Archie Blackwell (Guitar)
Archie Blackwell was born in the Spring of 1855 in the town of Keighley in the West Riding of Yorkshire, only child of Rombald and Callendula Blackwell, owners of a thriving 'bab shop' in the Town's centre.
He was apprenticed aged 8 to Sugden Grimshaw 'Bitch-Walloper'* whom he served under for 6 years before one day vanishing along with Grimshaw's entire savings. He set off to London "to either mek me fortune, steal someone else's or be hanged."
He made it as far as Bradford where he was banged on the head and forced to work as 'Tommy the Tight Little Tart' in an underground vice den in Gomersal.
But young Archie was a dreamer, dreaming dreams which didn't involve being the sexual plaything of stout mill owners. When the opportunity arose, he fled and resumed his journey. He made it to London and for ten years he eked out a meagre living writing pornographic penny dreadfuls and articles for womens' magazines.
It was during this time when his fortunes were at his lowest he found himself in a damp rat-infested cellar, sharing a half rotten potato with the man who would one day change his life forever...
Like Archie, Joseph Merrick 'The Elephant Man' was a dreamer who dreamed of one day being "the most famous freak in London. And when I am, I will come back for you Archie." At least this is what Blackwell claims he said, though in the same breath he confesses to hardly understanding 'a bloody word the man said.'
Merrick was true to his word and on what would be the his last night on earth, he invited Blackwell to a party in his rooms at the London Hospital. Blackwell later recounts "That night he was really hammering this sloe gin that these two lasses** had brought. It was getting late and he was in a right state. Fighting drunk. So I told him he'd better get his head down. Which he did - sadly."
In his will Merrick left Archie his collection of cretin foetuses - commonly regarded as the finest in England at that time.
Merrick's bequest enabled Blackwell to start his own travelling freak show which toured both Britain and the Continent with great success. So it was the gift of the deformed still-borns that furnished Archie with a considerable fortune. Unfortunately this fortune was lost when he placed it all on the King's majestic black horse, Anmer, in the 1913 Epsom Derby.
His subsequent loathing of Suffragettes lasted until he came home one night to find Fanny Ferris chained to his railings.
*The duties of a Bitch-Walloper are unclear. Perhaps it's just as well.
** There is some speculation as to the identity of the two lasses. Some suggest that it may have been none other than Fanny Ferris and her wayward friend, Pandora Burden.
"Not being allowed to play the odd venue because we're 'too outspoken' or 'too weird' just means that we're doing exactly the right thing.
Black Horse Fairy isn't in the business of pandering to idiots."