Chairaplane – Summer 2014

The chairoplane has been out and about alot over the summer. thanks to all members and friends who staff these events.

During the summer months Dartford Lions can be seen in the local area with our junior’s chairaplane  ride which appears at many school fetes in the Dartford area during the spring and summer. We also try to attend at least one day at Dartford Festival in Central Park in July.

Mr and Mrs Christmas of Swanley built the ride and they were seen entertaining the local children for several years. When Mr Christmas died, Dartford Lions purchased the ride from his widow and have since attended numerous school and village fetes in the Dartford area.

The ride was originally built to be operated by a hand-cranking system which must have been hard work for the operator. It was later converted to an electric motor to be run from a portable generator. We have maintained the ride for the past thirty five years and it was last given a full overhaul in the 1980’s by the late Lion Robert Bailey of local funfair fame.

Each year, prior to us operating the ride, we have it tested by an authorised engineer and all the recent testers have agreed that it was almost certainly built between 1930 and 1940. We have therefore decided that we should celebrate some sort of anniversary by commissioning some new centre panels and pelmets as well as new fixing brackets as part of a major overhaul during 2013. The ride is due to be fully re-painted by an expert fairground artist and it is hoped that it will appear in 2014 in its original period livery.

Dartford Lions would be pleased to meet anyone with a few spare hours a year to join us in our work, making a difference to the needy of our community.

Dartford Lions would like to express their thanks to Jacob White Packaging Ltd of Dartford for arranging for the manufacture of specialist brackets and to Mr Martin Smith for his expertise with preparing all new panels and pelmets.

Check out our calendar for the dates and venues where you can see the ride in action.

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