Big Top’s arrival prompted cheers among South Shields youngsters

Clowns dressed as keystone cops in Mortimer Road, South Shields.
Clowns dressed as keystone cops in Mortimer Road, South Shields.

Roll up, roll up for some wonderful circus memories, courtesy of reader Val Lolley.

Following our recent Big Top feature, Val (nee Welch) wrote: “I was a pupil at Mortimer Road Junior School from 1955 to 1961.

Circus elephants parading through the streets of South Shields.

Circus elephants parading through the streets of South Shields.

“I travelled to school on the school bus from the other side of town (Southfield Road area).

“When the bus went up Mortimer Road, past Brinkburn Recreation ground, where the circuses were held, there was always a great cheer when we saw the Big Top!

“I also remember the parades you mention, with elephants with their trunks tied to the tail of the one in front, and camels parading through the streets.

“It was commonplace and we thought nothing of it. It was just what happened when the circus came to town.

The circus parade watched by people in years gone by.

The circus parade watched by people in years gone by.

“Obviously things have changed since then, and we consider the welfare of animals as very important.

“But the memory has always stayed with me, even though I have lived in Leeds for 44 years! Thanks for the article.”

It’s a pleasure Val. Does anyone else have childhood memories of the circus which they’d like to share?