Extracts from World's Fair, 1931-1940


Show-Women of the West

In these days of ungallantry when women are apt to pose as men’s equals - and sometimes superiors - one doesn’t like to be accused of neglecting the “gentler sex.” It was therefore with a certain sense of shame that I listened to the chidings of a lady well known in the arena of Western Showland who not without some justification charged me with being one-sided in my reminiscences of showlife in days gone by.

“Your pictures of the old time showmen,” said my self appointed censor “were interesting but why don’t you put in one or two of the ladies? Ain’t we good looking enough?”

“Ladies,” I observed defensively, “ do not like being classed as old-timers.”

“Nonsense!” returned this typical show-lady, I am 76 and proud of it. Then there is dear old Mrs Lock. I am sure she will not mind giving her age. She is a bit nearer 80 than I am and could tell you a story that would fill the pages of the World’s Fair and a bit more over. And she added slyly for the matter of that so could I.

The speaker proceeded to make good her word until in sheer self preservation I cried out “Stop! We will have that another time. Tell me now and about those grand old ladies that you speak of.”

Amy Lock

“Well,” said my informant, “there is, as I have said, dear old Mrs. Lock. “Aunt Amy, we call her. For more than three-quarters of century reckoning from time she was a baby, has this grand old dame travelled the Western fairs. She told me once at Barnstaple that she had visited that town for more than sixty years and had never once missed a fair. It might not be generally known that she is the eldest daughter of Harry Gess, the old-time showman, who was also a clever boxer and an associate of Joe Wildman the energetic proprietor of the Phoenix St. Fancy Fair.”

I said I knew him well (by reputation) and was surprised to find that Mrs. Lock was his daughter. The lady then informed me that it was in the year 1855 that Amy Gess as she was then known was born and some 20 years later married Mr. William Lock, who was a native of Torquay and belonged to a family that even at that remote period was famous in the annals of show history. According to one general report the Locks are on of the first - if not the very first - showfolk who travelled regularly from Bristol to Penzance. And Mrs Lock’s record of having attended Barnstaple Fair for more than 60 years is one that I am sure cannot be equalled. Mrs Lock who is know a widow has had five sons and four daughters. One of the latter is the wife of David Harrison, another popular traveller in the West of England, but too young of course to be classed as an “old-timer.” Another of Mrs Lock’s daughters is Mrs. Betsy Jones, wife of William Jones of Taunton. There are also Margaret and Amy. And of her sons Joe is the oldest, while the others are named respectively Fred, William, John and George. According to my informant there are dozens of grandchildren (far too numerous to mention) one of the latter being Mrs. Henry Charles, who has just presented the grand old lady with a great grand-daughter and is now travelling with her husband on the Southern trail.

Mrs. Frampton

A familiar figure on the Western fairgrounds is Mrs Martha Frampton. Born in the year 1856, she had now 76 years to her credit, the greater part of which have been spent in the neighbourhood of Plymouth. She was married in 1873 to Mr George Frampton and about 20 years later settled in the West of England. Her position during the greater portion of her career has been that of stallkeeper, in which capacity she has handled some tons of sweets, toys and other kinds of swag. She was likewise one of the pioneers of the “penny dip” and even now her toy and dip joint is for the young people one of the gaff’s best known and most patronised attractions. Mrs. Frampton had brought up nine children - two sons and seven daughters, all of whom have been in some way connected with the fair business. Billy, the eldest of her sons was for many years manager for Messrs Anderton and Rowland, and his brother Dick has for some time been and still is connected with the same well known firm.

Mrs. Oldridge

It was through the good offices of her daughter, Mrs. Thomas Whitelegg that I was introduced to another grand old showlady viz., Mrs Rose Oldridge. Though not so old as the two ladies I have mentioned this lady has nevertheless lived a considerable number of years and can furnish a host of reminiscences of West Country show-life. She was, she tells me, a daughter of the famous Emma Lismore and grand-daughter of the elder Lawrences, both families being well remembered as belonging to the old time pioneers.

Mrs Oldridge was born at Exeter in the year 1865 and later in her history married Mr. Fred Oldridge who was then in the employ of Mr. Thomas Wallser, his brother-in-law. Some time after their marriage the Oldridges started on their own account, fetching their family up in the Summer time on the proceeds of their smart looking shooting range and in the winter while Mr. Oldridge worked hard in the Plymouth Gasworks, his equally industrious wife carried on the good old game of pilchard cleaner on the Barbican.

Good luck followed their combined efforts at making a livelihood and this increased so much that while the Great War was in progress, Mrs. Oldridge secured a good position as licensee of the Lord Warden Inn in Battery Street, Storehouse, just opposite to the Grand Theatre. After five years of public house proprietorship she then acquired the fine premises she then acquired the fine premises in the West Hoe Road known as the Milky Rankers. Into this resort which had been previously been given solely over to skating, the enterprising new owner has introduced a roundabout, set of chair-o-planes and several other games and pastimes which make it very popular.

World's Fair, April 9th, 1932


A RUN TO FLEETWOOD

BY 'BURNLEY CYCLIST'

Last week I had a run to Fleetwood. On arriving at Messrs. Connolley Bros.' ground I found that they were very busy putting the finishing touches to a new Noah's Ark, in preparation for the Fylde run, which I hope will be a success.

On my way back via Preston I called at the winter quarters of Mr. James Dewhurst and Sons at Villiers Street. Mrs. Dewhurst kindly invited me to supper, which was welcome after a long ride. Mr. Dewhurst has a cheery disposition and related many tales of old times. I hope to again meet them at Chorley at Easter, with the famous Fylde steeplechasers.

Mr. and Mrs. Teddy Martin were here. We talked of the approaching Bury March Fair. Their daughter had just returned from the supper and dance held at Manchester, in connection with the football.

My next call was the stores of Green Bros, who are much alive at present, preparing the famous dragon scenic railway for opening out at New Brighton. I hope many more people will follow their example and bring back rides which are stored up. Perseverance will win in the end. Let us have the organs back, or even the rolling gondolas; the young people have never seen them.

Taylor Bros. alpine scenic motor-cars have run their last round and are now no more. They were a well known ride in the North. I wonder how many years they have been on the road.

World's Fair, February 18th, 1933


BIRMINGHAM FAIR

If there is one thing of which Birmingham may be justly proud, it is the magnificent fairs provided by Alderman Pat Collins in June and September (the famous Onion Fair). On all the hoarding throughout the city were 12-sheet and double crown posters advertising the fair, yes, and even telling one which street car to board so that a stranger in the city could easily get to the fairground. Publicity certainly pays, and this is always done in a thorough manner on the entire Pat Collins circuit. Owing to business calls, I was able to spend only an hour on the tober, and being Friday and opening day, it was natural that some of the machines should still be in the process of erection. Most of the rides however were going open and "going strong" with the children; in fact it was a veritable "children's hour" at 3 p.m.

The Rides

After the recent spell of tropical weather, the ground was very dusty, but the timely arrival of a water cart made things more pleasant for all. The entrance to the ground was tastefully decorated with flags, and plenty of lights, and all the machines, except for two, were provided by Pat Collins. Let me take you on a quick tour. Here is Frank Wilson's Noah's Ark with the grand organ accompanying; next is the late Mrs. Clarke's motor switchback, one of the good old spinning top machines, and very popular too; then comes the dragon and peacock scenic, steam yachts No. 1, "over the sticks" yachts No. 2, the steeplechasers, with a sweet-toned barrel organ, the novel "Yo-Yo," with a fine Tannoy amplifier, and a beautiful Whale Island scenic.

It is difficult to find words expressing the grandeur of his machine; it is truly gorgeous and reflects the greatest credit on the men who look after it so well.

I should liked to have heard the mammoth Marenghi, but the machine was not quite ready, so I had to go away disappointed. The lessee's ghost train occupied its usual position, and then came the cake-walk (recently decorated), dodgems No. 1, the swish, and dodgems No. 2. Juvenile machines were provided by Chadwick's Wright and Rogers, Studt's and one other.

The following shows were present: Barry's Circus, Charles Hickman's famous boxing academy, Vesta's Continental exposition torture show, and the "Row-Li-Ers" sensational riding show. On the side-stuff it was difficult to get names as only a few joints were open. I counted about 40 round 'uns and I should think that all tastes were catered for by the cream of the Midland travellers.

The layout of the ground was admirable, plenty of room for all. The excessive heat appeared to have caused a great deal of trouble to the organs, and I suppose this is where the "amps" scored, as they were playing right merrily. The next important fairs are Kidderminster and Bromsgrove, the latter a very ancient charter fair.

World's Fair, June 17th, 1933


ROSAIRE'S ELEPHANTS AMONG THE BATHERS

An amusing incident occurred on the beach at Minehead, during a visit by Rosaire's circus. Two elephants, both nearly 12 feet in height, which are appearing with the circus, were proceeding along the road towards the beach to revel in the sea. To reach the beach by road it is necessary to pass through a toll gate kept by the owner of the foreshore. At the toll gate the elephants' keeper offered to pay for them. While the matter was being discussed the elephants brushed the tollman on one side and plunged into the sea among the other bathers. They ignored the futile efforts of bathing attendants to get them out and they concluded their dip and returned peacefully with their keeper.

World's Fair, June 17th, 1933


FERRARI'S CIRCUS IN IRELAND

Calcott's Variety Company have just had two good nights at Limavady (Co. Londonderry), and are now at Magilligan, where there are plenty of summer visitors. I visited Ferrari's Italian Circus this week at Eglinton and Castlerock and found them doing good business. This show is much improved and put up a nice two hours entertainment. The horses and ponies were a treat to look at, and as a lover of animals I was greatly pleased when Mr. Scott showed me round. Among the turns I noted were the Scott Family, the Bandon Trio, and Petre the strong man. The band contributed to the success of the show. The weather in the North of Ireland has been ideal for tenting.

World's Fair, July 8th, 1933


THE GREEN

Glasgow Green's Own Carnival is a scene of bustle and excitement. The lessees are measuring out "the tober" and the retinue of supporters are following around. Among them can be seen some members of old Showland. Some younger ones on the last occasion when the Green was open (under Mr. S. E. Evan's management) then had their parent with them. The Green brings back many memories of happenings and ups and downs since those good old days. It also brings a re-union of many who have not met for many years. Glancing around, I can see members of such well known families as Manders's of Menagerie fame (whose name was associated with the Glasgow Green for many years), Whites, Wilmot, Taylor, MacIntyre, Blockley, Broughton, MacIntosh, Taylor, Thomas, Freeman, Strands, Wrights, Smiths, Merricks, Testo, Palmer, Stringfellow, G. Wheatley, S. Hill, Gallacher, Aveyards, and lots of others, and there is I understand more to come. Even as I write loads are coming in, but I cannot compile a full list for this week's "World's Fair". Friday should see everything in full swing and from the crowds looking on I feel very confident that the Glasgow Green's Own Carnival will hold its own.

World's Fair, July 8th, 1933


MORECAMBE FAIR GROUNDS

ORDER WHICH MAY MEAN THEIR ABOLITION
At a meeting of the Morecambe and Heysham Town Council on Thursday, a minute of the Roads and Plans Committee was approved, which will have the effect of abolishing present fair grounds at Morecambe. These are the Figure Eight Amusements Park and the Winter Gardens fair ground. The minute provides for the termination of licenses for temporary buildings the termination to take effect on December 31st this year. Both these fair grounds are on the promenade and have been in existence for more than thirty years.

Local Paper's Comment

Commenting upon this extraordinary decision, the "Morecambe and Heysham Visitor" states:-"It is rather surprising that some members of the Council did not ask for an explanation of this from the Chairman Alderman Banks. If it means that the fair ground are not to be permitted next year it will arouse a storm of controversy, particularly as there is no prospect of anything being put better in their place. Morecambe without its fair grounds would lose much of its attraction as a seaside resort. They do not want to be hunting for places in back streets or out of sight".

World's Fair, July 8th, 1933


PASSING OF A FAMOUS NOVELTY

DEATH OF THE WORLD'S UGLIEST WOMAN

We regret to have to announce the death of Mary Ann Webster Bevan, the world's ugliest woman, which occurred on Tuesday, December 26th, at the age of 59.

This well known character in the Show World was born at Plaistow, London, on December 20th, 1874 of working class parents. She was one of a family of eight children, six sons and two daughters. In 1903 Mary Ann married Thomas Bevan, a market gardener, who died suddenly on May 18th, 1914, leaving four children. It was after her husband's sudden death that Mrs Bevan's abnormal physical characteristics began to develop. Mary Ann Bevan was unearthed by Mr. A. Chapman of Blackpool who has discovered many novelties at home and abroad. She appeared with much success this year at places in Scotland and South and England, and at Bangor, Northern Ireland. She first claimed the title of the "World's Ugliest Woman" 19 years ago. Here are some particulars concerning her:- Weight, 12 stone; height, 5ft 7ins.; size in shoes, 11's; in gloves, 25's. The funeral takes place at Brockley Cemetary, London, at 1. p.m. on Tuesday, January 2nd, 1934.

World's Fair, December 30th, 1933.


CHRISTMAS ON MERSEYSIDE

SEAFORTH

The annual Christmas and New Year Fair opened here on Friday last, December 22nd, and will continue until Tuesday, January 2nd. When I callled at the fair last Saturday evening, I found a nice set-out of amusements, but not many people present. Consequently business was not very good, but the Noah's Ark attracting most of the punters. However, I expect business would much better over the holidays. I noticed that the lighting effects on Shaw's riding machine were splendid, while the radio music was second to none. The attractions comprised Shaw Bros.' super Noah's Ark, Fred Wallis's electric chair-o-planes and big swings; Geo. Wallis's three-abreast jumping horses; also side stalls and round 'uns by Messrs. H. J. Wallis, G. Ryan, W. Wallis, Shaw Bros., F. Wallis and others.

SEACOMBE

On Friday, December 22nd, a new Christmas fair opened here, on Vernon's field, under the banner of Mrs. J. Crighton and Sons. I venture to say that it has been successful in the way of business, for when I called in on Christmas and Boxing Day, all the amusements were busy. The ground which is very central, is well set-out with a nice array of amusements. Music was supplied by a nice organ on the gallopers, and classical selections were well rendered by it. Among the amusements present were Mrs. James Crighton and Sons' grand galloping horses and racing cockerels, also the ocean wave, or whip-whop, T. Sutherland's juvenile set of dragons, J. Crighton's juveniles and gem swings. Hughes's penalty football and dart stall, coconut sheets and skittles by J. Crighton and T. Sutherland; also Crighton's wheel 'em in, cork shooter etc. The fair will open every day until January 14th, and then most of the amusements will get ready for the season at New Brighton.

OTHER FAIRS

Christmas fairs were also held at Rice Lane, Walton (P. Collin's amusements); Sam Ingham's scenic jungle speedway, and Arthur Ryan's chairs were at Spekeland Road.

World's Fair, December 30th, 1933


NELSON PLEASURE FAIR

BY 'CYCLIST'

Nelson Pleasure Fair was held on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday last on the Carr Road Recreation Ground, the amusements being supplied by Messrs. Green Bros. and followers. There was a record number of adult rides, but not one of them was duplicated. The position which has accommodated the lessees' golden dragons in years gone by has once again had the ever-popular caterpillar erected upon it; it holds its own with all the rest and Mr. Walter Green has charge of it. Arthur Bates's auto scooter cars came here from Burnley and Mrs. Bates was regulating the traffic. Miss Nora Collins had charge of Michael A. Collin's electric dragons; this being the first visit of a scenic since Messrs. Green ceased touring their fine machine. W. H. Jenning's electric flying chair-o-planes, complete with organ, were piloted by Mrs. William Henry, and Joe Ling's ghost train had Mr. John Ling as the booking clerk. W. H. Marshall and Sons music hey-day is well known to readers and Mr. Walter Marshall was in charge, while William Mitchell and Sons jollity farm and motor-bike speedway had genial Mr Jack Mitchell in command. Silcock Brothers' waltzer is the only ride of its kind I have seen where a first class organ graces its centre and Mr. Lawrence Silcock looks after it. Whyatt and Sons' "Scotia" swirl was managed by Mr Jack senr., and Mr. Jack. junr., navigated the steam yachts "Victory and Renown".

The machines for the younger generation were all roundabouts, they being two sets by Richard Cubbins, Benny and Jack in command, Miss Lulu Jenning's machine (with a neat and natty organ in the centre), and two sets by Swift's (with Arthur senr., and Arthur junr., in charge). John Shaw's mono rail seemed to "catch on" and Mr. Walter Shaw, junr., was in charge.

The Shows
Like adult rides the shows offered excellent variety, no two of them being alike. Mr. Jack Barry's famous "Wall of Death" did not open until Friday but it gave a very good show. Mr and Mrs Charlie Birch presented their clever water circus, also Miss Rosie Brooks from Huddersfield, as fat lady. Mr and Mrs Birch did not seem so jolly as usual; here's hoping for a speedy recovery to granddaughter Gloria. Gilbert Chadwick had a very nice show indeed and the exhibits were freak animals including calf, sheep, kitten, rabbit, lamb, small bull etc. No Nelson July Fair would be complete without Bert Hughes's premier boxing pavilion with Mr Hughes in the paybox. A new attraction at the fair was Mr. John Scott's Royal Circus, featuring Harry Bailey junr and other talent, in addition to the celebrated Scott family. Tippler White's three shows comprised "In Town Tonight", Princess Lena (the living doll) and "Senora-Senoretta." The "In Town To-night" had a splendid, clean and bright front.

The Stalls
My three hours search for Mr. Cubbins (Mr. Green's ground manager) proved unsuccessful so the list of stalls was very kindly given to me by Miss Lizzie Cubbins. Round stalls consisted of large and small spinner, hooplas, post offices, fish and globes,, cardos and other similar games ... The attractions came from all parts such as Burnley, Warrington, Stockton-on-Tees, Stretford, Deepcar and Liverpool, etc., and also dispersed to a variety of places. The traditional fair organ has been well to the fore and the attractions throughout have reflected great credit on their respective owners. Mr Walter Green was in charge of the fair on behalf of Messrs. Green Brothers.

World's Fair, July 25th, 1936


FIFTY-TWO YEARS A SHOWMEN - WILLIAM BAILEY's MEMORIES

Fifty-two years a showman, with a direct descendency from the original Bailey of the Barnum and Bailey Circus is the proud claim of Mr. William Bailey, showman, hynotist, tick-off, etc., now living at 101 Musgrove Crescent, Shircliff Estate, Sheffield, following some years of living at the Owlerton Feast Ground, Sheffield in a caravan.

Mr. Bailey was born in a caravan on Middlesborough market. Ten minutes after he was born Mr. Studt the famous Welsh roundabout proprietor, came and asked for the site to put his caravan on. Mother and baby were carried shoulder high, with the doctor assisting, to another part of the market, which was that day was being used as a fairground. "So, said Mr. Bailey, I soon started to travel and I have been travelling ever since."

"I lost myself there for a few years," said Mr. Bailey "unitl I got to the age of six or seven when I found myself at the opening of the Bolton New Year Fair, which did not start in those days until midnight and went on all the next day and well into the next night. On this occasion my father was showing some wild animals and the very night before the opening he lost a very valuable monkey. They went searching all over Bolton rather afraid of the reprecussions because it was a very valuable little animal, besides being vicious. When the Mayor of Bolton came to open the new Town Hall prior to the opening of the fair he had hardly opened the door with the golden key when the monkey jumped out on top of him. The Mayor and all the officials ran for their lives and the ceremony was completely disorganised!"

Trainers Sad End
Mr. Bailey faintly remembers the death of McCarty the famous lion tamer. "I shall never forget the experience," said Mr. Bailey. "Poor McCarty, one of the greatest trainers who ever lived, although not feeling like it, went into the cage especially at the request of some friends and was mauled to death. I remember all the showmen trying to beat the lion off and McCarty's screams."

In his early life Mr. Bailey had many experiences. "I remember," he said, "my mother and father pushing a handcart late at night from Oldham to Hollingworth Lake. We had not a penny in the world and I was afraid we should all have to go without a meal until the next day. However, my mother and I managed to make a bit selling lace. Although it was very late we managed to take enough to buy bread and butter, so we did not go to bed too hungry.

The fortunes of Mr. Bailey's parents had many fluctuations. His father went about that time to Oldham to look for some coloured men to show as South Sea Islanders and cannibals. "Even at that age I knew all the ropes," said Mr. Bailey. "The coloured men were almost stripped and daubed in all sorts of fearsom colours and one of my father's specialities was to stage an escape. One of these "cannibals" would be chained to the shafts of our wagon and then, at a given signal, would escape and pretend to maul a spectator, who was of course in the plot. Then with fierce growlings the "cannibal" would be overpowered and with difficulty conveyed back to the wagon. It was a great piece of showmanship and never failed to draw the crowds."

Mr. Bailey pointed out that for the remainder of the week, after the thrilling escape, his father's earnings would be bigger than those of any other showman on the ground. "Many a time," he added, "that trick sved us from going to bed hungry."

The Spotted Girl
Mr. Bailey also remembers very vividly his father's other speciality, "The Spotted Girl." A perfectly normal girl would be engaged and then with with corks, etc., her body would be spotted. It was announced to the public that she had been born like that and they were all invited in to see the only spotted girl in existence. On one occasion Mr. Bailey's father could not get the spots of the girl when the engagement was terminated, and there was a fearful row about it.

Mr. Bailey has been a showman of no small merit himself. He recalls Mr. Tom Norman who brought him a great sensation in those days - La Loo the double-bodied boy. La Loo was a coloured man and the from the lower part of his stomach projected the legs and abdomen of a small native child. "La Loo was a great chap," said Mr. Bailey, "but he always annoyed everyone by incessantly saying "Golly! my tummy does tickle!"

Mr. Bailey's grandmother, old Sarah Bailey, was a first cousin of Lord George Sanger, so Mr. Bailey is really related to two of the greatest families in the show business. When Sarah died it was announced in the "World's Fair." She was the oldest showlady in the county and 96 years of age.

Too Much to Ask
Through their trials and tribulations Mr and Mrs. Bailey seemed to have got on well together but Mr. Bailey can remember his mother falling out with Dad over a novelty he wished to introduce. Mr. Bailey senior, brought from somewhere, nobody knows where, a two headed baby in a glass jar. The jar was only of normal size. It was arranged by Mr. Bailey senior, that his wife should stand in the fairground as the mother of the only two headed baby in the world. "My mother," said Mr. Bailey, "was so disgusted that she walked off the ground and left my father completely starnded for the time being.

Mr. Bailey has met all the great figures in the business and numbers among his friends the Sangers, Farrars, Tubys, Collins and many others. Mr. Bailey has had his wagon burnt down and has sold medicines in all parts of the country. He has bought and sold quantities of old second-hand clothes and made mops and basket chairs. He has owned what he describes as "the greatest little show of its time." He came by this in rather a peculiar way. He was doing some buying in Wakefield and found in a boarding house in Providence Street, a model depicting Doctor Crippen, the poisoner, being hung at a point when the lever was struck by a bullet from a shot gun. Mr. Bailey brought the model and took it all over England. "It was the only one of its kind," he said, " and I made some good money with it."

Mr. Bailey knowledge of the show business goes back to the time when the sideshows, roundabouts, etc., were illuminated by "grease pots."

"There are perhaps very few showman living to-day," he said, "who knows just what grease pots are." Mr. Bailey explained that a "grease pot" was a bowl on the end of a stick with bacon and old rags in the bowl and this was set alight. The light was always fitful and needed constant attention, besides which it gave off a highly unpleasant stench. Mr. Bailey says his is getting an old man and is pleased to settle down in a home of his own. He left his last wagon home on Owlerton Feast Ground, Sheffield, only the other day, and is now busy home-making. "I don't want to travel any more," he said, "I've had my whack."

World's Fair, July 3rd, 1937


HEREFORD FAIR FOR STREETS

CITY COUNCIL MAJORITY IN FAVOUR

The 1938 Hereford May Fair is to take place in the streets of High Town. This was the decision of the City Council at Tuesday's meeting following upon the Market and Fairs Committee's report that a communication had been received from the South Wales Section of the Showmen's Guild (per Mr. George Sheldon, sec) stating that the amusement caterers had expressed the unanimous opinion that the Fair was more satisfactory when being held in the streets than in the Edgar Street Car Park. The Markets and Fairs Committee recommended that the Council enter into an agreement with the South Wales Section whereby the Section would pay to Hereford City Council the sum of £500 for the use of the streets for the three days of the May Fair, 1938, and £80 for the use of the Edgar Street Car Park on the succeeding Friday, Saturday and Monday, such an agreement to contain similiar terms as on previous occasions and as such conditions that might be considered necessary by the Town Clerk. Following Alderman Langford's moving that the report be adopted, Councillor Franklin spoke against. He said that it seemed that the Markets and Fairs Committee were much more anxious to please the South Wales Section of the Showmen's Guild than the ratepayers. He would refer the Council to the result of an inquiry instituted by the Chamber of Commerce among those traders directly concerned as a result of the May Fair being held in front of their premises from which they found there was a two thirds majority among the 130 who replied in favour of the fair being moved out of the streets to some suitable spot. He moved an amendment that the Markets and Fair Committee enter into negotiations for the holding of the May Fair in the Edgar Street Car Park instead of the city streets in 1938.

Alderman Langford said that the Council had done nothing but wobble at the question. When the showmen were at the Car Park they paid £700 rental and the showmen were more than satisfied with it there. Since the Fair came back to the streets, there had been a tremendous development in the use of the Car Park and over 500 vehicles were parked there every Wednesday. The Markets and Fairs Committee would strenuously oppose the removal of these vehicles from the Car Park in order to make way for the Fair attractions. In his view there was no alternative under present conditions if the Fair was not held in the streets, to to abolish it altogether, and that would mean an Order of the Home Office. After further discussion the report was adopted by 17 votes to 2 against. This means that next year's May Fair will be held in the High Town streets, with the South Wales Section as ground landlords.

World's Fair, December 11th, 1937


HELTER SKELTER PAINTING

One of London's most celebrated amusements, the Helter Skelter at Hampstead, is the subject of Stanley Spencer's most recent oil painting, which has just been recommended for purchase for the Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield. The latest picture on the amusement business is certainly a faithful one, for every movement of the happy Cockneys and every colour and outline on the famous skelter is portrayed with sincerity and beauty.

World's Fair, December 11th, 1937