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Lost upon the Roundabouts The life & times of George Baker Showman & Steam Haulier A chronology compiled by Mike Wall
The life and times of George Baker himself span almost exactly the entre era of steam on the fiarground. George was very much at the heart of it all, as a contractor he was among the first to harness steam for hauling a fairground ride and he was in the thick of the competition to introduce the first mechanically animated "galloping" horse roundabouts.
His marriage to an ambitious travelling girl, Carrie Hall, set him on the road as a showman in his own right whilst he often attempted to retain a steadier income by more conventional and reliable means. Fiece competition from already established showmen drove George and Carrie to make their own way, notably, on the Isle of Wight where they and their growing family developed a self contained travelling show combining the thrills, skills and humour of fairground, circus, music hall and cinema.
The Great War caused a temporary eclipse of the fiarground would but provided George and his three sones, Dan, Len and Reg with the golden opportunity of forming a major haulage enterprise which quickly expanded into the further realms of contracting, engineering and aggregate extraction.
Soon after the formation of George Baker & Sons Ltd. Dan Baker was drawn to retread the disty parth back to the fairgrounds of his childhood, where he and especially his daughters Eva and Doris, would eventually become deeply woven, into the rich tapestry of showland families.
- The Baker Family of Old Basing
- Daniel Baker's early life and career
- George Baker's apprenticeship with Wallis & Steevens
- His further associations with Savages, Reynolds & King and Allchin & Linnell
- George & Carrie's "honeymoon" on the Isle of Wight
- Elm Street, Southampton and competition from Jacob Studt and William Symonds
- Baker's Hippodrome and the traction centres
- Professor Arnold
- Fred Ginnett and The Wild Australia Show
- The Great War - Mobilisation of showman's transport and other Government contracts
- Joe Beckett
- George Baker & Sons Ltd, Hampton Park - and a fleet of Fodens
- "The Russell Baby"
- Dan Baker goes it alone - his "Famous Freak Farm" and "Lightning Skid"
- The Old Shack Cafe at Hook
- Wall Brothers of Petersfield
- World War Two and the Southampton Blitz
- Father Greville and The Friendship Circle of Showland Fans
- "Stay at home holidays"
- The Goody Brothers
- The demise of steam on the fairground
- "Reg Baker's Amusement" at early traction engine rallies
- James Noyce and his "Golden Callopers"
- White Waltham Steam Fair - and much, much more...
Code No. 015765, 298 pages, $73.00
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