This film is part of Free

Elephants in Plymouth

Indian Elephants descend at Friary Train Station and walk the streets of Plymouth

Current affairs 1963 1 mins Silent

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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).