The story of the show people, their Impact and fairground culture on Glasgow

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Looking at every object at the Riverside Museum, I was most attracted to one; The John Carter Caravan donated by one of the family of the Show People community in Glasgow. From the research I have gathered, the travelling fairs have for years brought entertainment to Scottish towns but at present, they are constantly under pressure from people and from the council. The question is; can they survive as the number of fairground sites reduce? Red tape increases and new technology offers alternative diversions, showmen families have a strong cultural identity as Scottish fairground entertainers, they are born and bred on the travelling funfair; they are referred to as “The Show People”.


Life inside the Caravan for Show People always starts as early as, breakfast is usually at 9.30am, family members take turns to eat because someone needed to look after the rides, often meals were eaten alone. However time was make to enjoy as a family; they have music in the caravan and the extended part of the van can be used as a dance floor especially in winter and New Year season.


Next to Dalmarnock sewage works is an area called Glasgow’s Showman Quarter, it was once an industrial estate but later became a home to the city’s largest travelling people who are known to be fairground workers. The Show people community has made Glasgow their home since the mid-1800s. People often mistake them for gypsy travelers and people’s attitude towards them is not always welcoming. Despite being around for centuries the Show People Community believe they might never fully integrate due to the misguided perception that they are differ from other Glaswegian.


In Glasgow, the show people communities believe they are not on council priority when it comes to council agenda for money being spent. Although they maintain a good relationship with Glasgow council, they constantly live under threat of removal, relocation, worry about security and people’s negative perceptions about their heritage and traditions. They believe they have fought for long to be seen as part of the city; they go to schools and most of them hold higher tertiary education qualifications, they work and contribute their quota to the