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Showmen, Covid and The NHS

3 May 2020

Showmen Thank The NHS. Like many business’s at the minute, the funfair industry has pretty much ceased to exist. With events cancelled up until the middle of the summer and beyond. Indeed some Christmas events are now being cancelled, we are not sure when we will be allowed to operate again.

The common opinion is that it will be next year before events start to come out of the lockdown. We can’t see all the sacrifices made during the lockdown period being swept aside by letting major festivals go ahead. And rightly so. The important thing at the minute is saving lives, hard as it sounds, business will need to take a back seat.

Showmen are an enterprising breed, many have rapidly started small food delivery business’s to keep some income rolling in. There must be a massive market in home delivered fruit and veg. If the amount of showmen who have turned greengrocer is any indication.

Saying Thank You

The showmen however, in the midst of seeing their livelihoods disappear, and with no real idea when they will be allowed to work again, have found time to say thank you to our heroic front line NHS staff and key workers.

We have all stood and clapped to let them know how we feel, but around the country, groups of showmen have raised funds to show their appreciation in a practical way.

Many hospitals put calls out for toiletries and such like. As patients were ending up on Corvid wards, with no supplies. Because of the current visiting rules, their families couldn’t come to see them and bring what they needed.

In short order groups of showmen have raised not inconsiderable sums to purchase toiletries, bottled water, things like pot noodles and other snacks to help alleviate the hospitals shortage.

Showmen’s Guild

In my native North East, the funfair trade body made a donation to start the ball rolling. A number of showmen also took it upon themselves to raise funds.

One member donated a vehicle to be used for delivering the items. Another who runs a small sign making business, lettered the vehicle up free of charge.

They made delivery runs to a number of Northern hospitals. Other showmen added to this and covered smaller centres such as care homes.

I have touched upon the Northern Section of the industry, purely because I come from the area. But the same thing has taken place in most parts of the UK. North East local press reported on the story.

It just goes to show, “There is no business like show business”, and the Showmen thank the NHS to show their appreciation.

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