Men at Work: The Launch

Saturday, 4th October 2003 was launch day for one of the most important fairground books of 2003: 'Men at Work: The fairground artists and artisans of Orton & Spooner' by the late Alan Howell. The book is about fairground ride builders Orton & Spooner and the artistry of the father and son team, Albert and Sid Howell, whose work adorned many of their rides. The launch attracted a large crowd to the Bass Museum at Orton & Spooner's home town of Burton-on-Trent and among them were many luminaries of the fairground world. Joyland Books was at the launch and presents this exclusive photo gallery of the event.

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People start arriving at the Bass Museum to view the special exhibition arranged to mark the launch of the new book.

The exhibition included original fairground art from the Craig Cooper collection. Centrepiece of the display was this original carved Orton & Spooner dragon's head from a Scenic Railway ride. A general view of part of the exhibition of photographs and Orton & Spooner/Howell memorabilia.  A display of the colourful artwork that has adorned many of Orton & Spooner's most famous rides.

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A rare chance to see original artwork from the private Howell family collection.

Pages from the book were also on display on the Skelter Publishing stand.

Copies of the book were for sale on the day. More people arrive at the launch - many from the family of the late author - and admire the glorious colour artwork in the new book. Posing for the press. Left to right: Paula Howell (the author's widow) with Dave Page and Nick Laister of Skelter Publishing.
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Then the lights were dimmed for a talk by the UK's leading fairground historian, Stephen Smith. Stephen brings the Orton & Spooner story to life with a fascinating set of slides that complemented the book perfectly. A who's who of the fairground world. Left to right: Craig Cooper, Pete Tei, John Pockett, Kevin Scrivens, Stephen Smith, Paula Howell, Simon Harris, Mick Cooke. To buy your own copy of Alan Howell's highly acclaimed book, click here.

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