New Bostock and Wombwell Photograph surfaces from the Exeter area

Updated and corrected version

This photograph from a glass plate negative (poor condition) came to light recently and is now in the collection.

Do you recognise either of these ‘drivers’? Let us know if your ancestors were drivers or elephant handlers with Bostock and Wombwell’s Travelling Menagerie.

The date is probably around 1900, but it may be earlier or even later.

The photograph shows a young African Asian elephant (large ears) so it cannot might be a young ‘Sir Roger’ (see research report when published) and if it is before 1900 it might be an elephant known as ‘Bill’ which was travelling around the same time and was recorded at the Goose Fair in Nottingham during 1896. A full research report will appear on the research website in due course.

Addenum: Thanks to Jim Stockley for correcting my undoubted lack of knowledge in the zoological department!

Thanks also to Geoff Younger for suggesting the man standing at the back might be Arthur Feeley. Arthur had been injured during WW1 and was given permission to travel inside the vans according to Geoff. This then might date the photograph from 1917 onwards when Arthur returned to duties at Bostock and Wombwell.