EDWIN HALL DALEK RIDE
If you grew up in the 60s and 70s, maybe you'll remember the coin-operated Dalek rides that used to sit on seafronts and in amusement arcades across the UK.
The Dalek ride was manufactured by Edwin Hall & Co and distributed by Edward Saville Amusements during the 1960s. The Edwin Hall company are better known for having manufactured larger fairground rides, the most famous being the Cyclone Twist. Edwin Hall himself started out as a fairground artist for R.J. Lakin. When Lakin retired, Edwin bought the company and began manufacturing coin operated rides in 1953. There is very little specific information available on Edwin Hall & Co. If you know anything of their history, please get in touch.
The date of manufacture of these units is pretty vague, though it is likely that it was 1965. That fact that the rides were exhibited at the Amusements Trades Exhibition, held at Alexandra Palace, London, in late January 1966 backs this up. They were released for the summer season of 1966. Originally, all the Daleks were red, but by October 1966, a less popular black version was also available, promoted in the trade press (Coin Slot newspaper), as the 'Dalek Supreme'.
The ride has an access hole on its right hand side, through which the child can enter. A small seat faces the controls for the appendages. When a coin is inserted, the Dalek begins to move, rotating 360 degrees, while also moving in a lateral 'figure-of-eight' motion. During operation the lights flash and a suitable soundtrack plays.
By today's standards, these rides are a heath-and-safety nightmare. Children's fingers could easily become trapped (or worse) as the unit operates. The way they move means you can't stand too close, unless you want scraped shins.
A well-preserved Edwin Hall Dalek ride