The Art in the Mart exhibition which will be featured at Lynn Museum for the next year was opened on Friday by the borough mayor, Colin Manning.
Among those present at the opening was a distant relation of the Savage family, who’s gallopers made King’s Lynn famous in the fairground world.
Mrs Frances Hubbard grew up in the village of Hevingham, near Aylsham, and remembered the Savage family well.
Frederick Savage had set up an agricultural equipment business in Tower Street in Lynn 1850, later moving it to London Street and eventually St Nicholas Street. His ironworks grew to employ 400 workers and utilised their skill with steam-driven engines to build roundabouts that made Lynn Mart one of the most famous in the land. In particular his Gallopers machine was much admired while the platform gallopers introduced a vigorous rocking motion to the horses.
The most elaborate Gallopers had up to 56 four-abreast horses and were fitted with Savage’s patent ‘platform slide’, which allowed the horses to swing out concentrically as the machine gathered speed.
He went on to make many other rides such as Racing Peacocks, Jumping Cats and Flying Pigs and later the Switchback, which was the forerunner of the rollercoaster.
Items on display in the exhibition include original drawings and templates from the museum’s archive which have not been on display before. Pictures of the modern Mart featured in the exhibition have been supplied by the Lynn News.
The Art of the Mart: Savage’s Famous Fairground Makers of Lynn runs until July 2016.