A SHORT HISTORY OF THE CAKE WALK | RETURN TO FAMILY RIDES MENU|
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Sam and Fred Plinston built the first model in 1905-06. Samuel Plinston Snr was a greengrocer from Warrington. He and his wife had two sons, Samuel born 1872 and Frederick, two years younger.
The first ride was built near Birkenhead, They used wood supplied by Messrs, Ellis & Powell Ltd of Newferry. A steam engine was fitted in between the troughs to drive the ride.
The patent for the ride was taken out in 1907 by Walter Taylor of New Brighton. Plinstons opened the ride in the Cheshire area during the 1907 season and even took it over to Hamburg Fair that year before presenting it at the Olympia.
Another version also opened on South Shore Blackpool, The idea proved popular and no fewer then three Cake Walks opened on Wanstead Flats (East London) at Easter the following year.
The idea of the ride was to walk along the gyrating troughs, As the move up and down without ending up on your backside, Hence the name The Cake Walk was a style of walking, Originated in Florida around 1880, practised by African Americans. Some of the better plantation owner would bake a cake on Sundays and invite the neighbours over for a contest of the workers, Different prizes were given but originally it was the cake and whoever won would get the cake. The winner would cut the cake and share it with the others.
The name Cake Walk was now set. By the 1890's the Cake Walk was the hottest thing around and the first Cake Walk contest was held in a New York ballroom in 1892. The idea of the Cakewalk was that a couple promenading in a dignified manner, High stepping and kicking, Mimicking high society.
Many variations of the ride have appeared over the year, But the generic name Cakewalk has stuck, One of the best known and earliest example still exist is still travelling in the ownership of the Bishton family, This ride is one of the original Plinston machine having been purchase new by the Richards family and this ride can still be seen at various around the country including Nottingham Goose Fair, Ilkeston Charter Fair and Llandudno Vintage Weekend.
Lol (Bimbo) Bishton.
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