Juvenile Rides

Lakin's Muffin the Mule Racing Autodrome

This magnificent vintage fairground ride – known as a Racing Autodrome – is the last remaining ride of its kind still with its original artwork.

It was built in 1947 by R J Lakin of Streatham, South London, one of the leading manufacturers of amusement rides in Britain, for S & J Thurston, well-known owner/operators of fairground rides during the ‘golden era’ of British funfairs.

The ride was decorated by R J Lakin’s chief artist, the renowned Edwin Hall. Originally it had streamline cars in which children could ride, but in the 1950s the popularity of children’s television puppets saw the cars replaced by four Muffin the Mules and four Grace the Giraffes.

The Autodrome was later sold to Henry Crick, owner of an amusement park in North Wales, who during the 1970s replaced the Giraffe cars, alternating the Muffin the Mules with wooden cars and fire engines.

The ride was restored in the early 1980s by Marklands joiners and was then sold to Dingles Fairground Heritage Museum where it remained until 2015 when it was purchased by Yorkshireman James Cundall, a collector of vintage funfair rides. It opened to the public in November 2015 at Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland in York for the first time in three decades.

Orton and Spooner 'Hush Hush' Monorail

This beautiful vintage children’s ride is called Hush Hush and dates from 1933. It was built by Orton & Spooner of Burton-on-Trent, one of Britain’s greatest amusement ride manufacturers, renowned for designing and creating rides of superior quality and finish.

Orton & Spooner were leaders in their field, not only in constructing rides, but they also had the formidable art design expertise of father-and-son team Sid and Albert Howell who featured stunning replica scenes of classic British Rail life, as you can see around the top boards.

The ride comprises an engine, named Hush Hush, and 11 carriages each named after local stations on the London and North Eastern Railway: Hornsea, Bridlington, Filey, Scarborough, Whitby, Castle Howard, Redcar, Hartlepool, Sunderland, South Shields and Newcastle.

The ride was the largest made of its kind and was built for Mrs J Powells (nee Theresa Cole Hemmer), wife of Jack Powell, a well-known owner and operator of amusement rides, and travelled over the north of England for a number of years with the family before it was sold to Vivien Briggs, who turned it into a toy set with vintage cars and buses.

It fell into disrepair until 2014 when it was bought by James Cundall, a Yorkshire-based collector of vintage fairground rides, who set about restoring it to its former splendour.

With the expertise of fairground art specialists Jo Claire and Ellie Spinks, each individual panel of the ride was photographed, the artwork carefully traced before being stripped back to bare wood and flawlessly re-painted with the exact colours of the original.

For the first time in 30 years Hush Hush welcomed passengers aboard at Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland in York, in November 2015.