Early in March 2010 I was contacted by a postcard collector called Mark Pearce. Mark had come across an historical postcard picturing four young elephants stood with a group of people outside a possible Music Hall venue. According to Mark the street is one in
Hastings, East Essex. He reports that the message on the card’s reverse has been partially erased, but “Lockhart’s Elephants” is clearly visible. The stamp was dated 1906, but Mark was aware that didn’t necessarily indicate the year the photograph was taken.
The venue looks like it might have been the Empire of Varieties, built in 1899 by Ernest Runtz. According to “theatre buff” Alan Chudey it became known as the
“Hippodrome” in around 1907. The turn of the century was a very common time for circus and Music Hall buildings to be constructed, and we can see this happening all over the Hastings . It was later used as a cinema and then gutted in 1978 to be used as an amusement arcade. UK
Back to the stars of the photo and it certainly looks like Salt and Sauce with their fellow two members of the “Cruet”, Vinegar and Mustard II circ. 1904/05. They had changed ownership from George Lockhart Snr’s widow (Lockhart had been killed by either Salt or Sauce during a stampede at Walthamstow Station on 25 January 1904) to Herbert “Captain Joe”
in 1904. The human protagonists in the photo seem to look virtually identical to those in another picture taken outside the Ipswich Hippodrome with all four members of the Cruet in 1905 with Taylor and featured in my book. 1905 was the year that saw the act reduced to three performing elephants. We do not know the fates of Vinegar, the smallest elephant pictured, or Mustard II. Before the 1900s were complete only Salt and Sauce would remain with Taylor . They stayed with him until 1922 when they were bought by John “Broncho Bill” Swallow. Taylor
years are recorded in a single chapter in my book titled “Captain Joe Taylor: The Lost Years”. We only have listings from show programmes and the odd set of notes to cover the 1904-1922 period of Salt and Sauce’s lives. Taylor