Between the mid-nineteenth-century and the time of the First World War, a number of enterprising bellringing families spent their working lives moving around the performance circuits of Australia and New Zealand. Travelling by coach, train and steamship, they performed wherever there were enough people to form an interested audience. They appeared in large theatres before governors and vice-regal parties, in community halls in tiny townships, and in sheds and barns before gatherings of local farmers.
This book tells their story. Along with tales of excitement and glamour, splendid theatres, thrilling circuses, and encounters with famous people, are moving accounts of the way families persevered in the face of constant and wearisome travel, uncomfortable hotels, illness, tragedy, shipwreck, and times of real despair.
Enjoy this entertaining glimpse of the popular culture of a dynamic and rapidly changing age.