Fair became folk-lore in the West Country, as did Miss Sophie's
flamboyant dresses and hats. Hancocks were destined to become legend
in fairground history.
Travelled by brothers, William and Charles Hancock, and their
sister, Miss Sophie, their amusements appeared at every major
regatta and fair in the West Country. In 1990 the Western Evening
Herald likened their story to "a tale with all the ripe ingredients
for a spectacular Broadway musical, brimming over with orphans,
rampaging suffragettes and delinquent lady balloonists."
It begins like a romantic novel,
when a young woman fell in love with a travelling showman, but goes
tragically wrong when the family, who built up the fairs and
regattas of the West, lose their business through arson and fierce