Casino Horses 'Rest in peace'

Casino Horses 1983

They're off!!!!
Which way did he go?
The winner!!!!!

The last remaining artifacts from the Casino, the Horses, have been destroyed. A vehicle crashed into them at their adopted home on the seafront this week (January 2010). 

You can see a video of the crash here.

See article in the Evening Echo

If you have any memories or photos please comment below. Another piece of Canvey’s history gone…………………………

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A day at the races? No a visit to the seaside

These photos were taken in 1983 of the horses that used to be outside the Casino. The horses still survive and I believe still used even though the Casino was demolished in 1993.

Please play the recording whilst viewing the pictures to get the atmosphere.

Comments about this page

  • What a shame. Last weekend i visited the seafront and took a peek at the horses and wonderd if the were the same ones from the seventies when i was a child. How do you kill two horses on a path? Lack of concentration maybe?

    By cia parker (29/01/2010)
  • Absolutely gutted 🙁

    By David Bullock (29/01/2010)
  • How destroyed are they? Does anyone know? Can they be restored? This is a big piece of canvey’s history. It would be fantastic to get these restored to their former glory. Canvey town council can you help? Let’s bring our horses back!!

    By Matt Howard (25/04/2010)
  • I am afraid one is completely destroyed with just the head in one piece. I believe they are hoping to get the other one restored. Fingers crossed

    By Janet Penn (25/04/2010)
  • I have recently been sent a couple of photos taken the day before the accident – probably the last taken! I shall publish them here today.

    By David Bullock (25/04/2010)
  • Hi Janet that’s great one can be saved. These rides maybe old and tired but they sure bring back memories. I hope the head of that horse finds it’s way to somewhere memorable. It would of been good to find someone to build an exact replicar of the destroyed horse, just so we can have these proud canvey horses as they once were. I have no clue of the cost of one these machines. But how amazing to see them back working and pride of place on canvey seafront.

    By Matt Howard (25/04/2010)
  • I only just found out about this last night and I am truly heartbroken. As a coin operated ride enthusiast who is currently working on a website about these machines, I was thrilled to find these rare horses at Canvey back in 2002. Last night I was seeking information about the horses for my site and stumbled upon this. Imagine my delight to see a section dedicated to them and then how my heart sank as I absorbed the subtitle ‘1946-2010 RIP’. I actually woke my mum up by crying out, “Pepper and Salt (the names we knew them by) were in a car accident!” – she knew immediately what horses I was referring to. They were household names to us. I was crying my heart out all night and both my mum and I keep remembering them today. I last saw them in May 2009 when we drove past the arcade. Oh, how I wish now that I had got my parents to stop and let me take some detailed photos and films that day! We were intending to come back this summer to do so, but alas, I now know I won’t be doing so. I do have some photos from 2002/2003 which I would love to share with you all. Should I start a new page for them? Sorry, I’m new to this site and not too good with modern technology!

    By Desirée Skylark (29/06/2011)
  • Also, do we know for sure that they date from 1946 or is that just an estimate? I was never clear on the horses’ origins, but thought that they may have been the “Stardust” model made by Walter Streets & Company of Eastbourne. But “Stardust” was not released until 1954 and the photo of the horses outside the Casino in their heyday certainly looks like it dates from before that. I do see the near one was actually called “Stardust” originally though. Total coincidence possibly. If they were in Canvey as early as 1946, they certainly weren’t Walter Streets’s horses. Sorry for rambling, I’m just desperately seeking information on these beautiful horses for my site. These were the very last examples as far as I know. My condolences to their owners and all who remember and miss them.

    By Desirée Skylark (29/06/2011)
  • Please start a new page with your photos or if you are not sure email them to me at jan@canveyisland.org All the info we have so far is on site. I will ask the owners if they know more.

    By Janet Penn (29/06/2011)
  • Desiree I have an answer for you. The horses date from 1947. They were bought by the owner of the Casino at a trade fair and they were the only two ever made.

    By Janet Penn (30/06/2011)
  • Wow, the plot thickens! Sorry for not responding sooner – I didn’t see your reply until today. Thank you so much for looking into this for me. Since I last commented, I managed to find a photograph of a ‘Stardust’ horse in Mablethorpe in the 1960s – http://www.pennymachines.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1851 I have photos of myself riding a couple of others that were still around in the 1990s too, in Hastings and Blackpool, I think. I wonder if the Casino horses were some kind of prototypes (explaining the “only two” thing, as these would have been the first ever ones) for this model? I have also been in touch with the National Fairground Archive who keep back issues of “The World’s Fair” trade magazine too – I should be receiving a copy of an advertisement for the ‘Stardust’ that Walter Streets made in the next couple of days. It seems unlikely it is the same horse seeing as his was not released until six years later, but if the Casino horses WERE very early prototypes I guess it’s not impossible. Hopefully there will be a picture in the advert which will at least rule that one out. From what I can find out, coin operated rides made not really manufactured in the UK before the early 50s, so it’s possible these horses were made by an American company. I will keep you updated if I find out anymore – it would be nice if I could at least find out where these Canvey icons came from originally. 🙂

    By Desirée Skylark (12/07/2011)
  • I had a look at that page Desiree, I can certainly see why you think the Casino horses were Walter Streets ‘Stardust’

    By Janet Penn (13/07/2011)
  • Well, I have the advert now and, thanks to a black and white photograph of “Star-Dust the coin operated galloping beauty”, can confirm that the horses were made by Walter Streets & Co. of Eastbourne. Apparently they cost £189 each at the time (or £159 without saddles!) How times – and prices – change! Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to share the ad for copyright reasons but if anyone is really interested in their history you can contact the National Fairground Archives (http://www.nfa.dept.shef.ac.uk/) and request a copy of the advert from The World’s Fair newspaper (ask them to look for it in December 1953). It costs £5.18 for a copy though unless you can get to Sheffield to copy it yourself. 🙁 I did find a piece about Star-Dust in a Jan 1954 Billboard magazine though which can be viewed online with Google Books here – http://tinyurl.com/5rj7p6g. So it seems as if these were some of the first, if not the very first, British-made kiddie rides. How terribly sad that the last examples should have been destroyed in this way. 🙁

    By Desirée Skylark (14/07/2011)
  • for all wandering about the condition of the horses, the brown one was my grandfathers (Peter Keeble) and was rebuilt after it was destroyed, but now is kept in Lincolnshire.

    By Jonathan (11/09/2015)
  • The two horses were as Janet says, bought by Alex Beaumont (builder and owner of The Casino) in 1947 at a trade fair. My dad, Clary Swann, and his business partner and friend Peter Keeble, inherited the horses on their leasing of The Casino in 1971. When The Casino closed Peter and Clary kept one horse each  (Clary passed his horse on to his younger daughter, Lea).  They were outside Fantasy Amusements until that fateful day in 2010.  Peter’s damaged horse was taken to Lincolnshire and Clary’s (which suffered the most) languished in my garden shed until the early part of 2012. It was so sad to see it in such a state I asked a close family friend who is a brilliant engineer if he could restore it (and to keep the restoration a secret until complete).  The restored horse was unveiled at a family barbecue in September 2012. I cannot convey how happy dad and my sister were with the results.  The horse has made a few appearances over the last few years, in Canvey Carnival, on Concord Beach on one occasion and at St Nicholas Church Fayre.  We hope he will make more appearances in the future.

    By Liz Swann (16/09/2015)

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