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The compelling story of Colonel Barker

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 Barker’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?

Speaker, Joseph Doubtfire was selected to develop an augmented reality walking trail for the Blackpool StoryTrails project. He researched and presented Colonel Barker’s story as part of this.

Duration: 90 minutes

Ahead of the talk, come along to Showtown from 4pm to enjoy songs performed by the Electric Pink Voices Choir. FREE to attend, no need to book to see the choir.

Event times

Thursday 6th June 2024, 5.30pm - 7pm.


Adult - £7

Concession (senior aged 65+, student with ID) - £5

Sir Ken Dodd Learning Space

(Entrance) Corner of Adelaide Street West and Bank Hey Street



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