01 May 2011

The Elephant of Hengoed

Selattyn Tower, a folly, was erected on Selattyn Hill, in the middle of a Bronze Age ring cairn, in 1847. During WWII it was used as a lookout by the Home Guard, the hill being the last high point before the Monsanto chemical factory at nearby Cefn.

Below Selattyn is Hengoed, home to Peter Clare and Snowdrop, his home-built petrol engine-powered mechanical elephant. It moves its legs and head, lifts and squirts water from its trunk, and, by means of an iPod, bellows. Snowdrop fills a single-axle horsebox - she had to be loaded to start her journey to a show in Lyon - and can carry six little children.

Showdrop loaded, space opened up to get a proper look at Peter's 1924 showman's van, built in Brighouse, and early 1900s street roundabout - complete with hollow wooden horses, cocks, and other animals.

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