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History– Transport

Shaw’s have become almost as famous for their transport as their rides thanks to the various eye-catching blue liveries employed over the years.

In the early years, the Moonrocket was transported by steam engine. One famous vehicle was ‘Prospector,’ the only engine to leave the Foden factory in Sandbach, Cheshire, with full showmen’s specification. The engine is now in preservation.

Early lorries included a Leyland Bull 4-wheeler with a 6LW Gardner engine, used to carry the bottom of the ride, later replaced by a 6-wheel Foden DG flatbed. This then carried two generators, one the refurbished set out of the Leyland Bull, the other one of the dynamos from the steam engine.

The DG was eventually replaced by a 6x6 petrol-engined NM Mack ex-army lorry painted grey. Around the same time an early AEC 8-wheel box body, also grey, was added to carry the ride’s cars. The accompanying trailers were a small-wheeled box trailer and the centre truck.
The late 1950s and early 60s transport was two Foden DGs, one a flat for the bottom, the other a box for the cars. The flat was an 8-wheeler ERF with streamline cab, carrying the two sets, while the latter was a flash trailer formerly used with Hibble & Mellors’ Waltzer with panelled over slatted wooden sides, towing the centre. The late 60s saw an S20 Foden 8-wheel to replace the flat DG, and an ERF KV 8-wheeler for the box lorry.

The 70s saw changes again as the S20 was replaced by a MK1 8-wheeled Atkinson flat. The ERF, meanwhile, was replaced by a Foden S21 short wheelbase 8-wheel flat, ex-Blue Circle Cement. By 1974, the ERF KV was transferred over to the new Easyrider ride, where it was used along with a Foden arctic box trailer to carry that ride’s bikes.

The only other change made was replacing the S21 tractor with a S39 8-wheel flat short wheelbase. This, together with the Atkinson, lasted until the ride was sold in the early 1980s. While the S39 was sold to become a breakdown lorry in the Sheffield area, the Atkinson 8-wheel has been saved for preservation.

Walter Shaw’s Maxwell Hurricane Jets came from White of Scotland with a Leyland Beaver 4-wheeler. Early transport used with the ride by Shaw’s in the late 60s and early 70s included an ex-Pilkington Glass frame-bodied Leyland 0024 8-wheeler to carry the Jet cars, and an Atkinson MK1 6-wheeler box body, ex-ICI, to carry the arms, walk rounds and pay box. The S21 Foden from the Moonrocket was used to move the centre and Broom Wade Gardner 6LW compressor needed to lift the ride’s arms.

The S21 was later changed to an S39 Foden, while the Leyland car lorry was replaced by a lengthened 8-ton Dyson trailer with a frame built to carry the Jets. This combination was used until the ride was sold.

Both Walter and John Walter Shaw also had a number of children’s rides. Walter had a boat ride, packed onto a 7-ton drawbar trailer, while the Happy Caterpillar packed into a 4-wheel box lorry with an early Austin ‘BMC’ style cab. Later the box body was transferred to a Bedford TK 4-wheeler used from the 60s through to the 80s. Walter’s Apollo slide was transported on a 4-wheel frame body ERF LV. John Walter, meanwhile, had a Stagecoach ride in the 1970s, packing in a Ford D800 box 4-wheeler. Other children’s rides owned by Water and John Walter Shaw were trailer-mounted.

When John Walter Shaw’s Easyrider/Waltzer came onto the scene in 1974 it was transported by the ERF KV 8-wheeler box lorry from the Moonrocket, which carried the bike and flash, and an Atkinson 8-wheeler on 40 x 8 tyres to carry the bottom part of the ride and tow the centre. In 1979/80, a S80 8-wheel box, ex-Flowers of York, replaced the ERF KV box. In 1982/83 a Foden S21 8-wheeler was added with a box body for the bottom of the ride, with sliding doors on the driver’s side – just Scottish showmen’s transport! This feature was used for loading and swinging out the crane, with the generator at the back. The S21 was then replaced in the mid 90s by a S108 Foden 8-wheeler, again with a new purpose-built box body to carry the bottom of the ride and the generator. This transport has lasted until the present day, although a new lorry is currently being prepared…

New in 1980, John Walter’s Ramba Zamba first appeared with the Foden S39 tractor borrowed from Walter Shaw, then the Atkinson MK1 8-wheeler from the Easyrider was brought back into service, with two sets on the back, later to go into preservation. The Ford D800 from the children’s rides was used to carry the cars, the floor and the flash. In 1983, a S80 8-wheel box, ex-Foden’s own fleet, replaced the Ford and Atkinson. The ride then travelled as the Foden, pole trailer and pay box until it was sold.

The Orbiter, new in 1990, arrived completely trailer-mounted. To haul it, a Foden 3106 6-wheel unit was acquired from Stanley Roadstone, with a Volvo ‘Penta’ generator behind the cab. This lorry was the first to see the futuristic metallic blue, purple and pink livery that is used by Shaw’s to this day and which arguably went on to be influence the liveries chosen by many other showmen..

Foden lorries remain the vehicle of choice for JW Shaw’s Amusements. Watch for the blue loads next time you’re on the road!

Information kindly supplied by Peter Robinson (‘Pod’).

Contact us now to see how JW Shaw Amusements bring all the fun of the fair to your next event.

Image of J.W.Shaw Amusements fuunfair rides, graphic

JW Shaw Amusements is a member of The Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain.

Image of Shaw's Hurricane Jets load


Image J.W.Shaws Amusements Fodens21 for the Easyrider


Image of J.W.Shaws Amusements Foden S108 8-wheeler


Image of Shaws 4 wheel Bedford


Image J.W Shaw's Amusements Pandamonium


Image J.W Shaw's Amusements Orbiter load


Image J.W Shaw's Amusements Transport fleet


Image of J.W Shaw's Amusements Waltzer Lorry


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