Animals and the circus

Oral history

Derek recalls his memories of the animals and their appearance at the circus.

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Every day you turned up at Belle Vue to do a job and you would walk past the lions, tigers, elephants, camels, hippopotamus, monkeys....oh and then you would walk into the funfair and it was an incredible experience.

You got a bit blasé about it, you didn’t, the novelty kind of wore off in a way because you enjoyed it every day.  You would experience it every day and you would wander in the back of the circus and you would see all the acts ready to go through the curtains and you’d stand there because you could, even though you wasn’t doing anything but your part of Belle Vue and I remembered when the lion act was put on.  They use to get the lions, tigers from the back of Belle Vue where they lived through a little tunnel leading to the ring and I was stood next to this tunnel one day when a tiger stood next to me and decided to pittle on me.  It took me weeks to get the smell out of clothes because by God it’s potent.

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