Hurst Of Retford Living Wagon

Picture of By Rob Harvey
By Rob Harvey

Marketing Manager

Between the 12th and 16th of June 2024, there will be a sale of vintage fairground rides and vehicles. Announced by Joby Carter, there are some extraordinary items that will be available to purchase and I have no doubt it will attract a wide range of collectors and enthusiasts.

Perhaps the main event of the sale is the 1955 Hurst of Retford Living Wagon.

The Wagon

This striking van, believed to have been built in 1955 by Hurst of Retford for the Proctor family, has a fascinating yet somewhat complex history. Hurst, a respected joinery business, transitioned into the showman trade during World War II when Joe Ling enlisted them to repair his Moonrocket ride after a fire. This venture led Hurst to specialise in building living wagons, producing several impressive models over 20 feet long. One such wagon was even advertised to include three bedrooms, a lounge, and a kitchen!

The current owner of the 1955 Hurst of Retford Living Wagon, Joby Carter, acquired the wagon from Gerry Cottle, who had intended to use it as an office for his circus. An extensive restoration was started to bring the wagon back to life. During the restoration, as the beige paint was stripped away, the original aluminium was revealed. Upon further investigation, it was found that the sun had etched the original scroll pattern into the aluminium belly boxes. This discovery allowed Joby Carter to repaint the van in its authentic, original design.


  • 28ft long
  • Recently re-painted and coach-lined in gold leaf
  • Exceptionally well-built and original wagon
  • Brilliant cut glass throughout
  • Bedroom, lounge, kitchen and shower room
  • This was Joby Carter’s primary residence from the early 2000’s until 2014.


Other Items For Sale

  • The Lightning Skid – Noisy and fast, and beautifully and intensely decorated, the Skid is a very popular ride dating from the 1960s. £200,000
  • 1957 Scammell Highwayman Mr Plod (number 2) – Built in 1957, but not registered until 1962, No.2 was pressed into service by Esso as a tanker lorry. £15,000
  • Full sale details

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share this post
Enjoyed this article by Rob Harvey?
Email Rob Harvey