George Bolesworth Collection

Ref: NFA0111

Title: The George Bolesworth Collection

Scope: This collection contains reels of 8mm and Super8 amateur, silent and colour film, shot by Mr George Bolesworth at various locations in England and Spain. All the themes are around, fairs and family activities such as holidays as well as other type of popular entertainments.

Dates: 1950s-1980s
Level: Fonds
Extent: 24 reels
Name of creator: George Bolesworth

Administrative / biographical history: George Bolesworth (1921-1987) was a travelling showman from the London and Home Counties Section of the Showmen’s Guild. George was also an amateur film maker who used to hold film nights after closing time on the fairgrounds for everyone’s enjoyment.

George was born in the east end of London to Henry and Emily Bolesworth (neé Harris ) in 1921 . He married Dinah Wightwick (1922-1990) in 1944 in Gravesend, Kent. They travelled mostly around London and the Home Counties, but they also attended some of the major fairs up and down the country.

George and Dinah had a series of game stalls including a Spinner which they travelled for many years and after which they acquired a Bingo and hooplas. For a short time they had an arcade in Folkstone and one of the first "Swag Shops" which they held for several years, while still travelling the fairs at the same time.

George’s amateur films, show a variety of street fairs and major fairs in the country as well as his family’s leisure time activities and domestic events such as family weddings, visits to fairs and holidays in various locations in Spain, Europe and the south coast of England. These films provide a reflection on the showland families’ way of life during the 1950s 60s and 70s as well as a historical journey through three decades of fairgrounds and popular entertainment.

George died in 1987 aged 66 and Dinah in 1990 aged 68.

Related Collections:
Source: George Bolesworth’s daughter and son in law, Linda Groom (neé Bolesworth) and John Groom
System of arrangement: Catalogued according to type
Subjects: Fairgrounds, Fairground Rides, Fairground Art, Travelling Entertainment, Family Collections
Conditions of access: Not available due to format
Copyright: Copyright Linda Groom. Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of National Fairground Archive, subject to copyright law and condition of the material
Finding aids: Online finding aid available here