I should think that the one man who, more than most, was relieved that animals were banned from the circus was the lion tamer.
Can you imagine going into a cage with half a dozen big cats and having a long-cane whip as your only defence? Who in their right mind would have wanted that job?
I am sure I can remember an assistant with a loaded rifle standing outside the cage just in case. But would he have been quick enough if the lion decided to turn nasty?
These two pictures come from Chipperfield’s Circus on Southsea Common in 1961. All the big cats belonged to Dick Chipperfield.
And while we’re on the subject of circuses, just look at the size of Billy Smart’s Circus on the common in 1958. I can count at least 60 vehicles of all kinds looking like a wagon train circled in case of a ‘Red Indian’ attack.
To the top of the picture is the Naval War Memorial and the tent could hold 6,000.