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Topic: Those Bells.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 23, 2005 05:46AM)
The twin bells always on the front of Paradeing Shows,,,,, where did this originate? By whom? And why?

Tom Normans Silver Bells still start the Nottingham Goose Fair off,,,,Showmen over here have varying answers to this,,,,is it traditional on US shows?

Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Aug 23, 2005 06:55AM)
It's not known over here. What is the tradition? The way most fairs start off here is with the Midway owners shaking down the Showmen. Now, I know that is an international tradition.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 23, 2005 07:17AM)
Hi Todd,

Since the year dot.

All parade shows (Allens,Shufflebottoms,Appletons,Lord Howard,Normans etc etc)Had twin bells on their fronts.
From memory these were rung as attention getters but it must have started somewhere down the line,,, check out early pics of these shows,the bells were usualy on the right as you look at them.

The tradition mongers (Mainly flatties with the cash) Still use a single bell on their juvenile`s over here.

Wondered if it stemmed from the Town Crier who used to open Mop Fairs, they used a bell!

Yes the Shaking down is international, last weekend cost us 400 ($720) for an eight foot frontage!!

Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Aug 23, 2005 08:03AM)
One of the htings I like about Euro cities that aren't all new, are the old signs that are hanging in front of some business establishments. As I understand it, they were a way for an illiterate populace to identify the kind of shop they were looking for, or the guild to which an artisan belonged.

And many families were very proud of their coats-of-arms.

Could the bells be related to that?
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 23, 2005 10:36AM)
Could be Harley but even back to Barts Fair with Fawkes etc he used a bell but I can`t get a connection.
How far back can you get info on US Fairs, everything seems to stem from Astley over here with spurs off to Carnival,Circus and singlo shows, there was a connection with the bells of Bow but I feel this could be fanciful.

I first built and travelled my own Victorian show way back in 1967, first time out I was accosted by both Ron Taylor and Betty Allen,,,,,,where`s your bells then !
So I got hold of a twin set and have used them on the show front ever since,,,sounds daft I know,, but these were people to respect and I wanted to work right,,,, but I still don`t know why!

Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Aug 23, 2005 10:58AM)
Is there any church connection? The St. Barts faire was sponsored by the church, and of course we all know the church bells toll to draw people for worship. Is that a possible connection? I am completely in the dark here, being a yank and a Jew.

Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Aug 23, 2005 11:07AM)
Hamburg for 80 feet is $5600! Talk about shake downs!
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Aug 23, 2005 11:42AM)

They certainly have a history with religeous edifices. But the idea, other than glorifying a deity with noise, is to attract attention.

Maybe, coming out of the middle ages, they scared away noxious vapors, in a public gathering place. I'd bet that during the plague years, funeral processions would've had a bell-ringer at the front.

Those obscure connections are a bother, when we WANT to know something. I see one between the Algonquin ritual of the shaking tent, and the structure we now call traditional seance. They're so close to each other, that it seems stupid to think they're not related. But I have no idea who made the translation from the native american culture to the euro-american one.