This film is part of Free

Town Moor, Fish Market, Holy Island & Roman Wall

A swinging 60s Hoppings bursts into life on Newcastles Town Moor with barkers and tasselled showgirls advertising Striptease for Fearless Pashion.

Amateur film 1963 11 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


The Hoppings traveling fair on Newcastles Town Moor started life as a Temperance festival in 1882 to counter the boozy attractions of the annual Gosforth Park Race Week. Two amateur filmmakers capture the bawdy fun of its popular sideshows, barkers and dancing girls, and the thrill of the fairground rides, in a compilation of home movie film from the 1960s, which also includes shaky footage of Newcastle, North Shields Fish Quay and market, Lindisfarne and Hadrians Wall.

This footage was shot by Geoff and Florence Richardson of the Newcastle Amateur Cinematographers Association, first formed in 1927. Amongst the traditional sideshows at The Hoppings, the old Tom Norman Travelling Palladium Show booth draws a crowd. Tom Norman was a Victorian showman who exhibited freak show attractions and was dubbed the Silver King for his gifted patter by the founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. He had once managed Joseph Merrick, The Elephant Man, and stated in his autobiography: But you could indeed exhibit anything in those days. Yes anything from a needle to an anchor, a flea to an elephant, a bloater you could exhibit as a whale. It was not the show, it was the tale that you told.