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Restoration project to begin on wooden horses at Beamish

Beamish Museum Photo: PA

Intricate work is underway to repaint 36 wooden horses from a Victorian Steam Galloper during a year long restoration project.

The 'Gallopers', which are made of pitch pine, are being stripped back to wood, repaired and repainted in a early 1900s style.

The Steam Galloper, which dates back to 1893, is a popular attraction at Beamish Museum in County Durham.

It is has been used daily by tens of thousands of visitors to the museum since it arrived there in 2009.

The project, which is expected to last 12 months, is being carried out by technicians at the Regional Heritage Engineering Centre at Beamish Museum.

Once finished, the horses, which are powered by a steam engine, will be placed back on the fairground ride for visitors to enjoy.

We have 750,000 visitors every year, not all of them ride on the steam gallopers but tens of thousands of them ride on them each year.

We have had them for quite a while and they were in need of some work. The way they were painted was more of a 1930s paint work. When we re-paint them they will be in the style of 1900s.

The Steam Galloper was built in 1893. It would have been painted many, many times in its lifetime before we acquired it.

It has had work done on it before, but this is the first time the horses have been taken back to bare wood and repainted.

Work has just begun on the horses, hopefully we will have them back up and running next summer.

You don't see a lot of gallopers like this, it takes people back to their childhood.

We are really looking forward to seeing it look how it was back in Edwardian times.

– Spokesperson for Beamish