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TITLE
Memories of a showman - 'Kicking Donkey'
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_WILLHAY_11
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
Will Hay
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2294
KEYWORDS
showmen
carnivals
circuses
funfairs
puppets
puppet shows
fairgrounds
audio

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Will Hay was a northern showman and Punch and Judy puppeteer. He came from a family of travelling entertainers; his great grandfather, John Morrison, had joined Pindar's Circus when it was on tour in Sutherland while his grandfather, William Duncan Morrison, and uncle, Duncan Morrison, put on Punch and Judy shows in and around Inverness. The Morrisons were also well-known for their bone-setting skills.

In this audio extract, Will talks about one of the side-shows - 'Kicking Donkey'.

An then we had the 'Kickin Dunkey'. Well, that was a donkey, a shape of a donkey, cut out on a big board, nearly the same size as the donkey. Now the head an the body was all one but the front legs was separate. Now, ye bolted them on, on a hinge type onto the body, an you bolted them into the deck on a platform or anything ye had. Now that meant that that body could come up an down on the hinge. Now the back legs was also on a hinge but ye didn't anchor them, ye see? Now, ye bored a hole in the centre of the donkey, the wooden donkey, ye see? An you had a hinge onto the front, an ye had a big round plug onto this hinge. Well, when you pulled this hinge up an stuck it in the hole, the donkey stayed rigid. So ye got everybody to have a belt at this plug with a ball, but as soon as ye knocked the plug out - wheeet! - up would go the donkey because he was anchored on the front ,with a big elastic band an the back legs kicked, ye see? Course ye got a coconut for that. That's what we used to call a 'Kickin Dunkey'

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Memories of a showman - 'Kicking Donkey'

1980s; 1990s

showmen; carnivals; circuses; funfairs; puppets; puppet shows; fairgrounds; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Will Hay, Memories of a Showman

Will Hay was a northern showman and Punch and Judy puppeteer. He came from a family of travelling entertainers; his great grandfather, John Morrison, had joined Pindar's Circus when it was on tour in Sutherland while his grandfather, William Duncan Morrison, and uncle, Duncan Morrison, put on Punch and Judy shows in and around Inverness. The Morrisons were also well-known for their bone-setting skills. <br /> <br /> In this audio extract, Will talks about one of the side-shows - 'Kicking Donkey'.<br /> <br /> An then we had the 'Kickin Dunkey'. Well, that was a donkey, a shape of a donkey, cut out on a big board, nearly the same size as the donkey. Now the head an the body was all one but the front legs was separate. Now, ye bolted them on, on a hinge type onto the body, an you bolted them into the deck on a platform or anything ye had. Now that meant that that body could come up an down on the hinge. Now the back legs was also on a hinge but ye didn't anchor them, ye see? Now, ye bored a hole in the centre of the donkey, the wooden donkey, ye see? An you had a hinge onto the front, an ye had a big round plug onto this hinge. Well, when you pulled this hinge up an stuck it in the hole, the donkey stayed rigid. So ye got everybody to have a belt at this plug with a ball, but as soon as ye knocked the plug out - wheeet! - up would go the donkey because he was anchored on the front ,with a big elastic band an the back legs kicked, ye see? Course ye got a coconut for that. That's what we used to call a 'Kickin Dunkey'