Going on the Gallopers
A portrait of the life, popular art and remarkable engineering of Carters Steam Fair. John Carter was interested in old machinery and fairground art. People began giving him gear and rides, or selling them to him when they retired, knowing he would keep them working.
His obsession encompassed his family and now, a decade after his death, Carters Steam Fair, staffed by John's widow, his sons and many old friends, travels for 7 months of the year, and spends winter in the yard fettling, burnishing and painting.
There are gallopers (no, not carousels) of extraordinary glamour and beauty, dizzying steam yachts and the amazing Chair -o - Planes. The family and workers live in exquisite 1940s art deco showmen's wagons, with cut-glass clerestories.
Their set-up is different everywhere they go because they regard all this as art and architecture - that moves. Even their lorries are ancient and beautiful - This programme, recorded in their winter yard and on site while they work, captures the wild, bright, musical, oily beauty, and thoughtful philosophy, of the life of the steam fair.
Producer: Julian May.