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Travelling Showmen and the First World War – new exhibition for 2018

Travelling Showmen and the First World War

Between 1914 and 1918 the First World War affected everyone on the planet. The travelling show community was no exception to this, although their story during this period has never before been told.

Show people suffered a loss of business, a loss of the ability to travel, a loss of staff and many of their own men who joined up didn’t return. After the successful years prior to the war this period was very much one where the show people hung on for their survival.

The Show people fought back however. Tanks were installed on roundabout in a show of propaganda whilst games involving knocking over German soldiers or giving the Kaiser a kick appeared across the country. Women and children took over the running of the businesses whilst the men were away.

Our exhibition explores in detail the lives of show people during the 1914 to 1918 period and how the war affected them.

Travelling Showmen and the First World War is generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.