Your memories of circus elephants marching through Norwich

From our archives: Elephants march through Norwich on April1 1952

From our archives: Elephants march through Norwich on April1 1952 - Credit: Archant

On Saturday we asked for your help as we looked into a photo found in our archive of a group of elephants walking past Norwich Castle in 1952.

Many of you got in touch and informed us that large touring circus's would march their elephants from Norwich Thorpe rail station to Eaton Park where the big tops were usually erected.

The elephants in our photo were pictured on April 1 1952.

Rodney Brock remembers the hype surrounding the arrival of the circus and the excitement of seeing the elephants on the city's streets.

'We were made aware the circus was coming usually around Easter time when posters would suddenly appear,' he said. 'It was mostly the Chipperfield Circus in Eaton Park and the elephants would arrive at Thorpe Station to walk trunk to tail up Prince of Wales Road, Rose Lane, All Saints Green, Chapelfield to Unthank Road and onto Eaton Park usually followed by lots of children.'


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Paula Lewis also recalled the events. She said: 'I lived just off Colman Road some 60 years ago and it was a regular event to watch the elephants being walked from Norwich Thorpe rail station to the field at the bottom of Eaton Park where the circus big tent was erected by big names like Bertram Mills and Chipperfields.'

Another reader told us how the elephants used to be housed behind what is now John Lewis.

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He said: 'They were stabled on Ber Street on the opposite side of the road from Bonds back door and a bit further along. I guess the photo was taken as they were walked to and from the big top.

'It was quite common to see circus processions walking through the city, presumably some arrived by train and the processions were useful advertising.'

And it seems that the elephants parades continued at least a decade later with Jane Griff remembering them walking along Earlham Road.

She said: 'I was born in 1964 and remember standing along Earlham Road when I was a child to watch the elephants who had walked from the train station to Earlham Park. It's a great childhood memory for me.'

•Do you remember the elephants in Norwich? You can leave your memories below.

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