Recollections of his childhood excitement at seeing the long show trains drawing into a rickety NSW country rail siding, the thrill of Show Day actually dawning and years later a request from an old friend, motivated Bob Morgan to write The Showies – Revelations of Australia’s Outdoor Side-Showmen.
As RASV public relations manager for over a decade (1964-1977), Bob formed lasting friendships with a number of key showmen and amusement operators whose involvement was integral to the success of the Royal Melbourne Show.
Following his retirement from the RASV, Bob was approached by long-time friend and second generation presenter of the famous boxing troupe tent shows, Jimmy Sharman Jr, who urged Bob to “tell the story” of this unique sector of the Australian entertainment industry before too many of the older, influential characters passed on.
After three years of research and the painstaking transcribing of hours of taped interviews with the seven legendary individuals who feature in it, The Showies was published in 1995. The book still stands as one of the most informative works produced on Australia’s travelling side-show industry.