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Friday, 14 November 2008

Circus Memories - Swansea

One the most wonderful things about having the Salt and Sauce story published is all the people it has touched and the memories it helps revive. As the book begins to circulate I hear more and more anecdotes that further enrich the history I have recorded. However, sometimes it brings up memories that are not directly related to Salt and Sauce, but still worth sharing. The following is one from Robert Bradshaw, who recently purchased a copy of "The Legend of Salt and Sauce" and has very kindly allowed me to reproduce it here:

Growing up in Swansea in the fifties and sixties I used to look forward to the visit of the circus to the Recreation Ground . All the big touring circuses visited - Smarts , Chipperfields , Bertram Mills and others .

I have a vague memory of seeing a large group of the Smarts circus elephants , some very small , being walked through town from the station , trunk to tail . I also remember a large group of polar bears with Chipperfields - they always seemed to have the biggest menagerie . My first snow leopards I think were with Fossetts along with lots of other cats .

I also remember a waggon cage containing leopards being drawn into the ring by I think highland cattle and a coloured lady working the leopards in the cage . The beach was across the road from the Rec. and horses and elephants would be exercised on the sands .

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