Riding on the crest of a wave

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This model roundabout dates to the 1960s. It shows one of the rides made by Savage’s, King’s Lynn’s famous merry-go-round makers.

Sea on Land was one of Savage’s popular novelty rides: a boat merry-go-round.

According to their 1902 catalogue: “The Roundabout…has delighted many thousands of visitors at our English Fairs, the motion resembles the rocking of a boat at sea and creates endless fun and amusement.”

In November 1884 Mrs Hildyard, wife of an owner of the ride fell on the tramway as the boats were in motion. Her injuries were so serious she had to have both legs amputated. Adjustments were made to the design after this to improve safety.

Showman George Aspland purchased a Sea on Land merry-go-round from Savage’s that he operated at fairs around the country.

He did so well with this machine that he bought a terrace of houses in Boston, Lincolnshire, with the profits. He called it Sea-on-Land Terrace.

To see the Sea-on-Land model and to find out more about Savage’s and the story of the Mart, Lynn Museum is opening a new exhibition, ‘Art of the Mart’ featuring a number of exhibits that have not been on display before.

These include photographs from over 100 years ago of Sea on Land in use at fairs. On the exhibition opening day, Saturday, July 25, there will be a family event day with crafts, object handling, illustrated story telling and candy floss and the All the Fun of the Fair trail.

The event runs from 10am to 4pm and is free with museum admission.