Just when the circus was about to cut its own throat by being too sophisticated, too modern, along came Billy Smart.

Back with its pre-opening parade, in 1956, the extravaganza was an unusual sight, as several elephants made their way up Otley Road, towards Peel Park.

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The ballyhoo, the glamour, the daredevil acts, however, could not be performed anywhere else but in the circus ring. There was even sawdust in the ring. In those days it was a real occasion.

As the rain came down between two performances at Peel Park, nobody cared. It was worth every damp moment of queueing.

Do any of our readers remember waking up to find several of Billy Smart’s elephants passing their window?