A massive poster campaign announced the first visit of Russells International Circus to Wymondham in Norfolk at the beginning of June. They had a glorious sunny, windless day to put up the big top in a corner of Kett’s Park, beside the leisure centre, as I found when I dropped by to take these pictures.
With the four king poles standing, the fixed-shape uppermost part of the tent, the cupola, waits on the back of a truck while the tent men hammer in the surrounding stakes.
With the tent attached to the cupola, the big top is slowly winched aloft, by hand.
Read about my backstage visits to, and interviews with the showmen and stars of top British circuses including the Circus of Horrors, Chinese State Circus, Great British Circus and Great Yarmouth Hippodrome in Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book For Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away with the Circus.
Click here to buy Circus Mania from Amazon.
"Circus Mania is a brilliant account of a vanishing art form." - Mail on Sunday.
"Gypsies know better than to mix it with the circus..."
- For more on circus transport, read Ingo Dock's account of moving the Chinese State Circus.