The Story of Beauty the Rocking Horse

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From Grandma’s redundant upright piano, ‘Beauty’ the rocking horse, was made by a lady called Pearl Howarth around 28 years ago, but was never finished.

The horse never rocked, but was fitted to a wooden frame and many children enjoyed just sitting on her back.

And then something rather magic happened!

At a Staying Well ‘Bring Your Neighbour’ event last November, Pearl was introduced to Chris Freeman from The Phoenix Shed, Halifax. “Can you make a rocking horse rock?” Pearl asked, and Chris said that he would love to take on the challenge.

So on 12 December ‘Beauty’ arrived at The Shed and work started. Well, not so much as start, but first the research as to where to source all of the necessary kit.

Then Chris struck gold and found that Yorkshire Rocking Horses were based in Hebden Bridge, with a workshop in Sowerby Bridge. The proprietor, Steve Bulcock, was more than willing to give valuable advice and supply the necessary ‘Restoration Kit’, which would be needed to complete the project.

Pear came along to The Shed to finish off the paintwork one Saturday in January and Chris then set about the restoration of some of the 28 years of wear and tear, before starting to ‘dress’ the horse.

Slowly, over the next few months, Chris was able to get The stand built up, varnished and then mount ‘Beauty’ on the stand using the special hangers and brackets, supplied by Steve.

Then finally on Monday 28th May the day had finally come to deliver ‘Beauty’. Thanks to Paul from Green Homes for the help with the move, using his van.

As you can see from the photo, ‘Beauty’ is now complete with what every good rocking horse should have, a bucket and shovel. However, due to the rarity of ‘rocking-horse-droppings, the bucket is empty!

Challenge complete!