A Fair Life

Riverside Museum's A Fair Life exhibition captures the rich hidden history of Scottish Showmen and women!

When, Where & How Much...

Date(s): 04 March 2017 to 21 January 2018
Time(s): As per opening hours
Where: Riverside Museum, Glasgow West End
Price: This is a free event

Contact Information

Visit the event website here
Follow GlasgowMuseums or riversidemuseum on Twitter
Facebook information can be found here or here
A Fair Life
About A Fair Life

Scottish Showmen and women have played a significant role in the cultural history of Scotland and its people. For hundreds of years showpeople have travelled the country, providing entertainment with their rides and attractions. Their history is unique.

A Fair Life, co-curated with a small group of Scottish Showpeople, charts the unique traditions and histories of this tight-knit community. While this group have had a tangible influence on Scottish culture the majority of Scottish people know very little about them and the part they have played in shaping our city.

Scotland has between 3 to 5,000 ‘Travelling Showpeople’, distinct from ‘Travellers’, who operate rides, games and food stalls in its funfairs, markets and more recently even in shopping centres. An estimated 80% of Scottish Showpeople are Glaswegian, living in around 50 privately owned ‘yards’ located across the city. This is the largest concentration of Showpeople in Europe. The reasons for this date back to the 8 week winter carnival that ran at Kelvin Hall from the 1930s to the 1980s, enabling showpeople to continue working throughout the winter.

Starting with horse-drawn homes and equipment, then traction engines and lorries A Fair Life considers how the travelling lifestyle of showmen has evolved with technology. Showpeople have historically been early adopters of entertainment technologies, introducing electricity and moving cinemas as part of their shows. Today, the travelling fairs that have entertained generations of Scottish families are under increasing pressure as new technologies offer alternative diversions.

A Fair Life seeks to capture this rich hidden history, while addressing many of the misconceptions that have resulted in Showpeople experiencing many different forms of discrimination. The display contains objects on loan from the showpeople community, including a waltzer car, alongside items from Glasgow Museums collection relating to Fairground History, such as funhouse mirrors and bespoke objects made specifically for the display, including two carousel horses. Moving image archive footage and oral history commentary complete A Fair Life, on display in Riverside Museum’s North Window from 23 January 2017.

While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for A Fair Life are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment.

Other Events at Riverside Museum

Clyde Life

Clyde Life

06 December 2016 - 06 December 2017
Clyde Life is a stunning, nostalgic photography display capturing the ever-changing landscape of Glasgow’s River Clyde
Riverside Museum Family Event Programme

Riverside Museum Family Event Programme

01 October 2017 - 31 December 2017
Bring the family along to the Riverside Museum for a day crammed with fun events and activities!
Halloween Movie Drive-in

Halloween Movie Drive-in

29 October 2017
Join the Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice for their Halloween Movie Drive-in at Glasgow’s Riverside Museum!
Riverside Christmas Festival

Riverside Christmas Festival

02 December 2017 - 03 December 2017
Welcome in the festive season at the annual Riverside Christmas Festival being held on the 2nd & 3rd December!

Exhibitions Events you might like...

BBC Good Food Show Scotland BBC Good Food Show Scotland
20 Oct 2017 - 22 Oct 2017
The BBC Good Food Show returns to Glasgow from 20-22 October for a seasonal celebration of Scotland's finest food!
The Essence of Place: An Outdoor Screening By Candlelight The Essence of Place: An Outdoor Screening By Candlelight
21 Oct 2017
Join RSPB Scotland Loch Lomond for a unique event celebrating the work of artist in residence, Susannah Ramsay!
SipDontTip SipDontTip
24 Oct 2017 - 25 Oct 2017
Keep Scotland Beautiful presents SipDontTip - An exhibition about single use drinks containers at GoMA!
Crafts for Christmas and Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts Crafts for Christmas and Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts
26 Oct 2017 - 29 Oct 2017
Do you dream of a beautiful handmade Christmas? Then visit Crafts for Christmas and Hobbycrafts at the SEC Glasgow!
Re-framed: Celebrating Diversity Re-framed: Celebrating Diversity
27 Oct 2017
On October 27th, RCPSG invites you to ‘Reframed: Celebrating diversity’ – a heritage event with a difference!
Cathcart Model Railway Exhibition Cathcart Model Railway Exhibition
28 Oct 2017 - 29 Oct 2017
The annual Cathcart Model Railway Exhibition is being held Pollokshaws Burgh Hall on the 28th & 29th of October!

Family & Kids Events you might like...

October Week Free Cycles October Week Free Cycles
17 Oct 2017
South West Community Cycles are including fun bike rides through Pollok Park as part of October half-term 2017.
World Home Movie Day World Home Movie Day
17 Oct 2017
Celebrate World Home Movie Day at The Britannia Panopticon with a screening of cine films from the 30's to 80's!
Wizard School Wizard School
17 Oct 2017 - 19 Oct 2017
Join Scotland Street School for some spellbinding tricks and enchanting alchemy at their magical Wizard School!
October Week Roller Disco: Age 4+ October Week Roller Disco: Age 4+
17 Oct 2017
Come and roller skate with your family and friends during the October Week at Roller Stop!
Glasgow Style Story Time Glasgow Style Story Time
17 Oct 2017
Come along to House For An Art Lover for free stories, arts and crafts with a Glasgow Style twist for under 5's!
The Mackintosh Festival at Scotland Street School Museum The Mackintosh Festival at Scotland Street School Museum
17 Oct 2017
Scotland Street School Museum is hosting a range of workshops, activities and tours as part of the Mackintosh Festival

Find other events in Glasgow