Norman Barrett, or Uncle Norman as my generation of circus children know him, made circus history in January 2010. He was awarded the MBE for his “services to entertainment”.
“As well as being over the moon personally, I am also delighted for the circus industry, and all my friends and colleagues within it. Awards of this nature are very rarely given to individuals in my profession, especially when compared to other forms of entertainment such as film and theatre. This is a real boost for circus and in my view gives the art form the recognition it truly deserves and, sadly, in modern times so rarely gets”.
These words echo the sentiments expressed in my article, “Circus and Other ‘Low’ Art”. Despite being celebrated by royalty at the annual Monte Carlo Circus Festival, the British circus tradition is often swept under the proverbial carpet for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless, this is a significant moment in modern circus history as audiences start looking more towards live entertainment again and the fascism of political correctness starts to settle down.
Norman Barrett has several connections to my book “The Legend of Salt and Sauce”. He knew the elephant Sauce when she was Cody’s circus and I cite him as a witness source. Furthermore, he is acknowledged as the successor to the famous archetypical ringmaster George Lockhart Jnr, the son of the elephant trainer who was killed by Salt and Sauce, by being
My parents were among the guests on the celebrity documentary series, “This is Your Life” focusing on Norman Barrett. During the programme
However, in addition to being a ringmaster
Belated congratulations, Uncle Norman!