Florence Campbell nee Shufflebottom
Florence sadly died on 25 October aged 82. She was one of the most gifted performers ever to grace a fairground show Born into the Shufflebottom Wild West family, the only daughter of Richard and his wife Laura, Florence was soon performing at an early age in the family show. From the age of 12 she proudly recalled she was the world’s youngest snake charmer and within a few years formed an essential part of the family show – the Colorado Family Troupe– with Florence combining a rifle trick target routine alongside snake charming and her father Richard’s Indian Torture finale. Florence’s beauty and talent became renowned on the fairground and her marksmanship skill, her beauty and her ability to bring the crowds soon made her the star of the show. After her marriage to Robert Campbell she continued to present shows with her husband and also their son Garry. One of these was with Davy Jones, the Irish Leprechaun, who hailed from County Antrim in Northern Ireland and had appeared with Barnum & Bailey in his younger years. As the shows decline their later years were spent on catering equipment and children’s rides but she never forgot her life on the show.
In 1994, Florence and Robert donated their family collection to the National Fairground Archive which became one of the jewels in the crown of the emerging Archive. Over the past twenty years, Florence Shufflebottom’s beauty and grace as a performer has been seen once again appearing on the Paul O Grady show talking about her life on the fair and more recently BBC 2 Timeshift All the Fun of the Fair.
Her later life was spent with her family and friends and her greatest joy in her life she said was her son Garry