Work and Play
“There is much harder graft and preparation that goes on behind the bright lights and loud music painted stalls and exciting rides and coconut shy’s and hoopla’s, darts and even 22 Remington rifles at my grandad’s famous gun gallery, the only one of its kind at Hull Fair, firing live bullets at glass bottles and ping pong balls floating up from jets of water! So very dangerous! Now when I think of it – and yet there were never any accidents. Amazing really!
As young teenagers, and even younger we all had a job to do, it was the normal thing for us, and when the fair was open we would mind the stalls, and hoopla’s, or mini rides – whatever! They were long days, at the big fairs like Hull, Nottingham Goose Fair, and Newcastle Town Moor – all big fairs.
Which of course meant we had to be on our feet from midday till midnight when the fair (regardless of the weather) would close. Then thankfully we could ‘pack-up’ that was the term used – all of us would be tired, and yet because us teenagers all wanted to see our traveller friends, we would meet up around the stalls, even though it was dark – we had some fun, and a bit of ‘smooching’ with our chosen favourite guy or gal!
“Always a traveller”, we never mixed with a “punter”, it was just not the don’t thing, even today, its much the same format – showbiz people usually marry each other, it’s been that way for generations, although, myself and some of my cousins have married out even if it didn’t always work out!”
Dilly Gallagher, part of the Gallagher family of showmen from Hull