How to make your own race horse

as told by Irene Cornelius of the Bletchly Park toy collection

You will need : Some thin card or paper, 4 matchsicks, 2 corks, 2 feathers, some cotton and a small ammount of glue.

All of the above would have been readily availabe during WWII. Most adults smoked so there were plenty of matches and many people kept chickens for fresh eggs so finding feathers would not be difficult.

Tools: A sharp knife. sissors, a brad-awl, a three pin plug or grooved wood block.


Using a sharp knife cut a slot in one side of the cork, note how Irene is using a grooved block for safety.
First cut your horse's head from a piece of card.
Make sure the knife is about half way through the cork. Next make four angled holes for the legs.
Steady the cork in the plug and push a feather in to make the tail (Irene has coloured this one with food colouring). Slide the head into the groove that you cut in step 2.
Push in the match sticks to make the legs. Cut out a saddle and make a slit to accomodate the head.
Glue the saddle & Girth to the cork and cut a slit to make the horse's mouth and draw on the eyes. Feed a peice of cotton through the mouth and tuck the loose ends under the saddle. When the glue is dry you can pull these to move the horese's head.
Glue a second feather to make the mane and your horse is finnished!
To race your horses pin one end of a long peice of cotton to your horse and tie or stick the other end to a second cork. On the word go reel your horses in, may the fastest fingers win.