Terry and Sandra Williams remember the circus in Lodge Lane
Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 24th February 2012 by Liam Physick
Married couple Terry and Sandra Williams remember how animals used to embark en masse at Edge Hill to go to a circus at the Pavilion theatre in Lodge Lane: they would sit on the railway walls to watch the spectacle. They were allowed to walk right up to the animals and pat them, and would follow the procession until it reached the Pavilion. Terry remembers how once he entered the theatre, an elephant approached him, and he fled in terror back to his house!
Interviewee: Terry and Sandra Williams
Date of Interview: 22nd November 2011
Terry: At the time we’re talking about, we were both living separately in terms of, you were lived in . . .
Sandra: Forbe Street.
Terry: . . . and I lived in Willoughby Street, in fact I was born in Willoughby Street, number 64. Well, I’d just like to, to reminisce and I’m sure it’ll jog people’s minds, as I’m gonna say. And that is when you used to get processions of animals coming up from Edge Hill station and they used to disembark the elephants, llamas, zebras, horses, and it wasn’t as such a circus but it was a part of a circus, and they used to go to the Pavilion theatre in Lodge Lane, and we would get to get, obviously, by the Echo that, that the train would be pulling in on whatever day and there was masses of people.
Sandra: We used to sit on the, the railway walls . . .
Sandra: . . . waiting for the carriages to come! (laughs)
Terry: And then, obviously, the delight at seeing these, these animals walking up a road feet away from you, there’s no health and safety, then, and you could actually walk and pat the animal if you wanted to, although that was frowned upon, but we used to follow them up Tunnel Road towards Lodge Lane, cross over, and, well, 50, 75 yards up on the right, was the back road down into the Pavilion theatre where they had massive big doors which used to open up in the case of fire . . .
Sandra: And the elephants (indecipherable)
Terry: . . . and they used to feed the animals through those doors, but obviously from the time they got there to the time they entered into the Pavilion, the animals were stranding round, and you could walk around and in between. One experience I had, because of the doors (Sandra giggles) were V . . .
Sandra: They opened out.
Terry: . . . were V-shaped, as I said, they were rather big doors, but . . . big enough to get elephants in . . . and you always wanted to get closer, to have a look, because it was the opportunity, you never, never got, and I remember standing in one of these doorways, when one of the elephants decided that, you’d come down into the doorway just to have a look, and I had visions of this massive elephant, which is always massive when you were a child . . .
Jodie: Yeah! (she and Sandra laugh)
Terry: . . . but they were, weren’t they, anyway? And deciding what to do, thinking I was gonna get . . .
Terry: . . . trampled, killed (Jodie and Sandra laugh), and I, I, I managed to squeeze between the wall and the elephant (Jodie laughs), and on that occasion, me legs didn’t stop until I got into the house!
Jodie: Aw! (she and Sandra laugh)
Terry: But it was an experience, which, obviously, had impressions on my mind . . .
Terry: . . . because I never forget it to this day. But it was a nice one!
Jodie: Yeah, yeah, definitely, getting the chance . . .
Terry: Yeah . . .
Jodie: . . . to see an elephant.
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