By 1946 Orton & Spooner was back in business and Showman Robert Edwards had placed an order to rebuild and extend his Noah’s Ark, originally built in 1933/34. This presented Sid with the opportunity to design and paint his version of the fairground Ben Hur scene. The result was, arguably, the finest creation of his career.
The Ben Hur scene was not a new idea, but it was to be a ‘one off’ for both Sid and Orton’s. The ride was renamed Super Chariot Racer and displayed the now famous jungle scenes on the rounding boards, no doubt painted by Albert, who also concentrated on the pay box and flights. Sid meanwhile completed the main front motif and shutters.
The photograph of the Ben Hur scene shown here speaks for itself and Sid’s dramatic interpretation is a lesson in perspective. The overall scene is 42 feet long and 15 feet high and on a curved surface. It was an art in itself to paint a line on a curved surface and make it look straight from all angles. Not only that, but the artwork on the whole machine had to look right at ground level from the front, back and sides.