Anderton and Rowland Families

Scope and Content

The Anderton and Rowland family collection contains approximately 450 copies of photographs and newspaper cuttings relating to the families and their fairground activities and the transport that was used on the fairgrounds. Many have been identified and dated

Administrative / Biographical History

Albert Haslam was born in Sheffield in 1851. He left home at an early age and learned magic and illusion from John Henry Anderson, the great Wizard of the North. After the death of his teacher, he took the slightly amended name of Professor Anderton travelling with some of the greatest shows including Randall William’ Ghost Show.

During the late 1800’s the circus and menagerie toured the UK with Albert’s son, Arthur, becoming Captain Rowland, the animal trainer. The menagerie was sold in1898 to pay of debts and Anderton then toured as Fourpawrs circus.George DeVey joined Anderton and Rowland’s in 1894, later marrying Albert’s daughter, Martha. He was integral to the development of the rides and transport that saw Anderton and Rowland’s develop to become one of the best touring fairs.

Anderton invested in the development of a new novelty, animated pictures and the show became known as 'Anderton and Rowland’s Grand Empire Palace. In 1906 a new show front was commissioned from the Orton and Spooner Company which included a Marenghi organ in the centre, still owned today by the company.

There were light bulbs lit up at night that changed colour in time to the music.Since the 1950s, the firm has continued to expand and the name Anderton and Rowland is now in its 5th generation. It is owned by the De-Vey family and is the biggest fairground operator travelling in Devon and Cornwall.

Conditions Governing Access

These items make up part of the image database collection which is available to view by appointment in the NFA reading room.

Acquisition Information

Photocopies reproduced with the permission of George-De-Vey

Other Finding Aids

On the image database collection

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Jane Donaldson