Still horsing around


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Front Page - Su­sanne Reilly

REG­U­LAR vis­i­tors to the Perth Zoo, Grace (5) and Ge­or­gia (3) Scolt al­ways fin­ish off their visit with a ride on the carousel.

While they think of it as just a fun way to end their visit, the story of the muchloved ride is fas­ci­nat­ing.

Frank Burten­shaw (69) is the main carousel op­er­a­tor, also known as the man who makes the 24 horses turn, and has been in the role for the past 16 years.

Be­fore he be­came the carousel guru, which in­volves chang­ing all 408 light globes, he drove a fam­ily train trans­port­ing peo­ple around the zoo grounds.

Mr Burten­shaw said he loved see­ing the chil­dren’s smiles and joy when they hopped on to the carousel.

“I had a girl come here one day from Va­ri­ety and they told me she hadn’t smiled in four years; well she did when she got on the carousel,” he said.

“It’s hard to be grumpy when you have with de­signs of merry-go-rounds.

It cost the Gar­dens Board £1600 to pur­chase and an ad­di­tional £400 for an over­head crank to en­able horses to clas­si­cally rise and fall. The tools he used to make his horses were en­trusted to the care of the Melville His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety. Hand painter Sam Briggs painted 36 de­signs of popular Walt Dis­ney char­ac­ters.

As for Grace and Ge­or­gia, pic­tured above with zoo carousel op­er­a­tor Alissa Harper, they just adore the horses and mu­sic.

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