Rocking horse restorer to give more time to Grantham Canal in retirement

Anthony Jackson brushes the hair on this early J. Collinson rocking horse, following an extensive rebuild.

Anthony Jackson brushes the hair on this early J. Collinson rocking horse, following an extensive rebuild.

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A rocking horse maker and restorer from Barrowby has decided to retire and hang his chisels up.

When circumstances dictated a change of career over 25 years ago, Anthony Jackson swapped his hi-tech job with British Telecom for one of 19th century technology.

The seed had been sown many years earlier, with a visit to a toy museum whilst on holiday. Anthony was intrigued by a wooden rocking horse on display, wondering how it was made.

From those early tentative taps with mallet and gouge, he became one of the most respected in his field, his advice often sought by makers and restorers worldwide.

In 1999, he was made an honorary member of the Rocking Horse Makers Guild, for his ‘significant contribution to the craft’.

With restoration forming the bulk of his work, Anthony has been privileged to work on some of the finest English wooden rocking horses to be found. Some less fine too, but all have received his dedicated attention to detail and craftsmanship.

Anthony said: “I doubt I’ll be able to entirely leave them alone. Rocking horses tend to get under your skin.”

In retirement, Anthony will be able to devote more time to the Grantham Canal Society, for which he is a volunteer, looking after social media and website content, plus a plethora of other duties.

Anthony joked: “More accurately, the work I do at present won’t now impinge on my day job!”