When the circus came to South Tyneside

Elephant parade.
Elephant parade.

“Roll up ... roll up, for the greatest show on earth!”

That was the cry to be heard when the circus came to town.

The circus parade.

The circus parade.

And here we see a number of photographs showing circus animals and performers parading through South Tyenside streets.

They were taken at a time when elephants and other wild animals were common-place in the big top ring and travelling menagerie.

Thankfully, such noble beasts no longer perform tricks, and caged lions, tigers, and even polar bears, are a thing of the past.

But before today’s enlightened times, crowds would throng to the circus to see wild exotic animals being “tamed”, performers staging feats of “daring do” and clowns “messing about”.

What a colourful sight this must have been.

What a colourful sight this must have been.

What are your memories of circuses?