‘It was like discovering some legendary treasure from Atlantis!’
The words of Fishergate Primary School teacher Josh Burnell after he discovered not one, but two, Victorian rocking horses in the school basement.
The find has wowed staff and kids alike – and now they have launched a fundraising campaign to restore the horses to their best.
Josh told YorkMix that he couldn’t quite believe what he found on the trip to the basement.
“I’d been told they were down there, so to actually find them was like discovering some legendary treasure from Atlantis!
“Having seen the old photos of them made me realise just how many generations of people have been shaped by Fishergate and how these rocking horses would be a unique opportunity to bring people together.”
The children were equally astounded. “It was amazing to see a piece of Fishergate’s Victorian history. It’s incredible to think how long they have survived,” pupils Delphi and Iris said.
Josh has a picture from his landlord Michael Thorpe showing him riding on the horse when he was a child at the school – and he’s now into his 80s!
The teacher has set up a lunchtime club with the children – which they have called Operation Fishergate Rocking Horse – and they have come up with loads of idea how to raise funds.
You can donate directly to their £2,100 goal at their GoFundMe page.
The money will pay the famous Fangfoss Rocking Horse shop to restore the horses. It has made the wonderful offer to renovate them both for the price of just one.
If the campaign can reach its target, the rocking horses will be put in the Fishergate school hall so children can ride them on. And Josh plans to organise an unveiling event, inviting former pupils to come along.
“Wouldn’t it be magical to have a photo of some of those ex-pupils pictured with the rocking horse again after all these years?” he said.
Allison Mead, an ex-pupil and now staff member at Fishergate Primary School, said: “I still remember the sheer excitement of being able to have a go on the rocking horses. It would be magical to have them back in the hall where they belong.”
And we’ll give the last word to pupil Siri: “We are so excited to see the rocking horses looking good as new!”