Savage's Yard, King's Lynn, Norfolk

Savage's Yard, King's Lynn, Norfolk

In the late 19th century, King's Lynn in Norfolk was a major centre of the manufacture of merry-go-rounds and other fairground attractions. Savage's Yard was the headquarters of the trade, developing and building magnificent steam-powered merry-go-rounds and fairground organs. By the time Barbara Jones painted this desolate scene, however, the traditional fairground had been superseded by more sophisticated amusements. The brightly-painted horse in the centre of picture would have been placed in the inner circle of a merry-go-round; horses in the outer circle were elaborately carved as well as painted. The two male figures in eighteenth-century dress perched on the organ are automata who would strike bells or drums in time to the organ's music.