Since we started this research into the Fenwick Collection at the T&W Archives, we’ve always loved looking at the Scrapbooks. Each page seems to give us a new exciting headline. They are careful cut out and stuck into the pages, with Arthur’s blue ink notes to tell us the dates and other snippets of information. We can just imagine Arthur eating his breakfast looking at the newspaper and waiting for the post. Here are some of our favourites.
SEIZED BY LEOPARD.
Wallsend Boy Severely InjuredEvening Chronicle September 14, 1914
The Leopard is one of the animals of Sanger’s travelling circus, at present occupying a site on the East Farm Field, Wallsend, and is kept in a covered cage on the show ground. The boy was trying to have a look at the leopard over the boards in front of the cage and climbed over the wheel of the cart on which the cage stands. No sooner had he placed his hand on the top of the board than the animal seized it, and dragged it between the bars.
TIGHTROPE MISHAP MAKES CIRCUS CROWD GASP.
Journal, June 10, 1939
Monsieur Blondini was nearing the end of his act and was wheeling his assistant, a Sunderland girl, Miss Doris Shaw, of Fordonday Crescent, Ford Estate, along the high wire, from 50 feet above the ground, in a barrow, when the crowds below suddenly saw the apparatus wobble and leave the track.
Fortunately both, performers were wearing safety belts, but, catching their feet in the barrow, they were suspended head downwards for a considerable time.
Assistants on the ground were considering how to get them to earth when Mr John G. Hammond, of Meadowfield Road, a 31-year-old fitter, grabbed a rope ladder, attached to one of the uprights and began to climb the other post.
GIRLS FOUND IN CIRCUS.
Mothers come to Newcastle to Tearful Reunion
North Mail, June 24, 1937
The two girls, who disappeared 10 days ago, and were found acting in a side-show on the Town Moor, Newcastle, returned to their London homes last night.
Said Ethel, “I’ve learned my lesson and will never run away again, though I cried when I saw mother had come.”
The mothers were in the audience in a side-show, “The Bride of Frankenstein.” When the two girls came on as dusky belles.
CIRCUS THAT TAUGHT ARMY A LESSON.
Arthur Fenwick Archives 944/1877
Sangar’s Circus was famous for the quick way that put up and pulled down tents, and one of the big newspapers in its columns told the Government that thy could learn a lot from Sanger’s. So high Army officials were sent down to see their methods, which were soon followed.
ELEPHANT ESCAPES. STOLEN MEAL OF CUSTARD POWDER AND PRUNES.
Evening Standard, April 1, 1926
It devoured seven pounds of custard-powder, 16 pounds of prunes, and some rice-paper, besides damaging a large number of jars of jam, pickles, etc.
ENJOYMENT FOR IVVORYBODY.
This story is from several pages in of Arthur’s 1924 scrapbook.
In 1924 half a million people attended the revived Temperance Festival on the Town Moor. The Fairground included Sanger’s Circus. To give an idea of the scale of the event the journal reported “250 transport wagons, 49 traction engines, 40 petrol engines and 500 roundabout vans and living vans, while 1000 were employed by the show people.”
“They taak about the Races as if ivvorybody went to the Races,” one old Tynesider had to said to him, “but they divvent. Why to thousands o’ Tynesidors the Races is only a name, but the Festival’s ivvorybody’s field.”