THE GREAT DEVILLE

Thrills And Gasps

Pontypool, 1930

The "DEVILLE'S OWN"
LIGHTNING RELEASE - "TANGLE-CHAIN SET".

This OUTFIT is EXACTLY THE SAME AS ON THE REVERSE SIDE, but the HANDCUFF-PATTERN LOCKS are FAKED in such a manner that you can immediately MAKE YOUR ESCAPE without using KEY or FEKE.

These are also required for "UNDER-WATER" STUNTS. NO KEYS REQUIRED. NO FEKES REQUIRED. ESCAPE is made INSTANTLY - AS IF IT WAS A "PRESS-BUTTON" AFFAIR.

NICE BRIGHT FINISH.
BEAUTIFULLY MADE.

Sent to you for 5-5-0.
Postage ...... 5-0.

UNUSUAL "ESCAPOLOGY APPARATUS" for SALE:-

SPECIAL "TANGLE-CHAIN" ESCAPE SET, comprising VERY STRONG and IMPOSING STEEL NECK-CHAIN, to which is WELDED - TWO STRONG and IMPOSING LOOKING CHAINS at the BOTTOM of which is INCORPORATED SPECIAL CHAINS TO ENCIRCLE EACH ANKLE, THESE ARE WELDED TOGETHER and CLEVERLY ARRANGED for FASTENING the NECK AND THE ANKLES. NO ESCAPOLOGIST SHOULD BE WITHOUT A GOOD CHAIN SET such as this. THE RATTLING OF THE CHAINS ALONE CREATE A GREAT EFFECT.

Sent to YOU for ONLY 3-0-0. Plus POSTAGE 3/-.

SPECIAL "COMBINATION"
"NECK-COLLAR" AND "ANKLE-CHAIN" Act.

consisting of a STEEL NECK-COLLAR - WITH IMPOSING CHAINS WELDED ON EACH SIDE OF THE STEEL NECK-COLLAR - reaching DOWN TO the ANKLES. At the ends of these CHAINS is INCORPORATED with SPECIAL CHAINS to ENCIRCLE EACH ANKLE. ALL CLEVERLY ARRANGED TO MAKE A THRILLING and SENSATIONAL STUNT. EVERY ESCAPOLOGIST SHOULD HAVE AN OUTFIT OF THIS KIND. The CLANGING OF THE CHAINS CREATE A CREEPING SENSATION. A VERY IMPOSING OUTFIT.

SENT TO YOU FOR 4-0-0. Postage 3/6.

From H. DEVILLE. RETIRED ESCAPOLOGIST.

Recollection by Barton's son, Harry, in March 2003:

I have only a few relics of dad's theatre career: he had a fair library of books on magic but sold most of them when he was on his beam ends, unemployed, in the late thirties and started up a mail-order business selling escapologist gear, magic tricks and routines... He worked at Fairey's aircraft factory during WW2, but in postwar years the family had a struggle to make ends meet because of Barton's problems with cataract and retinal detachment ops (eye surgery was a mite unsophisticated at that time).

Fortunately the other half of our semi came up for auction and we were able to buy it with money left us by Marion's mother, who had just died, leaving a maiden aunt, in her eighties, on her own in West Kilbride. It seemed an ideal solution to move my parents from Manchester and bring the aunt down to Romiley, where we could conveniently keep an eye on their well-being.

Barton died in 1970, virtually blind, and my mother had a grand 'tidy-up', clearing out and burning most of his papers and the few surviving souvenirs of his theatrical career before we realised what she'd done. So I only have a few photos and oddments to support very fleeting early memories.

When we lived in Brunswick Street, a few doors away from my grandmother and numerous aunts, during the twenties, dad was away from home most of the time, touring the halls, while my mother was kept back looking after my invalid sister, who died in 1936. We moved to Victoria Park in 1932, when Barton was still busy touring his shows. Things changed a few years later, when theatres lost out in the popular entertainment battle against cinemas; by the time I left school in 1936, I was promptly expected to start earning my keep and help out with family finances!

First Page
First Page
Biography
Biography
On Stage
On Stage
Reviews
Reviews
Bits and Pieces
Larger Pictures

Compiled for Romiley Arts Federation by HTSP Web Division, 10 SK6 4EG, Romiley, G.B.
© RAF, 2001. All primary copyrights acknowledged.