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All the fun of the fair at Evelyn Page

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Evelyn Page resident Bill Spencer is not ashamed to admit that he’s currently working on a weapon of mass destruction under Oriental Bay block

But fear not, the catapault machine he is putting the finishing touches on is being made all in the name of fun.

Bill is pretty handy with a saw and a bit of wood and has been busy making funfair-type games to entertain the children who come for Evelyn Page’s annual summer children’s party.

“It all started when my daughter asked me if I could repair the dunking machine they have at my grandsons’ school,” says Bill, 75.

“That inspired me to suggest making another one to use at last year’s Evelyn Page children’s party and the staff thought it was a great idea.”

Using leftover pieces of wood from previous village construction projects, Bill crafted a clever and colourful dunking machine.

Being a retired plumber, he even included pipes so it could be directly attached to the water supply in order to fill up the bucket quicker.

Evelyn Page village manager Lynn Charlton didn’t escape a dunking, and neither did Bill. Not that he minded at all.

“When I was sat on that dunking machine waiting to get wet I felt pretty good actually.

“The kids throw the ball at the sign and as it swings the water falls. I shrieked when the water fell on me, it was so cold, but the kids just loved it and that was a really nice feeling.”

Bill didn’t stop there either.

“I also made a Splat the Rat using some wood, some piping and a couple of the noodles from the village swimming pool. It took me a couple of attempts to craft the rats successfully but I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.

“The idea is to whack the rats with the bat as they shoot down the pipe to stop them getting into their hidey hole.”

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Bill pictured ​testing out the Splat the Rat machine he made

Again, the children loved the challenge and with their quick reflexes were mostly successful.

Striking the hammer: The strongman machine featuring an old frying pan that Bill re-fashioned as a bell.

For next summer’s party Bill has been hard at work making a strongman game, also known as a high striker.

Just like at the carnival or fairground, players use a hammer to whack the lever as hard as possible which shoots the puck upwards to hit the bell at the top of the tower.

“I used an old frying pan to work as the bell,” laughs Bill, “But it works just as well.

“You have to be pretty strong to get it to the top though!”

Next on his list is to finish off the catapault and give it a few trial runs before the great unveiling in the summer.

“I call it my weapon of mass destruction,” he laughs.

Let’s see how many staff members will end up in the firing line this time!

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The strongman machine featuring an old frying pan that Bill re-fashioned as a bell

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