Deptford Show Ground: The last permanent fairground in London (Paperback)
(This book cannot be returned.)
Travelling cinema, wild beast shows, circus acts, boxing booths, exotic side shows - they were all to be found at the Deptford Show Ground on Deptford High Street before the First World War. My book follows the fortunes of my great grandfather Charles Cain, a travelling showman, his wife Hannah and family who were on the Show Ground from 1890 with their 'games' and also selling fairground prizes, distributed initially by horse and cart. Charles was so successful that by 1912 he was able to buy the Show Ground and run it as a year-round fairground, with a warehouse to store the fairground prizes. The Show Ground stayed open throughout both world wars and finally closed in 1961, by which time it was mainly frequented by teddy boys and families playing bingo. My book has lots of first hand memories from local people who enjoyed the Show Ground in the 1940s and 1950s and memories from family members going right back to before the First World War. The last chapter puts the story of the Show Ground into a historical context looking at the role of fairs, the effect of the World Wars, mechanised rides and the positive role of people from ethnic minorites and women in fairgrounds. There are over 90 photos, mostly hitherto unpublished.