THE CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN
In 1950 - when this photograph was taken- Nellie the elephant (or should it be "Boy"?) - hadn't packed her trunk and said goodbye to the circus. Au contraire - she (he) was sauntering past St Paul's some 16 years before the Centre came into being. For those of us who remember those bygone days of yesteryear, before anything and everything had to be PC, the horses and the lions and tigers and most of all the elephants were what made the circus magical. Even though there was something slightly disconcerting about them being made to perform "tricks". But all that, as the photograph shows was 60 years ago, when men smoked pipes, men wore hats, women were women, buses were buses and St Paul's was swathed in scaffolding.
Ken Fisher - who took the photograph - now lives in Scarborough, although he was born in Coronation Street. He remembers carol singers from St Paul's standing outside his house with a portable harmonium as he scraped ice from his bedroom window so he could see as well as hear them. Funnily enough on the day that Ken's photograph appeared in the "Cambridge Evening News" one of the Thursday group produced this photograph of himself, in 1949 sitting on a baby Indian elephant at London Zoo. He's the one in the middle. Any idea who it is? And if you have an elephant related photograph of your own, please let us know. We'd love to put it on the website.
John Quysner, 10/02/2010