When llamas, elephants and bears were the stars of the big top
PUBLISHED: 14:34 31 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:42 02 March 2019
Decades before the Hollywood blockbuster The Greatest Showman made the circus popular again, Hoffman Circus came to Ipswich and drew a strong crowd to the big top.
This week we have delved into our archive to find these astonishing negatives of the Circus Hoffman trip to the town in 1973.
At that time animals featured heavily on the bill and guests were treated to some amazing features including a bear riding a motorcycle and elephants performing balancing acts.
There were also the ever popular trapeze performers flying through the air and other stunt performers to wow the audiences.
The circus is an ancient tradition derived from the Roman period, where a circus was a building which held equestrian and chariot spectacles. The most famous being the Circus Maximus in Rome.
Philip Astley, who founded a riding school in London, is known as the father of the modern circus in Britain. He famously incorporated trick ride displays in his riding school exhibits in the late 18th century.
Were you at the big top for Circus Hoffman’s shows in 1973? Share your memories in the comments below.