• Short Summary

    Performing animals and acrobats leave London for Africa.

  • Description

    Blackheath, London & Southampton, Hampshire.

    Item all about the circus. Chipperfield's Circus is leaving Britain for Africa.

    Sequence showing group of young boys sneaking into the big top by scrambling underneath the canvas. Various shots of an evening's entertainment in the big top. It is a Royal Gala Performance sponsored by the Variety Club of Great Britain. According to the narrator it is the last time Chipperfield's Circus will hoist their big top as they are off to Africa. Performing elephant gingerly steps over the bodies of several women.

    Footage of the big top being erected.

    Billy Smart's Circus. Performers and animals parade around the ring. Polar bears are led into a circular cage. The bears are made to do all kinds of tricks. Tightrope walker crosses the tightrope with another man standing on his head on top of his head (if you see what I mean). Performing horses trot around the ring. Film intercut with shots of audience including enthralled children.

    John Chipperfield is seen training a large horse. Elephant is made to do a handstand. Young woman tends to a camel. Animals are led past the camera to board a boat "The story of Noah's Ark brought up to date" says the narrator. John Chipperfield boards the boat holding a baby tiger in his arms. Captain gets to hold it too. Monkey waves a handkerchief and applauds. He is led onto the ship. Monkey is given a cigarette to smoke. Animals are seen on board ship. The chimp is seen dressed in a sailor's outfit helping to steer the boat.

    Note: alternative spelling for search purposes - Chipperfields Circus and Billy Smarts Circus. Two reels of cuts exist.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Unissued / unused
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Time in/Out:
    01:51:51:00 / 01:58:58:00
    CP 521

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