Arthur Feely, Elephant handler for Bostock&Wombwell

reproduced by kind permission of Geoffrey Younger, date unknown

I have been contacted by Geoffrey Younger with photographs by Arthur Feely, who used to be an elephant handler in the early 20th century. Geoffrey also says Arthur can be seen in the Hull Fair photograph recently published on here and the research website.

Geoffrey is Arthur’s grandson and has published some information about Arthur on the NFA website. Elephants were used extensively in travelling menageries for hauling waggons in the early days. I will be publishing a rare early photograph in the next few weeks concerning this practice.

reproduced by kind permission of Geoffrey Younger, date unknown

Close up of the booth from our Hull Fair photograph circa 1904

Geoffrey thinks Arthur is the man on the right in the close up of our Hull Fair photogragh.I think Geoffrey is correct. If anyone knows who else is in the photograph, then please contact us. It seems Arthur was a loyal worker for the menagerie.

Artefacts: Bostock and Wombwell at Hull fair

Hull, in East Yorkshire is one of those cities that has a long tradition of markets and fairs. The Hull Fair is a regular annual event from the thirteenth century onwards and is rivelled only by the Nottingham Goose Fair and Bartholomew’s Fair in central London. It was then, a popular destination for the travelling menageries. Wombwell is known to have attended and Bostock and Wombwell shows were a favorite with the nineteenth century audiences.

There were a series of excellent photographs taken of B&W at Hull Fair. This is probably the finest example of the menagerie booth photographs that exist and was possibly taken in 1919 although the fashion might indicate somewhat earlier.