A PICTURE which appeared in Bygones a few weeks ago of Merlin the magician from the Camelot theme park at Charnock Richard has sparked an unusual request.

Steve Hands got in touch to see if Bygones readers can help him track down another Merlin - the milk float which was used at the theme park.

The milk float was in operation from 1988 until the theme park closed in 2012.

Steve said: “The float used to belong to my family’s dairy, J E Hands of Scott Street, Warrington, a family run dairy that was started by my grandfather in 1912.”

The diary closed in 1988 following illness and what Steve describes as “the general demise of the dairy industry”.

Steve said: “The business was owned by my uncle whose name was Ernie.

“I worked with my dad and my uncle on the rounds from the age of five - that was my shilling a week pocket money (5p in today’s money), and carried on part time until we sold up when I was 30.

“Merlin, was the last float we ever bought, manufactured by Ross Auto in Southport. The original number plate was, ironically, ERN 952W.

“It is coming up to what would have been the centenary of the birth of my uncle in around 18 months time. As Merlin was the very last of our floats, I would like to try and locate it, and if it still in existence, restore it to its original livery, and return to the road for use with the charity for which I now work.”

Steve is in charge of centre maintenance for the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation which was set up in memory of the two youngsters killed by an IRA bomb in Warrington in 1993.

Camelot closed in 2012 after going into receivership and the land being earmarked for housing.

Steve said: “I have contacted Story Homes and the receivers, but never had any replies. I have also contacted the DVLA, but all records ceased in 1988.

“I would be grateful if I could appeal to your readers to see if anybody has any information about the location or existence of Merlin the milkfloat.”

If anyone does know what happened to Merlin or even knows where the milkfloat is now they can email stephen.hands@ntlworld.com.