Richard Miller stands in front of his stage where throughout the show he will perform acts and display decades of carnival memorabilia.
Richard Miller stands in front of his stage where throughout the show he will perform acts and display decades of carnival memorabilia. Chris Ison

Carnie puts history on show

ASK Richard Miller about any photo in his 7000-strong collection, dating as far back as the 1800s, and he’ll be able to tell you about it.

A showman for 65 years, Mr Miller is the fifth generation in his family to be part of the travelling circus that is the show circuit, with life on the road being full of stories.

“I’ve got three children and two of them were born here in Rockhampton,” Mr Miller said.

This year, he’s back again for the Rockhampton Show with some pretty interesting things on exhibit.

“I live in New South Wales so that’s where I keep my collection. I change it around each time I travel,” Mr Miller said.

For 11 months of the year, the veteran showman brings his display of carnival history, from historic show photos to old-time sideshow oil painting banners, and even does his own acts.

“I do a show with an electric chair; a girl who swims in a fish bowl and a guillotine where I cut a volunteer’s head off.”

Mr Miller claims he may even have one of the biggest collections in Australia, and maybe even the world.

“I get calls from show companies all over Australia for me to come and show my display, I’m booked out for the whole year.”

Catch the Janet and Richard Howlong-a-go Show Entertainment memorabilia display over all three days of the Rockhampton Show.

Rockhampton Show Info

  • What: Rockhampton Show 2011
  • Where: Rockhampton Showgrounds
  • When: June 7 to Thursday, June 9
  • Gates open from 9am every day until 10pm every night over the three days.
  • Cost: Adults $15, pensioner $7, child (six to 17 years) $10, family (two adults three children) $40, children five years and under free.
  • Fireworks will be on each night starting at 7.30pm tonight, 8.30pm on Wednesday and at 8pm on Thursday.


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