Apprentices restore 1940s carousel to former glory

Apprentices restore 1940 caro...
As part of their training apprentices from our Preston Training School are encouraged to get involved in local community projects

For Donna's Dream House, a charity local to our Warton site that provides free holidays for youngsters suffering from life threatening illnesses or recent bereavements, our apprentices have recently renovated a key attraction.

Len Curtis, from Donna’s Dream House contacted us and asked if it would be possible for us to restore a 1940s Fairground Carousel. It had been damaged in an arson attack at the end of 2011 and the charity did not have the funds to restore it until at least 2014.

It was agreed that we would help and four apprentices were asked to co-ordinate the restoration – Sally Topping, Andrew Fisher, Brad Hodgeson and Elliott Slingsby. It became apparent that the work to restore the carousel to its former glory was a much bigger job than had originally been envisaged and soon more apprentices offered to assist.

The 1940s antique carousel believed to be one of only two of its kind still inexistence has been dismantled and fully restored.  During the refurbishment the apprentices not only gave their time and expertise to the local community but also learned valuable project management and team building skills.  The carousel is now restored to its former glory and has been returned to Donna's Dream House to be enjoyed by the children staying there on holiday.

In total over 30 apprentices got involved. It was very much a hands on-project for the team and as well as sourcing materials to complete the project, they also identified a company who sand blasted all the metal-work and re-sprayed it for free.

Six months later, the carousel looked fantastic. It was recently handed back to Len Curtis and will take pride of place at Donna’s Dream House when it opens at Easter.

Apprentice Sally Topping said: “It has been a great experience for all the apprentices involved to take part in such an unusual project and give something back to a local charity. It was fantastic to see the project through from start to finish and pick up such valuable skills along the way. Seeing the reaction from Len, as he saw the Carousel for the first time, made us all feel immensely proud.”