History of the Troupe(s)

The Beginnings

The family’s involvement in the entertainment business can be traced back to at least 1861, when Robert Lomas Sn was a fairground traveller and listed as a Showman in the 1861 census. Quite what the act was is unknown at this time but it is likely that he was performing theatrical acts.

In 1879 Robert is in poor health and the business is in decline. Robert advertises his portable theatre for sale, along with scenery and props, 4 baggage carts and 2 living vans.

However, he must have recovered to some extent because in 1881 he describes himself as a Theatrical Manager. He died in 1888.

Robert’s son, Richard John Lomas, is described as a Play Actor in the 1871 census. He and his family are travelling around in the same group as his parents and are camped in their caravan on Tommyfield in Oldham. The 1881 census has him described as a Theatrical Clown Performer. Richard died just six months after his father, in May 1889.

The family business now seems to go in to hibernation for a while. Richard’s eldest son Robert is only 17 when his father dies and there are 6 more children ranging in ages down to 18 months. Richard’s widow, Maria, remarries the same year to Peter Broadbent a hardware dealer. In the 1891 census we find the whole family together in Oldham.

In 1894 we come across the three eldest brothers (Robert, Richard and William) in an act called Lomas, Lomas and Lomas. They are touring with an act called Stanley’s Travels in Monkeyland, this later becomes A Traveller’s Troubles in Monkeyland.

When Robert Lomas Jnr marries Margaret Bowman he describes himself as a Music Hall Artist.

Now this is a move away from the travelling showman of his parents and grandparents. Music Hall is regarded, rightly or wrongly, as a step up from the itinerant fairground traveller.

Death of Father and New Beginnings

More to be written here

The Split

More to be written here

 

The Penders

Many references are made to Bob Pender being the Drury Lane clown. However, whilst today this is generally taken to mean The Theatre Royal, it is also used to refer to the theatre district of London and thus includes a number of theatres.

 

The Act

Stilt walkers, animal impersonators, comic sketches, Harlequinade (generally for pantos,

 

Archie Leach

More to be written here

Retirement

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 The Lomases Continue

Most American theatres in the 1920’s and 30’s had a mixed bill of Vaudeville and cinema. That way audiences would see a variety show and a film.

More to be written here

The End

More to be written here