North east Showmen bring plight to TV

Showmen fears come true
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Showmen in the north east have told ITV News that “all our fears have come true” as part of a 25 November feature on the current plight of travelling funfairs in the region.


Speaking to reporter Emily Reader, representatives from Smiths Leisure, M O’Brien and Sons, and The SGGB spoke of the difficulties facing showmen as winter approaches. “All of our fears have come true,” said Michael O’Brien of M O’Brien and Sons. “Hull Fair, Houghton Feast, Yarm Fair, they’re all major events in our calendar and every one of them has gone by the wayside.”

“It’s all just so disheartening, because you’re watching your livelihood, your life, fading away at the minute. We’ve all boxed this year, but we can’t box another year, it’s that simple.”

With many showmen already reeling from a year with out income, the wide spread cancellation of Christmas events in the region due to new Tier Three restrictions is a further hammer blow.

“For 90 percent of Showmen the season runs from Easter to Bonfire Night, so most of us have been closed since the middle of November,” said Frank Smith. “What business can do that? Shut down for 18 months and survive?”

“We don’t want handouts, we just want to be able to do what we do.”

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