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Showman can have a variety of meanings, usually by context and depending on the country.
Travelling showmen are people who run amusement and side show equipment at regional shows, state capital shows, events and festivals throughout Australia. In the past, it has also been used for the people who organized freak shows, sideshows, circuses, travelling theatre troupes and boxing tents.
In Australia, there are around 500 travelling show families, Australian travelling show families in the Eastern states have a travelling School that has approximately 90 children.
Family names associated with funfairs in Ireland include Cassells, Cullen, McFadden, Bird, Perks and Bell. Turbetts, Hudsons and McCormicks are associated with coastal amusements, particularly in the west of the country.
In the United Kingdom, show-people are involved with funfairs. The Showmen's Guild of Great Britain is the most dominant trade association, with a membership of around 4,700. For example, the Guild co-organizes St Giles' Fair in Oxford with Oxford City Council each September. The Association of Independent Showmen and Society of Independent Roundabout Proprietors are just two more trade associations However anyone who's a member of an "independent" isn't technically a showman, as you have to be a showman "by blood" (born into the business, from a long line of ancestors). Any person working outside of The Showmen's Guild isn't a true showman.
The term showman or show people, can also be meant as a superlative or complimentary term, sometimes as an accolade or quasi-title, such as in the documentary name Harry Saltzman: Showman.
- "Irish Arks and Waltzers Part 1 - 1990 to Present Day". The University of Sheffield – National Fairground Archive. Retrieved 01-06-2012. Check date values in:
- Showmen's Guild of Great Britain Central Office.
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