|Prince the Rocking Horse - a frontal view|
While they all lived in Manchester, the story goes that Peter was loth to allow anyone else to ride him - with good reason apparently. One day, one of his many cousins came to play and was allowed to ride him - without supervision. Alas, said cousin decided it might be fun to see if his mane and tail came off - and before the grown-ups could stop him, sure enough he got them off. The result was that from that time onwards until many years later, he was a Rocking Horse minus mane, tail and forelock. However Mum was able to rescue the brown mane and tail - and it was carefully stored away until such time as the right person could be found to re-attach them. It's a specialist business achieving such results and it was a long time before we were able to get the job done.
My first memory of Prince was shortly after Peter and I got married in 1969 when he was living in an allotted space in Mum's bedroom - which is where I think Philippa first met him (although she was too small at that time to actually sit on him). However, by 1973 he had taken up residence with us, and travelled wherever we happened to be. Philippa too (the name actually means "Lover of Horses" in Greek we discovered after we had christened her) spent many a happy hour riding Prince everywhere in her little imaginary world. (She did have riding lessons a few years ago under guidance from a Household Cavalry instructor - courtesy of the FANY, but after a nasty fall, has rather lost her nerve. She is determined to get back in the saddle one day - but not quite yet! However, her love of horses is unquestioned).
The one photograph I have of her in such mode is not very clear and would have to be scanned into this post - and, alas, as I type this, the printer/scanner is being doctored after we suffered a bad paper jam late last week. (I have been absolutely lost without it - never thought I could get so attached to a blinking machine!) Also, my scanning efforts to date have not been as successful in our posts as are the digital illustrations.
|Showing Prince's brackets and Stand|
|Prince, side-ways on showing off his saddle and strirrups|
|Prince in his corner in Philippa's living room|
Prince now stands proudly in Philippa's living room in High Wycombe - and awaits any Little People who come to visit for lunch or to stay and who happen to be the right size and weight to sit comfortably and safely on him. In the interim, as an elderly gentleman (in human terms he's got to be in his 70's), he stands contentedly in his corner and watches as the days go by.