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Thursday, 05 September 2013 (3042480)
Rajah the elephant revisits its home
by Danielle Thompson


THE mechanical elephant that stars in the Crosby Carnival visited its birthplace in Lancaster recently.

Seven-foot tall Rajah, the mascot for the Crosby Lions charity, was built in the late 1950s at Luneside Engineering works in Halton,

More than 250 visitors attended Rajah’s official homecoming when revisited the site to help celebrate the reopening of engineering works as an eco-friendly community hub renamed Halton Mill.

The idea came from hub manager Chris Coates who discovered that the mechanical elephants which were used as a children’s ride at seaside resorts including Blackpool and Morecambe were made at the site by tourism firm Macadese Entertainment Ltd.

He set about tracing one - and found Rajah, who is believed to be one of just two working Luneside elephants left.

Stephen Fawcett, who worked at Luneside Engineering in the 1980s with his father, said at the reopening: “I heard a lot about the elephants when I worked here but had never seen one before. It is great to be here today and meet up with all the others. Luneside Engineering was a brilliant place to work, it had a great sense of camaraderie.”

His father John Fawcett added: “We could turn our hands to anything.

”I saw the building a couple of years ago and it looked pretty rough so I’m pleased to see it being used and brought back to its former glory.“

Eric Smith, whose father Frank designed the elephants, said that he missed out on seeing them when they were built - but made the trip to Lancaster to see them this time.

He said: ”My father had been to Bellevue amusement park and saw a real elephant, and came back saying his was going to make a mechanical elephant.

“I was 16 then and more interested in going out, but I couldn't miss the chance to see it today.”

The 250cc elephant, which can carry up to eight children depending on size, has now returned to his home in Crosby.






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