The result could affect hospital patients and their recovery, he claimed.

Sean Mears added: "If I had to hear that

noise day in day out, I would probably be suicidal."

The council's legal advisor Roger Howe

said: "I can see no sustainable reasons

to turn this down on noise grounds. You would be in some difficulty on appeal."

The committee voted nine to one to

refuse permission although the ride can

still be legally used at the Holt site for a maximum of 28 days in every calendar

year.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus