Carousel (Merry-Go-Rounds) For Hire

Since the 1860s, the Carousel has been the most recognised ride in fairground history. Generations of people remember this ride above all others, with its vivid colours, galloping horses and cheerful music, to add to the funfair magic. The Victorians used mules, people and then steam to power their rides, until the more popular mechanised Merry-Go-Round came into existence. The Carousel captures a simpler time when entertainment was uncomplicated, yet thrilling to those riding and watching.

There are many Carousels for hire out there, but they are not all the same. Sometimes, lower prices can indicate a lack of safety and security. At Harry Jones Company, our Carousels are routinely checked to ensure they are in perfect working order and all rides are fully insured. Prices do vary, according to type and size of each Carousel. Once we have your requirements, we can fulfil your needs with an accurate idea of cost, not to mention the sheer joy of such a classic fairground ride.

History of Merry-Go-Rounds

The Carousel has been given various names through the years, all of them relating to a ride which goes around and around. There are no differences between these names, other than the country they have originated from. The French called it the 'Carrousel', the British 'Merry-Go-Round' or 'Roundabout' and the Spanish 'Carosella'.

The very early Carousels were more to do with Knights and their jousting traditions, than an amusement ride for pleasure. The Knights would gallop on horseback in a circle, throwing balls to each other to refine their skills and horsemanship. In Spain, 'Carosella' means 'Little Battle', and was used for a combat preparation exercise in the 12th Century.

By the 17th Century, spearing rings had replaced throwing balls and now it wasn't just for the Knights, the commoners were joining in the fun. Children also began to become involved, when wooden horses began to be crafted and secured onto the Carousel. However, there still was no platform, so the wooden animals would fly out from the Carousel, which was powered by either animals or people.

When the Steam Engine came into being, in the 19th Century, the Carousel whirled around so quickly that people nearly flew off because of the speed generated! Once electricity was invented, then electric motors and lights were included on the Carousel, giving us the more recognisable Merry-Go-Round we know and love today.