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Blog 32 - Circus

I am going to take you way back to the Thirties long before war broke out; the days seemed long and sunny, icecream in cones was sold from an Italian man on a tricycle and the circus came into our small Scottish town in a cavalcade.

So many people enjoyed my blog about the elephant in Sri Lanka, asking for a photo, I was prompted to look for another scarf and search farther back in my mind for another elephant memory. The sun is shining today and the sunny yellow of this silk scarf made it stand out and say, choose me .....  I have a story to tell. It is an English scarf from Charles Tyrwhitt of Jermyn Street, London. They are posh gentlemen’s shirt makers and better known for their men’s scarves and ties than a ladies scarf sporting an elephant and tiger on a lead. So what memory will be awakened by this scarf?

Now, I want you to imagine you are a young child, maybe three or four years old. You know there is an excited feeling in the home but not quite sure what is happening. You walk a hundred or so yards from the old stone house with fields in front and behind to a main road. The pavements there are lined with tall people and you are lifted onto your father’s shoulders. IT’S COMING, the shout goes up, and all the heads turn in one direction. In the far distance unusual sounds are heard, drums, hooves pounding, bells, animals roaring. First come the horses, large cages with tigers, lions, bears, clowns and the most impressive line of elephants led by the biggest graduating in size to a tiny one at the end who seemed to struggle to keep up, all linked trunk to tail. The whole circus calvalcade had come to Brechin from nearby Montrose and I was the luckiest child in town as the circus was held in the field behind our house. Imagine going to sleep that night listening to the bellows, neighs, roars, growls of so many wild animals just a few yards away, and the excitement of the day to come when the big tent was up, the music from the fairground was playing and we would enter through the flaps of the tent to another world of colour, danger, smells and absolute wonder. 

Today, there is a housing estate in the fields and the circus, if indeed there Is one, will certainly not have live tigers and elephants. On my last visit to my old home town, I visited the town museum and found these two photos, taken probably over a century ago, and I felt four again.

I hope on reading this, you can forget COVID  and think back on some of your happiest childhood times.

Busy Bee, Scarf Face!

Blog 32.

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