A mysterious parcel

On Christmas day, I received a very strange parcel containing a wax cylinder (an early way of recording) and this letter. I am setting up this blog to document my investigation into this intriguing ‘lost carnival’.

Dear Mr Bird  You don’t know me, but I know of you and, more importantly, I know your work. Time and again you’ve shown yourself capable of finding out remarkable things. I wonder what you’ll be able to find out about the story that begins on this cylinder. You are clearly a most resourceful fellow, and I trust that should you apply yourself in the way that I know you can, then you will be rewarded with one of the strangest tales of your career. Should you pursue this story, then I’m sure our paths will cross further down the trail. If not, I hope you don’t mind my remaining somewhat in the shadows, for my own stake in these matters is of no small consequence to myself and those around me. Disclosing too much, too soon, may prove deleterious to my endeavours.    Merry Christmas.