The Showpeople of Hampshire project arose out of a growing awareness of a group of Hampshire families who run the county’s fairgrounds. These families form a hidden community with a little-known and largely unrecorded heritage stretching back hundreds of years.
The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Hampshire Archives Trust and resulted in the production of an educational DVD and book. The book covers the history and development of the fairs; the showpeople community in the two World Wars; a brief history of the Showmen’s Guild; living and transport arrangements; the evolution of rides and attractions; fairgrounds and winter yards; and an extensive section illustrating the cycle of everyday life of the showpeople.
The Showpeople of Hampshire book has been sent to all Hampshire Schools. A copy of the DVD can be obtained from Hampshire Archives and Local Studies.
As the book covers a number of themes it can be incorporated into a number of curriculum areas. Several PowerPoints have been produced to complement the book and to help teachers to integrate this work into curriculum planning.