Sam Crow was based in Middlesbrough and travelled an area which took in North Yorkshire, County Durham and Northumberland. His parents travelled a steam roundabout at the turn of the century, but when his father died in 1901, Sam was left, at 20, to run the business himself.
In the 1930s Sam looked towards the more modern rides that were becoming popular at fairs in the North East. Crow’s Swanee Ride was the first roundabout he bought new. This was a Noah’s Ark, like the Chariot Racer here at the museum. In 1935 he bought a new Skid from Robert Lakin, and three years later the Dodgems were built by the firm for Sam Crow.
Knowing that there were already several tracks travelling in the area, Sam wanted his to be the best, and so the order to Lakins specified a run of painted boards depicting a motor racing scene, painted by their chief artist, Edwin Hall.