Edwards’ Dodgems

By far the most popular of all the rides here at the Heritage Centre, the Dodgems were the first ride built up at the museum in 2006.

They have not always been as they appear today. When they were new they had a standard 60 feet by 40 feet square-ended track. Like the Chariot Racer, they were built by Orton, Sons and Spooner, and first appeared in Edwards’ ownership in 1932. Over the years the Dodgems were rebuilt and have evolved as one of the biggest sets ever to travel, the track being 96 feet in length.

Streamline Dodgem Cars on Edwards’ track in the 1930s

Robert Edwards & Sons’ Dodgems on Hampstead Heath

One of the main fairs at which the Dodgems appeared each year was on Hampstead Heath. When Robert Edwards heard that his main competitor, Tommy Benson, was having a new set of painted boards for his Dodgem Track, he immediately ordered an even grander set for his ride.

The impressive painted scenery was added over the winter of 1953-54, built by Philip Tew of Croydon and decorated by Hall and Fowle of Balham, a partnership of Billy Hall and Fred Fowle.