The Rocking Horse Shop

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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Rocking Horse Shop Christmas Open Day 11th November 10am to 3pm

Rocking Horse Shop Christmas Open Day 

11th November 10am to 3pm

We are opening our workshops doors to welcome you to come and see how Rocking Horses are made.  Please join us for a mince pie, alcohol free mulled wine and an opportunity to look round and talk to our experts.

We also have a large collection of Christmas gift ideas.

We hope you will be able to join us.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Fangfest Festival of Practical Arts - September 5th & 6th

Fangfest Festival of Practical Arts
September 5th & 6th

9am to 4pmFangfoss

This year is the 17th annual Festival of Practical Arts held in the village of Fangfoss.

This delightful east Yorkshire village puts on a fantastic show once a year. Jane Cook from The Rocking Horse Shop, says “ The whole aim of Fangfest if to promote traditional crafts. It's amazing how many local traditional crafts people we have and it is a real joy to see the makers demonstrating their craft.”

The Rocking Horse Shop opens it's doors and lets you see how Rocking Horses are made, including carving, painting and making tack. At Fangfoss Pottery they will show you how to make a teapot and you can even have a go at making a pot yourself.. They have a Pole Lathes, Wood Turners, Wood Carvers, Corn Dolly Maker, Artists and much more. There will be over 20 craftts people and many of them will be demonstrating their individual crafts.

We also incorporate a range of family fun, including vintage car rally, flower festival, fairground rides, and you can even have a go at archery. We have something for everyone from the very young to the very old.” Says Jane

It's a great weekend, for more details go to

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Rocking Horse Restoration

Rocking Horse Restoration

Bronko original, made for Gamages

Bronko horses are recognisable by their distinctive cowboy-style stirrups and saddles with hugely exaggerated cantles. They were made from 1905 by Simpson, Fawcett & Co Ltd of Leeds, whose ‘Swan’ brand was well known. In 1914 the company was Britain’s biggest manufacturer of ‘strong’ toys although their ‘Bronko’ horses carry no maker’s mark, only a plate engraved ‘A. W. Gamage Ltd, Holborn, London, E.C.’, since Bronkos were made exclusively for the famous London toyshop.

This fine example is a ‘No. E’ the largest of four (or possibly five) sizes made and sold. It appears in Gamages catalogues for both 1906 and 1914 priced at 75 shillings (£3.75 in today’s money, a fortune!), is in original unrestored condition and is remarkably well preserved. The horse is on loan from Mr and Mrs D. Smith of Halifax. Before he retired Mr Smith kept the Bronko in the office of his repair garage so that children could ride while their parents were busy paying the bill.

The only thing missing is the lower jaw, apparently broken off along the line of the wood’s grain which is horizontal - a design fault. When we collected it a glass eye was also missing, but by great good fortune Mr Smith found it while giving his garage floor a final sweep before he left, and posted it to me to be glued back in. 
Bronko horses are now rare beasts, but in the Spring of 2015 an extremely battered 
example - albeit damaged and missing all of its original paintwork - arrived at 
The Rocking Horse Shop’s workshop for a complete restoration.
We had to remove the saddle and strip all the paint before Sam our master Rocking Horse Restorer could really get started work on the horse.

Each of these horses had an identification number and you can see the one on this horse.
Sam then gave the horse a coat of gesso and a paint undercoat.

The dapple could then be added and the beautiful saddle and stirrups made by Julie could be fitted.

A beautiful restored Rocking Horse ready for many more generations to come.......

Friday, 13 February 2015

The South East Woodworking Show

The South East Woodworking Show,
6th & 7th March 2015,
Kent County Showground

We are looking forward to exhibiting at The South East Woodworking Show, now in its 4th year the show will be a mix of Demonstrations, Personalities, Trade Stands, Advice and Fun.
To find out more and book your advanced tickets and save money click here.