Sunday History Photo / Au

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 06:26
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The drum would start beating to draw the crowd. People would be attracted by the noise, and come drifting across the rutted dusty Showground towards the stand. There they would stand, while the spruker expounded the virtues of the fighters.

"Come on, come on, come on. Give it a go. Survive three rounds and we will give you five pounds."



Each fighter would be brought forward and introduced to the crowd. "Surely some of you blokes can beat him. Three rounds, five pounds." The locals would hold up their hands and be called into the stand to be fitted out.
Inside near the ring, people sat and waited on the hard seats while the dust motes drifted in the sunlight streaming down onto the ring. The fighters were brought out and introduced, the troupe fighter and then the local challenger. The bell sounded, and the fight began.
Jimmy Sharman Snr (1887-1965) found at a very young age that he could make money by fighting in the boxing tents in the district shows. After running away from home and engaging in fights with crude rings and equipment, he established his own boxing troupe that travelled to about 50 shows a year, the largest being the Sydney Royal Easter Show.





By 1915 his Sharman Troupe was well established, his gravelly voice yelling out his catchcry invitations to the public to enter the tent and fight against one of the Sharman stable of fighters: “Who’ll take a glove?” and “A round or two for a pound or two.” (“Pound” was the then form of currency). For the next 40 years he remained a fixture of sideshow alley, customers paying their two bob (two shillings) to view fights.
By today’s standards such a display would be barbaric and dangerous; by the standards of the day it was quite acceptable.
Sharman maintained a strict code: no consumption of alcohol by fighters or spectators; no mismatched fights; no punchy fighters, and no race discrimination, a progressive position considering the nature of the would-be fighters (usually the local thugs and brawlers) with whom he was dealing, the attitudes of the period and that quite a number of his fighters were black.

Jimmy Sharman junior was born in Narrandera, New South Wales. He attended his first Sydney Royal Easter Show in 1926 working in his father's tent. He played rugby league for Western Suburbs Magpies. He was fullback in Western Suburbs' 1934 premiership win. In 1938 he became First Grade captain. He retired after 7 seasons in 1939 to become a journalist, taking over the boxing tent from his father in 1955. Sharman played 45 games between 1935 and 1939, scored 12 tries and kicked 11 goals. He was unable to serve during World War 11 because of ulcers, being ruled medically unfit.



In 1955 he took over the boxing tent from his father and toured until 1971, when regulations were introduced prohibiting boxers having more than one fight per week. That was the end of the Sharman Boxing Troupe. He was awarded life membership of Western Suburbs Magpies in 1998.

For six decades the Sharman tent had followed the show circuit in 4 states for 11 months each year. Today it is a memory.
Jimmy Sharman did not leave the shows, instead he became involved in the dodgem cars with his mate, TV mogul Reg Grundy.

Jimmy Sharman Jnr also had one son, like his father named James. James was also known as Jim and, although not involved in fighting, he is also a showman of sort. A director and writer of film and stage, he is internationally best known as the co-writer and director of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.



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Reply By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 07:42

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 07:42
GdayGoug
That brings back memories. I liked going and watching when i was a little fella in Tamworth in the 50s .

Muzbry
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Follow Up By: Life Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 07:53

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 07:53
All the good things and fun we did as kids have been erased by do-gooders.

Congrats on becoming a lifer.

Did you get the fly net hat.

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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 08:31

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 08:31
Well we didnt have them when I was a tacker in Geelong but I saw the tent at Birdsville and it was the most entertaining entry fee I have ever paid!
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Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 08:35

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 08:35
Good morning Doug
Not the fly net cap, only the ordinary peeked cap.

Bonz
Put the WWE wrestling on the bucket list if you want a good laugh . I went last year with Tiny Little Zac, havent had a laugh like that in many years.
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Follow Up By: bluefella - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 11:07

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 11:07
G,day Doug
that's where i copped my first of many flog'ns, a Koori kid same age same size as me,let me get a few on him in the first round to rev the crowd up, second round all over in 2 seconds, Sydney Royal Show 1964
cheers
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Follow Up By: Life Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 11:16

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 11:16
bluefella
Thanks for putting a big smile on my face...

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Reply By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 11:35

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 11:35
Hi Doug, well that was a "blast from the past!!" and it brought back a heap of memories. I remember he would let a few kids in for nix if he thought they were short of the admission price, after of course all the paying customers had entered. I had not realised that he had also been a good footballer. Thanks for another great post. Cheers
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Reply By: Member - mechpete - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 13:34

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 13:34
gooday Doug
god that brings back some memories !!!
I live only 1/2 a kilometer form the Shepparton show grounds , an as a kid we would go to the show , an I can remember vivdly the particular beating sound of the drums
an there was a regular bloke who,s name was turner , the man on the microphnoe
would say " YOUNG TURNER FIGHTS TODAY "
an the locals would gather around out the front of the tent to see who gunna have a go ,
that is well an trually in my memory .
cheers mechpete
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Follow Up By: Member -Dodger - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 14:38

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 14:38
Brings Back memories for me too Doug. Had my go at Bulli show and only lasted into the second round.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Reply By: Honky - Monday, Jan 14, 2013 at 10:58

Monday, Jan 14, 2013 at 10:58
Remember these as well at the local show in Moree in the late 60's. I think I might have been one of those kids that got in free.
The Strippers tent was next door. These may be worth a story also.
As a kid we asked how old you had to be to get into the stripper tent and the answer was "one dollar".
They had an exhibition at the drovers hall of fame a few years back but on my last visit in August it was not their.
Arrr the good old days.

Honky
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