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Noel Drewe Collection

Reference code: NFA0058

Scope and Contents

A large collection of films entitled Circusama containing amateur and professional films on the themes of circus, performing animals and zoos, and edited clips from commercial Western and comedy films. FIlms are in a variety of formats including 8mm, Super8, 9.5mm and 16mm. Also includes a small collection of sound reels mainly containing fairground music, and correspondence and notes relating to the films.


  • Creation: c1907 - 2001


Conditions Governing Access

VHS Items are available to view by appointment in the NFCA reading room. Other film formats are not available to be viewed. Film viewing equipment must be booked prior to visit

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of National Fairground and Circus Archive, subject to copyright law and condition of the material

Biographical / Historical

Noel Drewe was not only a circus historian and collector but he was also an avid film enthusiast with a keen flair for filmmaking. What makes this collection so unique aside from the scope and quality of the material is the accompanying notes he made, spanning several decades of passionate collection and observations. These commonly included both his own reaction to the film and any press information he gathered relating to the material.

His collection consists of an array of both amateur and professional moving image material on a multitude of formats. Noel made several of the films with his father Frank, dating as far back as 1937. These short films shot on 8mm feature an eclectic mix of fairground experiences, illustrating the pleasures of Battersea fun fair, Southend-on-Sea, Kent seaside, Folkstone, Clacton and Southsea on Kodachrome colour film stock.


33 Box(es) (326 films, 13 audio reels)

Language of Materials



Catalogued according to type

Existence and Location of Copies

Audio tape 178E10.2 digitised as part of the British Library's Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project.

Related Materials

Dick Price Collection, Dave Homer Collection and Circus Friends Association Collection

In Progress
Created by Jane Donaldson, updated by Arantza Barrutia on Fiding Aid Date field date
24 February 2015
Description rules
International Standard for Archival Description - General
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the National Fairground and Circus Archive Repository

The University of Sheffield
Western Bank
Sheffield South Yorkshire S10 2TN United Kingdom
0114 222 7231