The compelling story of Colonel Barker

Date: 6 Jun 2024
Location: Showtown
heritage | talk
Join Blackpool artist, Joseph Doubtfire as he explores the fascinating story of Colonel Barker, a Blackpool sideshow which caused a sensation in the 1930s. Before they became a Blackpool sideshow in 1937, Colonel Barkerโ€™s name made headlines many times over. Raised a woman, at 28 they began living their life as a man. Colonel Barker lived many lives. 3 marriages, time in jail, lies and bankruptcy. This fame led them to appear in Blackpool and pull in the crowds. But what did their sideshow look like and what does this story means to us now?
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    Antonia Charlesworth Stack is a journalist and editor from Blackpool. She was deputy editor of Big Issue North magazine and is editor of Blackpool Social Club. Antonia is also the founder of Reclaim Blackpool, a women's safety campaign that began life as an article she wrote for Blackpool Social Club. She's a contributing author to the Lancashire Stories anthology with her story about a Blackpool performer, The Call of The Sea. The book is available for free in libraries across the county.