Vote and rate on Jamie Clubb's Work by clicking on the following links. Thank you!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Salt and Sauce in London?

My attention was recently brought to the website of the long established and renowned Circus History Society in the USA.  A message had been posted up their message enquiring after the identities and verification of two elephants who temporally lived in London.

 4417. Elephants WWII, 22 Sep 2014 - I know this might sound ridiculous, but I believe it to be true. I am not sure whether it was during the war or just after. I was child then, but two circus elephants were housed in garages in Hendon Park Row, Temple Fortune, London NW11. Our flat overlooked the garages and I do remember this - once I even knew the names of the elephants! People don't believe me though and I would like to authentic this. I think they were from Billy Smart's Circus, but I could be wrong. I guess circus animals were housed somewhere safe during the war, although bombs dropped nearby because of the proximity of Hendon Aerodrome. Would anyone have a record of circus animals' whereabouts at that time? I hope you can help, kind regards, Jean Hall (Mrs)

We know that Billy Smart's Circus had not yet been founded during the war years, so this could not have been elephants owned by his show. Smart's first showed in 1946. Interestingly one of its first elephant acts featured Salt and Sauce in the winter of 47/48. They had been recently been purchased from Dudley Zoo by "Long" Tom Fossett who had them shown on his Ringland's Circus. At the time Mrs Hall mentions they were still owned by John "Broncho Bill" Swallow and were appearing on Paulo's Circus. They would winter at Swallow's quarters at The Old Tram Sheds in Wolverhampton, where their many walks through the town form part of the Black Country's history and I happily discussed with residents at the signing of my second edition of "The Legend of Salt and Sauce" back in November 2008. 

However, it is quite possible that Salt and Sauce resided in a garage during a London theatre booking around the Christmas season. I will have to check my notes, but I am not aware of another duo of elephants touring the UK at that time. If this is the case then we have another interesting anecdote that adds to the history of these two remarkable pachyderms.

Jamie Clubb's other blogs:

No comments: