Touring Funfairs and Circuses
Crich residentas were entertained by the visitation of travelling funfairs and circuses
With thanks to Andrew McKinley
Two local families brought their attractions to Crich, the OADLEY family and the RAY family. The Ray family had very close connections with Crich. They over-wintered at the Jovial Dutchman Close and the family are buried in Crich churchyard. The RAY fair was owned by Timmy RAY (snr) and then his son Timmy RAY (jnr).
The fairs were set up either in the Jovial Dutchman Close or on Crich Market Place.
Photo courtesy Alan Stanhope- Beresford collection
Photo courtesy anonymous album
Tony LESTER's "Crich Memories" –
October was Crich fair time and I used to sit in our window bottom and watch for Timmy Ray's big showman's engine, pulling a caravan and trailer into the Dutchman croft. He later went and fetched the rest of the equipment. We used to go and watch them setting up the roundabout (carousel) with its horses, the swingboats, coconut shies, rifle range, ball in the bucket, roll a penny (I am sure the lines used to move when the pennies got near them) and the slot machines. After visiting the fair we always saved a copper or two for chips and peas from Mrs Brumwells, that was really living!!! The fair stayed open for two to three weeks, then everything was packed away into the big wagons and they wintered in the Croft.
Timmy Ray's fairground attractions:
Photographs courtesy Alan Stanhope- Beresford collection
For more information on Timmy RAY- VIEW
Derbyshire Times 2 November 1901
At Crich they have a diversion seen in that part of the county but seldom. One of the travelling circuses is paying the old-fashioned town visit.