This film is part of Free

28 June 1967: Town Moor Hoppings

A rap on rain and rates with Britain’s first black British broadcaster and the travelling showpeople at the Hoppings funfair in Newcastle.

News 1967 6 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


Britain’s first black TV news reporter, Clyde Alleyne, interviews showmen and women during a wet week at the annual Hoppings funfair in Newcastle. He talks to live novelty act Davey Jones, exhibiting in the 1960s with Florence and Robert Campbell and billed as a ‘Living Leprechaun – the World’s Smallest Man’. Mute footage of the fairground in action suggest that salacious showgirls and the nostalgia of curiosity driven sideshows still intrigue the crowds.

Born in the early 1900s in Lisburn, County Antrim, Davey Jones travelled around Britain’s fairs with Bostock and Wombell’s Menagerie from 1928 to 1933. He worked with Bertram Mills for one year before leaving to tour with the Barnum and Bailey Ringling Circus in the United States. He returned to Northern Ireland before the outbreak of World War Two. This Tyne Tees TV news footage records Jones during his final years with the Campbells, performing his show with a custom made miniature motorcar shaped like an E-type Jaguar. Clyde Alleyne is a forgotten pioneer in black British broadcasting. He joined Tyne Tees Television in May 1967, working on both the Six Five and Late Look news programmes.