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Billy Smart's Circus (Perth), Sim's Garden, Lossie Beach and Float Parade

Billy Smart’s colourful circus parades through Perth city centre in 1954 as elephants and camels delight passers by; plus a splendid procession of floats at Lossiemouth beach.

Amateur film 1954 11 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Scotland's Moving Image Archive


Roll up, roll up for the greatest show on earth! Witness the colourful extravaganza of Billy Smart’s circus as it parades through Perth city centre in this amateur film from 1954, complete with elephants, camels and an enthralled crowd. Then come for a visit to the beach at Lossiemouth in the days before fake tan; print dresses, splendid shorts and knobbly knees are much in evidence, plus a parade of very creative floats, 1950s style. A spectacular day out for all the family!

A good example of amateur film-making, this film depicts unusual local events, such as the circus and the beach procession, which may not otherwise have been captured on camera. These are mixed amongst apparently random subjects, such as the family walking in gardens in bloom, kittens playing - anything which grabs the film-maker's attention. The main purpose of these films may have been to preserve treasured memories from holidays, or from family events, but they also provide a fascinating record of the local area in times gone by, as well as an insight into the fashions, transport and entertainments of the day. Because of the informal nature of the films, you almost feel like you are part of the family too.