Ronald Allen Taylor
Scarrott's Waltzer loads photographed by Ron Taylor.
Ref: NFA 0015
Title: The Ronald Allen Taylor Collection
Scope: The collection contains photographs in 22 albums taken by Taylor and other photographers, correspondence and a number of catalogues including his Dodgem research material.
Extent: 3,250 photographs, 2 archival boxes
Name of creator: Ronald Allen Taylor
Administrative / biographical history: Ron Taylor lived in the village of Clifton all his life, apart from three years in Germany just after the war when he served in the army. Effectively leaving school at the age of thirteen to work on his uncle's farm in 1940, he was eventually apprenticed to a local garage. I know that he visited fairs as a youngster, but I got the impression that it was not until the early fifties that his interest in the industry really developed. Once demobbed he joined his father driving buses and coaches for Birch Bros., a then well-known Hertford company. It was, as much as anything, the fact that he travelled the length and breadth of the country that allowed him to visit many fairs, widening his knowledge and interest. Locally of course Thurstons, Mannings and Harris's were among those he came to know well. He also began to write for the World's Fair, the normal reports first, but then winter reports on machine changes, notes on new equipment, a series of individual machines, their owners, and even the transport. Even today these are as fascinating to read as they must have been then. He also helped to create the Trade Directory that World's Fair produced for some years.
His reputation certainly spread, and his knowledge grew. He would write to manufacturers and get details of anything new. He would talk and listen to the riding masters of the day, recording in his notes the details, adding to his knowledge month by month. His contributions to World's Fair were eagerly read by many, including a growing band of enthusiasts. In fact several people have remarked that it was his reports that changed a passing interest to a lifelong enthusiasm for the industry.
Extracts taken from Jim Bassett, Fairground Mercury, Vol 16, No 3, December 1993.
Related Collections: Lionel Bathe, John Gale, Rowland Scott, Philip Swindlehurst, Dick Price, George Tucker
Source: Donated by Mrs Kathleen Taylor
System of arrangement: Catalogued by type
Subjects: families, fairs, shows, fairgrounds, rides
Conditions of access: The photographs make up part of the image database collection which is available to view by appointment in the NFA reading room. Other items must be requested prior to appointment.
Copyright: National Fairground Archive
Finding aids: Photographs available on the Image database. Other items are listed by type. Contact the NFA for more information.
Lanes' Ark, 1974
Summers' Swirl, 1983
J. Stevens' AEC tractor, 1969