dave, caterer, manchester.

i’ve been in the catering trade since i left school.

i wanted to join the armed forces as a chef but, being asthmatic, they wouldn’t let me. i’ll never forget it. he said “there’s nothing we can do for ya.” i said “you know what, i can run, i can cycle, i’m fit and healthy.” nothing.

i thought, that’s just my dreams gone. i wanted to go travel the world.

he said the only thing i could do is try for the cruise liners. so i had to go get a job in a four star hotel for a minimum of two years. so i went and got that. i was enjoying that. and then the missus was caught pregnant with the first baby so i thought i can’t leave her there. i thought right, leave it another two years.

i was progressing at work, doing well. i got up to a nice level at work where i thought i can’t go up any more than that, so i applied for the cruise liners. went for an interview, went to the open day. they were all happy with it - my experience and all of that. and then, literally a week later, the missus says “i’m pregnant again.” i thought “you’re trapping me aren’t you. you just don’t want me to go.”

but it’s great on here because of the sights you see and some of the people you meet. i’ve travelled all over england. t in the park in scotland, v festival in stafford and chelmsford, leeds festival, reading festival, latitude festival… some of the places i’ve been it’s like… wow. some of the characters you see, it’s not just like a mundane job in an office looking at a computer. alright, you’ve got the office clown but, in a field, you’ve got proper clowns.

when it’s dead i hate it but, when it’s busy, i love it. i love the adrenaline rush. when i do the festivals and one of the acts come off and you just get absolutely twatted. you get everyone there. the buzz of thinking like “right, lets get these done.” you see it and it’s like, eight people deep and you’re looking at them like “let’s get ‘em done, let’s feed ‘em, feed ‘em!”. i’m looking at my queue and i’m five steps ahead. i’m thinking if any of these are getting chips, i’d better get two lots in and just keep it goin’. your head’s focused.

it’s just an adrenaline rush.

 
 
 
 

tyler, travelling showman, uk.

i get to see the country and see different things. i can never stay in one place too long now.

i go up and down - as far north as newcastle and as far south as bridgewater.

but the hours are hard sometimes. it’s not like normal work this - it’s a living. it’s what you have to do for life, you know? i’ve been up since twenty past four this morning and working all day today and we don’t finish until six and then we drive all the way back down to swindon so i probably won’t be done until about one o’clock tonight.

but that’s life, that’s just how i live, you know? every day. this is what i do for a living.

this is what i am.

a travelling showman.

i never really thought about what i wanted to do when i grow up. i always knew i’d be doing this because that’s what we were brought up to do, you know?

this is what i’ll be doing for the rest of my life, i’ve never really thought about anything else.

 
 
 

jimmy, fairground worker, uk.

when i was a lad, i wanted to join the army but i failed it. i failed my medical so i joined the fairground instead.

it gets me outside. i’m retired so, if i weren’t doing this, i’d be shut in all day doing nothing.

pulling it down is the worst bit. it only takes an hour but i don’t like doing it. i’ve been doing it for 52 years.

i’m too old.