12th January 2005




Three fairground relics from the early part of the last century including a life-size model of the animated character Popeye are being restored by a University of Lincoln student.


Fran Clarke, who is in her third year of study on a degree course in Conservation and Restoration, unearthed the items from Dingle’s Steam Village in Devon after she contacted the Fairground Heritage Trust which uses the building for the safe keeping old fairground items.


The hand-carved wooden model of Popeye, who celebrated his 75th anniversary last year, was made some time around the Second World War and was retrieved along with the ‘Sky Rocket’ on which he sits – it is one of only two such models in existence.


“The restoration of big rides costs mega bucks,” said the Fairground Heritage Trust’s Richard Sandercock. “Fran’s help is much appreciated.”


Anthea Bisson, another third-year student on the Conservation and Restoration course, is to restore an 1890s galloper from a children’s ride which Fran also brought back from Devon.


All of the items will be restored between now and April and will later be featured in an exhibition of third-year final projects at Chad Varah House, part of the university’s Cathedral Campus.


“Fran is an excellent student and has showed both enterprise and initiative in tracking this rare piece down,” said John Greenwood, senior lecturer in Conservation at the university. “It coincides well with her flair for unusual items and eccentric artefacts.”


Fran aims to have the pieces completely restored by May, when Dingle’s Steam Village will re-open to the public for the summer season.



For more information contact:

Matt Cross, Assistant Press Officer

(01522) 886625                                   mcross@lincoln.ac.uk

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