1942 : A former noted show-woman buried in Mitcham


ONE of the most interesting characters in the show world, Mrs Amy Norman, mother of Mr Tom Norman, who for fourteen years ran a “Housey-Housey” booth in Rugby, died at Rugby Emergency Hospital Wednesday night. She had been ill a fortnight, and was taken to the hospital on Sunday.

Born in a caravan at Loughborough in 1880, Mrs. Norman was the daughter of Mr Jim Rayner, a famous showman, who owned a mumming booth in which a different play was performed each night. It was here that Mrs. Norman began her career, playing in such melodramas as “Maria Martin,” and she also played in Shakespearean plays and was a wonderful dancer.

When she was fifteen she married the late Mr Tom Norman, who was known as the “Silver King” and the showman’s auctioneer. She lived all her life in a caravan, and most of her six sons and three daughters, all of whom, with the exception of one daughter, were in the show business before the war, were born a caravan. Since her eldest son, Mr Tom Norman, left Rugby about five years ago she has been living with some of her family in a caravan in Mr Durham’s yard in West Leyes. A short time ago Mr Norman was asked to prepare a script and invite his mother to broadcast some of her reminiscences.

The funeral will take place Monday at Mitcham, Surrey, where Mrs Norman’s husband is buried in the family grave.

Source: Rugby Advertiser – Friday 05 June 1942 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

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