Phil Craine was not itinerant, but he was an entertainer. His older daughter Florence remembered him as having a keen interest in amateur theatricals and brass bands — he could sing and dance, and excelled in Swiss Yodelling and Russian dancing – a strange mix for a man born to Manx parents in a small country town.
With his face all darkened what he was preparing to present in the costume in this first photo is anyone’s guessRasawatte Tea Tins found in Google images. Shame I don’t still have a tin to go with the image as these are very hard to come by and are well sought after by collectors.
He encouraged his daughter to entertain too, here at about age 10 she is preparing to show off the tricks that a pet dog can achieve. There was probably a patient audience of family members readying to watch this performance. The dog doesn’t look too excited about it, and the baby Ira looks exceedingly glum. Is that Grandpa’s mouth organ I wonder he has in his hand? I’ve always thought the backdrop in this photo looked quite exotic, somebody’s Sarong perhaps.
Florence went on to become a primary School Teacher and produced many a school concert. When we finally cleared out the old home, out in the former laundry were boxes and boxes of costumes she would have designed and spent a fair amount of time assembling, along with a willing band of mothers.