Cromarty Archive

Hercher's Shows - 2004

Hercher's Shows - 2004

Date Added: 07 June 2004 Contributor: Garve Scott-Lodge Year: 2004 Picture No: 823

Albums: Events


That name Herchers ..brings back some memories ...didn't they use to put Films on as well at the Victoria Hall way back in the late 1950's or early sixties ?? Comment left on 10 June 2004 at 06:17 by John Macdonald
Herchers have been about for a long time. The Invergordon Times 4 Oct 1897 reports that the
Hercher Family were at at Cullicudden, with acrobatics and a performing dog – and that they had recently performed at Balmoral before the Queen. Doesn't say if she was amused.
Comment left on 10 June 2004 at 11:19 by David Alston
Yes John. The Herchers managed the Saturday evening cinemas in the Victoria hall. Mr. Hercher was often to be seen standing at the back of the hall in his Chicago gangster style hat and coat. Regular serials in the late fifties were, "Tobor", the three fingered robot ( that Harry Kynarzyck did quite dramatic impressions of ) and "Captain Marvel" who was like an early version of Superman. Comment left on 01 May 2005 at 20:30 by Christopher Hart
Yes David ..I knew they had been around in my time ..and my parents time ..but your information about that family having their shows, and Entertainment around in 1897 .. really makes them the "Barnum and Bailey of the Highlands " ...And Christopher ..I totally forgot about Mr Hercher and the Pictures ..which we all used to pile in and see ..and now you come to mention it .... Mr Hercher was a kind of "Godfather" figure that used to stand at the back of the hall..I know when the film broke, or stopped being young we were not game to complain ..just in case ! All jokes aside though, it's great to see that the Family business has been carried on ..and still makes its trips to Cromarty and the links, as they did all those years back. Long may they return in the years to come. Comment left on 01 May 2005 at 23:05 by John Macdonald
Hello all... I have just found this page and I am totally amazed by the historical facts that you have about my family. My father owns the funfair and Cromarty holds a lot of memories for me as a child. I would appreciate if anyone could give me more information on my family i.e pictures. Comment left on 05 May 2005 at 22:49 by Margaret Hercher
Hello - I have worked for James Hercher's fun fair for a long time now and the history is very interesting about the Hercher family - I have found out loads of things about the Herchers. Comment left on 23 May 2005 at 15:44 by Scott Ross
This is most interesting to us fairground enthusiasts and historians. Being based in the north of Scotland the family's history is not documented in the way many of the famous showland familes of the UK are. Comment left on 11 September 2005 at 20:58 by Keith Hamilton
The fair comes to Fort William and the guys that work there are stunning especially Jamie. Comment left on 19 September 2005 at 16:40 by Anon
herchers funfair recently came to the isle of skye and oh my god have u saw chris ( ginge ) 2 die for !!! im having ginger babies with him so to all the girls out there back off he's mine !!!! Comment left on 02 November 2005 at 16:13 by Tasha !
Have knowen the herchers for a long time - i always help them out when me and my bro mark has time. Mark been good m8s wif Jamie since he was 12. We all get the laugh wif them and its been grt - hope to see everyone next year when we all come back up Comment left on 12 December 2005 at 16:19 by Jonathan Murphy
My boyfriend Jamie's dad owns the fair and its nice to see so many people looking up the site, definately worth reading all the interesting facts that pop up! Keep them coming! Think Jamie was quite impressed when I showed the site to him last night! Comment left on 15 December 2005 at 10:58 by Louise (Gino) Campbell
hey i know the herchers boyz jamie and wee murf and his bro are the best ones who walks them they make the waltzer look good not ginge or haggis they just make it look bad but jamie wee murf and joff are the best and they are so good looking fae all the birds in ft william Comment left on 24 December 2005 at 20:51 by Anon
Just a short message to say hello to James H and all the rest of the boyz. Keep up the good work and I hope to see you all in Portree in October. Wishing you all the luck in the world! Missing you all loadz especially you Joff. See you in June x Comment left on 16 January 2006 at 11:49 by Alison Montgomery
Hi all, I am Scott - I work on Herchers no1 waltzer - we ginge - I have done it 6 years now. I don't go to Ft William or Skye, just up north. I will be there this year I remember the first day that ginge walked the waltzer - most boys I worked wi take months to learn he took 1 whole day. I took 3 4 day. We are James Hercher's no1 waltzerboys.

Just wanna say cheers 2 Tasha! Cheers Hun! Big shout 2 the Portree possie and hi 2 all girls fae last year, catch u all this year! Herchers star blazer number 1. Whahoooooooo!
Comment left on 17 January 2006 at 20:46 by Scott The 1 And Only And Ginge
Hi Lynn Hercher here, I'm married to James's son Mark.It's good to see what other people think of Hercher's Funfair. Myself and Mark are delighted to be part of the Herchers Funfair and after purchasing our own fairground rides we would like to keep it going for many more years and hopefully our son Josh will too. Comment left on 19 January 2006 at 19:01 by Lynn Hercher
get some photos of ur waltza boys n ur wee frend martyn nw works in brewers fair in fort william byee Comment left on 20 January 2006 at 15:00 by Anonymous
Editor's Note - thanks for all the comments everyone, but I have now stopped publishing ones about how gorgeous or otherwise Ginge or Jamie are. Comments about the history of the shows are still welcome. Comment left on 25 January 2006 at 12:50 by Garve
My Grandfather father was Montana Bill. I have photocopy of a handbill of MB's WW Circus listing the Hercher family as an act. Please contact me at [email protected] to explore and discuss. Comment left on 19 May 2006 at 04:38 by Steve Walker GGson of Montana Bill
I was very interested in hearing that Mr Hercher's grandfather used to show motion pictures in Victoria Hall, Cromarty. This is a coincidence as my grandfather THOMAS PAULO used to show pictures in the same hall and had a variety of people working for him on the doors of these halls including Golspie, Brora, Helmsdale, Wick, Thurso etc. As my grandfather took the projectors back from France in the war years when there was no projectors in Britain at that time I think your grandfather might have worked for my grandfather and possibly went through the war with him in France. My grandfather was THOMAS PAULO and we have photos of his touring bus at Brora hall which I will show you one day if you want. Comment left on 27 October 2006 at 18:03 by THE STIGS
Hi my name is walter mackay i remember the late thomas paulo showing the pictures in cromarty and remember the herchers too i am 100% sure the herchers worked for your grandfather..... Thomas Paulo was the first to have the idea of traveling pics in scotland. plus i have great memories of thomas in his circus years..Walter mackay Avoch Comment left on 09 January 2007 at 18:44 by WALTER MACKAY
just watched bbc programme last night about the downhill racer ....great insight & hats off the to the gran for still going strong Comment left on 29 January 2007 at 11:49 by ebooks1p
Very impressed by Darren Herchers film last night. A very moving insight to the trials and tribulations of a fairground family who have entertained the highlands for so many years. Lets hope things pick up for them!! Comment left on 29 January 2007 at 21:58 by Bishopbhoy
My Dad caught the second half of Downhill racers the other night and was telling me with great warmth that he had spent a long time convalescing in hospital in the 1930's with Henry Helcher. Both were young boys at the time. He told of how Henry's family made a great fuss of him and actually called into his home town of Reay to seek him out and to enquire after him, after he had eventually left hospital. He remembered Henry's Dad as a very warm and generous man. Does anyone know anything regarding Henry Helcher? Also... How could I let my Dad see the full programme? Thanks
Comment left on 02 February 2007 at 14:06 by Katrina
Damn and blast! I've missed a good programme by being at the other end of the world. I have been researching the Show people of Scotland for several years and met the Herchers last summer. A great bunch and very busy men. I will be back up this summer to do some interviews. How do I get a copy of Darren's programme to view and/or put into the School of Scottish Studies Archive?

Best regards,
Comment left on 04 February 2007 at 21:58 by Betty Jordan
Heyah I'm Shodanna Hercher. I am amazed at all the facts you have given me. I would love to see some more pictures and learn a lot more about my family. And remember Hercher's star-blazer (waltzer) iz #1 xx Comment left on 05 March 2007 at 17:42 by Shodanna Hercher
My Grandad used to have a garage at Riverside (where e Leigon is now) in Thurso and ma dad says that Charlie Hercher and he thinks Hector Hercher used to often pop up to and have a blether or get engine parts for any of the ex-army wagons that pulled the trailers. Ma dad says they were all fine folk!...all the best Comment left on 21 March 2007 at 13:58 by Monica
My name is sandra hercher and part of hercher family. I loved growing up as part of funfair and really proud of my family and all that they have achieved in this day and age with all the pressure that is involved in running the fair and hopefully will continue for many more happy years. Comment left on 06 April 2007 at 11:42 by Sandra Hercher
I am coming up north again this summer and want to interview the Herchers for the School of Scottish Studies Archives. Your contribution to the history of the travelling Showmen in Scotland is enormous so I don't want to leave you out! I know you are incredibly busy all summer but there must be time for a chat around the Inverness/Black Isle area? Comment left on 07 April 2007 at 20:19 by Dr Elizabeth (Betty) Jordan
I hope the email below (and reply) I Sent the BBC helps Anyone....
Dear Craig

Thank you for your e-mail regarding 'Downhill Racer'.

While I am not sure if a DVD of the film has been released you can purchase a VHS copy from a number of online and high street stores.

As the BBC is a publicly funded organisation, I am unable to recommend any of the shops directly, however a short search on the internet has produced a number of options.

I hope that you will be able to find a suitable copy and may I thank you, once again, for taking the time to contact the BBC with your enquiry.


BBC Information

-----Original Message-----

I watched bbc programme called the downhill racer on 29 January 2007. It
was on BBC scotland. Do you know where i can obtain a copy.
Thank you

Comment left on 23 April 2007 at 06:15 by Ebooks1p
iya its steph hercher (well marlow but in my eyes im a hercher hehe) i was so shocked to see this page i was only looking for pics for my art about they herchers numba 1 fun fair i am so proud of my family that why i chose to do the family fiar for art (for my g.c.s.e ) herchers fun fiar is numba 1 and will be for years and years to come xxxxxxxx
Comment left on 14 June 2007 at 11:27 by Steph Hercher (i My Eyes Hehe)
ive just recently left herchers fun fair and think ther shud be more updated picures of the equipment ginge !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Comment left on 22 August 2007 at 12:03 by Ginge Aka Chris
Does anyone have a postal address for the Hercher family as I need to contact them for genuine reasons Comment left on 28 August 2007 at 20:58 by Keith Hamilton
I also believe Thomas Paulo brought motion pictures to the Highlands as I have seen proof to support the Stig's comment. Comment left on 27 February 2008 at 22:00 by Showman

like lots of the other contributors I am struggling to find a dvd or vhs copy of Darren Hercher's downhill racer - very happy to pay for it and any suggestions much appreciated


Comment left on 11 April 2008 at 16:08 by Dougie Watson
Heya am Annalie Hercher am amazed by the facts, keep them cumin, I luv growing up in the fair and I hope it will keep on going for yaers to cum lol.xoxoxoxoxoxo Comment left on 27 November 2008 at 14:27 by Annalie Hercher
I have noticed that my relative Steve Walker has said he has a photocopy of a handbill mentioning that the Hercher Family are one of the acts performing with "Montana Bill's Wild West Circus", Montana Bill being my grandfather. My cousin has the original of these two handbills, now framed and protected for posterity. I have some photos of it, which I can send to anyone interested in the family. The handbills probably date from around the time of WW1, perhaps 1910-1920 at a rough guess. I have copied down the words relating to the Hercher Family as follows:
"Special engagement of the only surviving members of the well-known HERCHER FAMILY. Introducing horizontal bars, trapeze, Japanese balancing, acrobatic feats, balancing on chairs, somersaults, etc., etc. All should try and witness this wonderful performance".
Another line on the handbills is as follows:
"HELEN HERCHER - the Highland International Dancer"
We believe Montana Bill was born in the USA, or possibly Canada, and came over to the UK in the late 19th century. He settled in Scotland and had a large family, most of his children being born in Glasgow. The family travelled extensively around Scotland, and we have his diaries and press cuttings concerning his shows. Any info. re the Hercher Family from this time period would be most welcome.
Comment left on 08 December 2008 at 08:35 by Graham Bailey
More good info about an important Highland based Show-ground family in Scotland. Still hope to get some of them on a CD of their reminiscences/stories for the Scottish Studies Archives. Comment left on 09 December 2008 at 20:09 by Elizabeth Jordan (Dr) alias Betty Jordan
My daughter, Paige, is doing a family history project for school and decided to research the Hercher family. My maiden name is Hercher and my Mam and Dad, Joey and James Hercher (Paige's Granny and Grandad) still live in Beauly. Found out lots about the Herchers! Comment left on 01 November 2011 at 16:45 by Sharon Lee
I'm delighted with all the coments of all my family, love them all 2 bits, have very happy memories of us all growing up n still 2 this day. I've laughed at some comments, smiled at some and shed a tear at sum. Thanks 2 all and would love to hear much, much more. Comment left on 28 January 2013 at 21:44 by Louise Hercher
My late mother used to talk about Charlie Hercher’s Circus coming to Gairloch in the 1930s.
The show was held in a small field by the Old Post Office close to the present Old Inn .
Must have been quite a challenge bringing all the equipment along 50 miles of single track road at that time.
Comment left on 09 February 2018 at 22:41 by Willie Macrae
My cousin Carman Gilmour( brother to Jimmy, Johnnie, Katie, and Annie) worked for them for a long number of years. Comment left on 19 March 2018 at 11:54 by George E Gilmour
I was with Hector and James at Beauly R.C school. Hector was capt. In 1973 when the shinty club won the Macgillivary senior League. First major trophy since winning the Camanachd Cup when two of the Herchers played pre WW 1. Comment left on 13 September 2021 by Iain Campbell
I have fond memories of Herchers visiting Alness in the 40s and 50s. There was the side shows which used to come to a park on the Invergordon side of the Masonic Hall (now houses) and of course Charlie ran films in the Scout Hall (no longer exists) on Saturday nights. Comment left on 09 December 2021 by Samuel. Kennedy.
I’m apart off the Hurchers and it’s crazy to see a hole sight about us. Comment left on 02 March 2022 by Nikkita patience
My Mother Iris and Grandmother Dolly came from Beauly and grew up with John Hendry Hercher and Polly Hercher.

I came over in 71 and traveled with the shows and worked with my cousin James. Came back when I was 19 and helped out in the pub at Balblair.
Comment left on 26 January 2024 at 05:31 by Charles W. McKenzie
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