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Barnum and Bailey's Circus procession, Brampton, Chesterfield, 1899
About this image
Larger circuses like Barnum and Bailey's would announce their arrival in town with a circus parade. The parade was a natural advertisement for the circus and would attract huge crowds. James Bailey began a partnership with P.T. Barnum in 1888 and the two Americans formed the famous Barnum and Bailey Circus. Although Barnum died in 1891 the circus retained his name. It was an operation of considerable size and when Barnum's came to London's Olympia in 1889 they travelled with 450 performers, 300 horses, 21 elephants, 32 cages and 35 parade and baggage wagons. Seven years later when Barnum and Bailey did an extensive British tour, parades were held almost everywhere with a one to three mile procession. Barnum and Bailey's Circus toured Britain from December 1897 until November 1898, then touring the rest of Europe. The show returned to Britain for another run during 1899 which was when this view was taken.