Trade newspapers

This guide was last updated in 2011

The primary source for information relating to the fairground are the trade newspapers.

The fairground community was described in the 19th century as a 'village on wheels' and, like any community, they have their own parish newspaper which still continues today.

During the 19th century, the main newspaper for the entertainment business was the Era, which can be searched at and

Of particular interest are the Showmen’s World Columns from the 1890s, which contain reports of weekly fairs in the United Kingdom, and the advertisement pages. Since 1904, the main trade paper for the industry has been the World’s Fair.

Published in Oldham, it still remains a family business and contains all aspects of the showmen’s life including births, deaths, weddings and obituaries as well as interviews with showmen of the day and family profiles. A full set is held by the NFA and the British Library.

Other trade papers to consider would be the Showmen which ran from 1900 to 1912 and can be viewed on microfilm again at the NFA and the British Library.


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