Tag Archives: circus sideshow

Bryony Tide – Sideshow Mermaid

14 Apr

Researching sideshow mermaids was an interesting little task. A quick google mostly made reference to the eponymous Fiji Mermaid. A macabre splicing of a monkeys head and torso, sewn to a fish’s tail. I fancied something a bit more glamorous so kept on searching and began to uncover stories of simple illusions involving a trick of perspective. A girl made up in finest mermaid garb would position herself behind a small tank and appear to interact with rocks and plants within it. When viewed from the right position, she appears to be submerged in the briny deep.

BS-Sideshow-4

Having always had a bit of a thing for mermaids it seemed the ideal excuse to get out my sequins and start sewing a little aquatic siren of my own, here she is!

Bryony Tide

Bryony Tide has never seen the sea. She grew up in a mining town in the Midlands on a diet of Bovril and artichokes, with nothing much to do except play tricks on the neighbour’s elderly and frankly quite flatulent dog. She despises water and hates even to get her face wet in the shower, the consequence of which being a constantly Bovril stained face. Ironic then that she secured a job in the sideshow as their resident fake mermaid.

Bryony Tide

Bryony TideAnd so, I find myself halfway through my sideshow ten-in-one. What a motley crew they make:

Sideshow Ten-in-one

 

Barbara Kettlebelle – Strongwoman

26 Mar

Strongmen were a mainstay of many a turn of the century sideshow, much rarer however was the strongwoman. There were several of note, often lifting men above their heads or offering a sum of money to any man who could beat them in a weight-lifting competition, as well as plenty of other odd displays of their inordinate strength.220px-Katie_Sandwina_(the_Lady_Hercules) article-2255849-1680C720000005DC-870_306x502 article-2255849-1680C945000005DC-659_306x442I figured my Ten-in-One wouldn’t be complete without a glamorous strongwoman of its own, so here comes Barbara Kettlebelle.

Barbara KettlebelleDespite her scrawny appearance, Barbara possesses unnatural strength for a woman having grown up wrestling with her fourteen older brothers. The circus offered her a place after witnessing her performing a clean and press with a baby elephant in the strongfolks Olympics. As you can imagine, a lady of her abilities needs a lot of fuel and her daily diet includes eight whole chickens, a gallon of chocolate milk, and her bodyweight in peanut butter and jam sandwiches.

Barbara Kettlebelle

Barbara Kettlebelle