A MAN on the lookout for a "crown" for his vintage roundabout has ended his search, opting to make one instead.

Northallerton man Sven Christoffersen set himself the task of restoring a Coulson Minor Mobile vintage fairground ride for his company vintage show company North Yorkshire Amusements.

Only 15 of the 1940s roundabout were manufactured by F.W Coulson in Ripon, while just five still operate.

After taking two years to track one down, the 30-year-old brought the ride back to North Yorkshire.

During the restoration, the dad-of-two was on the look out for a peg to sit above the roundabout's umbrella – the "crown", otherwise called a finial – and hoped someone would donate a piece of wood with history which could be made into the topper.

But after little success, the man decided to make one himself, which took just one day.

He said: "Making the finial opposed to finding something with a little past is not the end of the world, it means it has a fresh first page with a full history ahead.

"The most challenging part of the roundabout to restore was the toys, mainly because they are so complex and required great attention and fabrication to get them back to now they should of been."

Mr Christoffersen, whose dad owns Svensons Flea Circus, spent around two months stripping 70 years worth of paint with a heat gun and sanding tools before beginning to repair and repaint The Little Roundabout.

"Fairground painting is very time consuming, requires great concentration and a think out-of-the-box approach," he said.

"It is very different to most types of painting and requires brushes, paints and techniques not used elsewhere.

"Many people devote their entire lives to fairground painting but unfortunately it is becoming a dying art form.

"I'm no professional but am constantly learning and enjoy putting paint and brush to boards and seeing a colourful and vibrant end result, my work has certain character about it because I'm still learning."

While being put onto furlough by his main employer has allowed Mr Christoffersen time to complete The Little roundabout, it has also led to uncertainty in the fairground and show industry as booking cancellations began to "flood" in.

He said: "As you can imagine this was very disheartening as 2020 was the roundabouts debut year. Since then it is widespread that gatherings and public events are banned, thus no fairs.

"Showmen across the country are finding this particularly hard as there main form of income and way of life is on the line, they are confined to their winter yards with no financial support and many have expensive modern rides which need to be out and with the public to pay for themselves."

The aspiring showman himself said many in the community have been making a living from garden furniture, producing fairground artwork to sell, with some money being donated to the NHS, while others have taken on temporary driving jobs with key suppliers.

"The fairground community has also been constantly involved in donating supplies and money to the NHS and other relevant charities despite the uncertain times they are enduring," Mr Christoffersen added.

While it's "early days" and events are still being cancelled daily, The Showman's Guild of Great Britain and Society of Independent Roundabout Proprietors, known as S.I.R.Ps, which the roundabout owner is a member of, are exploring ways in which the fairground industry can operate safely going forward.

"We can only hope the virus comes to a halt and a more normal way of gathering can begin again giving the fairground a greater chance and that special atmosphere it creates," Mr Christoffersen added.