A TRAVELLING showman will be forever immortalised in his home town after a new road was named in his memory.

Tony Spurrett often joked he should have a street named after him in Carterton, where he lived for most of his life.

Mr Spurrett died in September 2017, aged 86, but for several decades was known to generations of Oxfordshire families for his live ammunition shooting gallery at fairs across the county and beyond.

The showman was a big personality in Carterton and his contribution to the town has now been recognised after a new street, Spurrett Gardens, was named in his honour.

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The sign went up this summer and Mr Spurrett's 87-year-old widow, Brenda, was delighted her late husband's wish had come true.

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She said: “Lots of streets around here are named after people and he would always joke 'when are you going to name one after me'. Tony would be very pleased to see it.”

Carterton Town Council normally waits until 10 years after someone has passed before naming a street after them, but decided to make an exception.

Town clerk, Ron Spurs, said: "Given the circumstances, we decided it would be appropriate as he was such a well-known and respected local resident.”

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Mr Spurrett's ancestors were among the first residents in Carterton at the turn of the 20th century, with his grandfather buying a piece of land from the original William Carter.

An extract from the 1916 Almanac of Carterton and Brize Norton shows records of a Mr John Spurrett, whose occupation is listed as 'showman'.

His grandfather also owned fairground rides and, when he passed away, Mr Spurrett inherited the land in Lawton Avenue and the shooting gallery - which was eventually one of the last in the country.

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From age 15, the showman would travel up and down the country with relatives who ran other attractions, which became his way of life for about 60 years.

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Mr Spurrett was a regular at the historic Witney Feast, with his .22 rifles drawing wannabe sharpshooters and later their children and grandchildren.

His eccentric lifestyle, wealth of stories and the experiences of living with his fairground clan were even documented in a book edited by his friend, John Comino-James.

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Mr Spurrett was a founding member of the local rifle and pistol club and carried on shooting after he retired due to ill health in the mid-2000s.

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Speaking shortly after his retirement, he said: "The shooting range is a dinosaur really. There's only one other like it left.

"It was passed down to me by my father and to him by his father.

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"Some day in the future, will people really believe that there was a time when you could shoot a real rifle with real bullets at a fairground? It's the end of an era."

The town council suggested late last year that Mr Spurrett's name should grace the new development off Lawton Avenue, where his widow still lives.

Mrs Spurrett took her great grandson, Henry, to take a look at the sign on Thursday.