The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.
This film is part of Free
Elephants in Plymouth
Indian Elephants descend at Friary Train Station and walk the streets of Plymouth
From the collection of:
Six Indian elephants visit Plymouth, getting off at Plymouth’s Friary Station on Beaumont Road. Large crowds gather to watch as the elephants are led one by one through the streets by their handler, an Indian mahout with an ankus or metal hook. The Chipperfield Circus is in town in time for Easter.
The Big Top has seating for 6000 people and by the 50s had a very large number of animals including 16 elephants and 200 horses. Chipperfield’s Circus has been around since 1684 when James Chipperfield first introduced a performing animal act at the Frost Fair on the River Thames. The earliest involvement of animals in a circus was simply a menagerie of animals put on display. It was not long before they joined the circus act. Various family members have been involved within the dynasty including Jimmy Chipperfield who trained animals for film work including the lions which featured in the film Born Free (1966).