The Travelling Showman.
A Peep Into The Future.
“What cheer, Jem; who’d a thought of seeing you?” ‘”Hullo, Bill, is that you? Give us your flipper, old man, and how’r you getting on? Why, there’s the old gal, an’ what’s become of the old show?—if it ain’t asking too many questions at once?” “Ah! Jem, you’ve asked me something in them there questions of yours, but the whole lot of ’em is answered in one bitter story. Me poor old matie’s dead; the old show got smashed up on the road as we was trudging home one night. A bit down on our luck we was, as we ‘ad had a very bad day. A runaway horse and trap dashed inter us. Me partner she put up her hands to protect the barrow, and all I knows is me and my wife and all was thrown inter the hedge aside o’ the road; then I comes to and gets some help, but me poor old missus never spoke again, an’ the next day she died. Excuse me speaking a bit hoarse, Jem — it’s the lump as comes in me throat, when I think about it, an’ just let, me wipe this dust outer me eyes. I don’t tell everybody me troubles, Jem, but I can’t seem to get her outer me mind somehow. You know, Jem, I sometimes talks to her in me sleep, an’ very often I wakes up a talking, an’ lor Jem, it does seem hard to find she’s gone: but I hopes by leading a honest showman’s life I shall see her agin some day. Sometimes when I trudges home after market days on winter nights, and I sees the stars a-shining, I says to myself ‘Perhaps one of’em is her light in the winder for you, Bill.’ What about, this fine show, ‘an how did I get it? Well, the gent whose pony run away an’ dashed inter us, he took the wreck of the old show—an’ it. made me fairly cry when I seed it, all, the peep glasses, and the rollers, and strings, and the lamp, just what was left, all a-smashed and splintered an’ torn—he takes the old one and gives me this ere bran spanking new one in its place. And tho’ I says it myself, Jem, I believe it is the only one of its kind in the land. It’s got two or three inventions all in one show. It not only shows pictures all a-moving an’ life-like, but in some of the scenes there’s a talking machine heard, and a band a-playing, and people shouting. Look there now at Canvey Church—you sees the new church, ye’r can hear the choir a-singing an’ the organ a-playing at the same time. It’s simply a marvel that it is, but what’s more wonderful than anything else, an’ different from any other show I ever seed, is it don’t describe no past, but tells about the future.
“What do you say, Jem, you must go? Well, so long, mate, and good luck. Me take a tanner? No, Jem, thankie, give us a stever instead. Must take it for the sake of the biz? Thankie, glad to see you are doing better, mate, and getting on a bit.”
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I have pleasure in bringing before your notice one of the grandest marvels of the present generashun. Living pictures, men and horses, all a-moving; landscapes and sea views; ships and trains. You not only sees ‘um- but you hears ‘nm as well— men and women a-talking, laughing, singing. Why, lor’, bless ye, in one picture you sees a pony a-galloping towards ye, and ye hears his hoofs upon the road louder and louder as he comes nearer and nearer, till presently he comes that close, ye just jumps back out of the way to let ‘im pass.
Want to see? Yes, come along, ladies first this time, put your money into the slot and look quite close. B r-r-r-ting. This, ladies, is a picture of the High Street of Canvey, with a view of the shops. Yer sees the draper’s on the left, an’ the ladies there a-pointing out the fashions. Then there is the Red Cow Commercial Hotel, opposite is the new post and telegraph office, further on yer sees the bank, then look at the handsome, building with the clock— that’s Canvey Town Hall. Now on the right, there, you sees the museum and exhibition full of historic relics and includes the old Dutch house there. Then near by is the free library, and for shops look at ’em confectioners’, butchers’, grocers’, tailors’, in fact, any thing you want you can get. Now notice the busses as they draw up behind the fountain : the red ones goes over the iron bridge to Benfleet, the white uns goes to Hadleigh by the new road across the saltings, while the blue busses they runs out to the sooberbs at Shell Beach. They takes you past the parks an’ the bandstand to the aquarium an’ meets the steamers as they comes in at the pier.
Now ladies, look quite close an’ listen, an’ ye hears all on a sudden like the cry of “Fire, fire, fire.” an’ sure enough one of the old wooden houses is caught, on fire, an’ there on the right of the picture all a-galloping up, is the Canvey Fire Brigade on their new steam engine, all smart in helmets and uniform. Now see ’em getting down, fixing the hose and getting to work in no time. But, look! goodness alive, there’s a little girl in the lattice window of the old thatched roof, ‘an the flames is nearly got the thatch, and while she is crying for help the people is a holding a blanket for the poor little thing ter jump into; but stand aside, please, and up dashes the escape, and in a tick the fireman’s got her in his arms and the people shout ” Thank goodness she’s saved !” B-r r-r ting.
Now the next scene is for the men, because it shows the Canvey Docks, with ships an’ trains ‘an wharves, lighters loading and unloading, ‘an ye hears the rattle of chains, ‘an the hooting of the ship’s whistles, and the band a-playing of the Canvey Company of the Artillery Volunteers; then the patter of the rivetters’ hammers while they work repairing a ship in the dry dock. Now get quite close and listen. R-r-r-r-ting.
(To be continued.)
Unfortunately we do not have the next issue so this is The End