Still horsing around
POPULAR ZOO RIDE HAS A HISTORY
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.