George Wombwell: post script……

In light of my cousin Shaun Everett’s excellent new book ( part two of his proposed three part George Wombwell biography ) I feel there’s a couple of things that I need to say about my own writings on George, an addendum if you like.

Firstly, a few words about Shaun: he’ll forever be a kind of hero to me, as he attended the Jimi Hendrix gig at the Chelmsford Corn exchange, on February 25th, 1967. Indeed, his friend lit Jimi’s joint as he left the stage. A Rock’n’Roll epiphany indeed.

But more than that, Shaun is a very clever fellow, with a superb sense of humour. I like to think that I’m a polymath, and perhaps as far as Rock’n’Roll history goes, in a pub quiz I’d thrash him hands down. But that’s about it.
Shaun is a very affable man, warm and friendly, an entertaining character who could easily give fabulous after dinner speeches. And as a media advisor he’d be second to none. On top of this, he’s very focussed, to the point of obsession: he’s articulate and understandable, and an all round damn fine chap. His head is no doubt bursting with ideas, pretty much like my own! And indeed, perhaps some of his attributes were inherited from our George?

As for Shaun’s new book about the great man, similar to the first volume it’s a cracking good read, and I shall certainly re read it again soon, such is the minutiae contained within. And it made me realise more than ever, that my two pieces on GW, as well intentioned as they were, are mostly “fake news”, surely something the old showmen were masters of? Certainly, I gave it my best shot, diligently researching George’s story almost every day for a few months. But what I was reading on the internet was mostly a series of “Chinese whispers”: long repeated myths and half truths, spin that may even have been fabricated originally by George Wombwell himself. Shaun has given us the clearest picture of the life of the “the world’s greatest showman” so far, and I urge all of you Wombwell scholars out there to digest both volumes, if you want to read something remotely close to the truth about George.

So I guess I did the best I could to cobble together George’s story, but sadly I was misinformed. Well, there’s “one born every minute” as PT Barnum supposedly said, and this obviously still applies in our modern world, and will no doubt continue to do so for as long as mankind inhabits this fair globe.

Shaun is positively Sherlock-ian in his search for the facts, and as I say, to digest them all will certainly take me another read.
But even then I wonder: whilst Shaun has done his utmost to separate the wheat from the chaff, how much will we ever know to be certain? And I guess that’s a big part of the romance and charm of George’s story……

Here’s the Amazon link for part 2:

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