Pupils’ unique art project has all the fun of the fair in Thetford

For some, they are the memories of a childhood gone by; for others they depict charming theme park rides.

But for one Thetford school, carousels have provided its students with the opportunity to complete a unique art project.

Schools and colleges from around the region applied to repaint 30 fibreglass horses from the carousel at Pleasurewood Hills which were in need of an overhaul.

Thetford Grammar School now has two in its possession which its GCSE students have been busy redesigning. Each horse will have a theme, one of which will be Thetford Forest, while the other will be magic and mystery.

Head of art Amanda Sherring said: 'It's good for them to work on something that's going to end up in the real world. It's something that's very, very different.'

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Pupils were issued with a number of guidelines in keeping with the tradition of the carousel. They were encouraged to carry out significant research, use traditional colours and asked to submit designs and sketches before starting work.

All paint and necessary equipment was provided by Pleasurewood Hills and �100 was donated to each school for its own funds.

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Ms Sherring said the project had been incorporated into the students' GCSE coursework and said each would create and design their own wooden horse with the best bits then incorporated into the painting of the larger horses. She added: 'It's a lovely thing to work on and has such an English history. It's also good for them to participate in a community project and to work on something which has a final outcome.'

Built in the 1900s, the carousel came to the park in 2001. The horses are expected back at the park by April 2, ready for the coming season, and will be judged by jockeys at the Great Yarmouth racecourse on April 25.

A spokesman for Pleasurewood Hills, Denise Thompson said the horses had been delivered to schools and colleges in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.

She added: 'There are a lot of very artistic people out there and it'll be great to see all the horses come back. The students have sent us photos and they're so excited by it because it's something that's quite different. They're involved in something people will benefit from for years to come.

'It's a big responsibility, but we've set the criteria and they know what they can and can't do.'

Each horse will feature a plaque stating who designed it.

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