The Peter Wellen Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains about 250 black and white and colour prints of fairground rides and transport, mainly of British southern counties fairs and rallies in the 1960s then in the modern day. There are some American amusement park images. The images are largely identified and dated. Also included are manuscripts for the first 6 issues of 'Century of Tobers' (Fairground Association of Great Britain) magazine, a small selection of calendars produced by Carters funfair and commercially produced DVDs on the fairground and preservation movement.

Administrative / Biographical History

Peter Wellen was a fairground enthusiast who photographed rides and transport around the British southern counties. There are also a number of photographs, both in colour and black and white, of a fairground in America, which we hope to identify.

Peter was born in Maidstone, Kent, 26th April in 1932. He spent his childhood through the Second World War but at some point he became very interested in the fairground. He wrote an article about these early times for The Fairground Mercury.

After grammar school he qualified as an Electronic Engineer. He was then one of the last in the country to do National Service. After his national service he worked for GEC and worked on many Ministry of Defence (MOD) projects on military planes and weapons. Most of this work was covered by the official secrets act.

He then moved to Silchester in Berkshire in 1966 relocating to be the General Manager at Spembly Electronics in Andover, from there he worked for Plessey Electronics in Maidenhead and then finally working for ICL until he retired.

He was married to Stella in July 1957 and they had one daughter Ruth and a granddaughter, Becky.

In addition to his interests in fairgrounds he also had many other interests such as collecting old fashioned wireless equipment, science fiction, amateur dramatics and anything to do with the theatre. He was on the board of Trustees for The Haymarket Theatre in Basingstoke. He was a great writer and wrote many play scripts and contributed to many magazines.

He died age 79 on the 29th November 2011.


Catalogued according to type

Conditions Governing Access

The Photographs make up part of the image database collection which is available to view in the NFA reading room. Contact NFA regarding other items. If you wish to view any of the DVDs, equipment needs to be booked prior to visit. Please contact the NFA.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Graham Downie and the FAGB

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Alicia Kirkbride, August 2012

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of National Fairground Archive, subject to copyright law.

Related Material

Dick Price Collection, Paul Angel Collection

Personal Names