Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Roll Up! Roll Up!


This vividly coloured presentation pack from 9th April 2002 is delightfully illustrated and packed with information on the history of the circus.


Just look at the way the credits are displayed, in circus poster style.


In some ways the circus sounds much more fun back in the 18th Century when Joseph Astley set the ball rolling with a trick riding exhibition in London, later adding novelty acts and stunts.


This section tells us more about the development of circus traditions over the years. There is mention of Grimaldi (clowns), Léotard (trapeze), Isaac Van Amburgh (lion trainer), strongmen and bearded ladies.


As a bonus the Royal Mail offered the opportunity to purchase this collectible Corgi set for a mere £59.95. I wonder how many people took up the offer.

I’m not a big lover of circuses per se and these days there is even less exploitation of animals; many circuses still operating draw the crowds to watch the human performers. There have been some upsetting incidents in recent years of cruelty by circus owners, so I would not be sorry to see them go. That said, I still love all the glitz and glamour that goes with the circus of history. When I was young I remember many stories being based on the circus; in those days a visit to the Big Top was a thrill and a memorable occasion. I also remember it being broadcast on TV on special occasions.


One of the first blog posts I wrote was  called Life is Jigsaw and I featured this wonderful example that I found in a charity shop a few years ago. The cut-out figures are called Whimsies and again I just love the vivid colours and the feel of the real wood pieces.

This is a post for Viridian’s Sunday Stamps. No prize for guessing the theme this week, but make your way over to the Big Top and see what other contributors have made of the prompt. There’s bound to be more glamour and glitz.

11 comments:

  1. I hadn't realised how much extra information a presentation pack gives, not just an expensive way to buy stamps! It's another set that I missed.

    I remember one or two visits to circuses as a child, though they were always vaguely disappointing.

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  2. That is an especially nice set. The bicycle rider looks like a caricature of Queen Elizabeth and the Krazy Kar clown reminded me of Uncle Sam.

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  3. Wonderful stamps! I share your opinion about circus with animals. When I attended this kind of circuses as a child, yes, it was always disappointing. Recently I have attended circus with just humans, like the Cirque du Soleil or Chinese National Circus. these are completely different what we are showing today on stamps!

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  4. These are just superb, and your entire post gave the feel that I was right there. Such lovely colors, and fascination characters, very enjoyable.

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  5. I totally missed this very nice set!

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  6. I like the cartoonish look of these stamps. And I really like the poster of the credits - so often that information is buried.

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  7. These make a really great set. I only have a few presentation packs - these always make me wonder how youngsters can afford to save stamps today with the prices so high. It would definitely have put me off. The information with the packs, as your post shows, is always of a high standard.

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  8. This set makes me want to start collecting again! So appealing, and interesting with all the info about the history of the circus. Love the vintage jigsaw too x

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  9. I love the five 2002 stamps, nice colourful illustrations.

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  10. I'd completely forgotten the TV broadcasts of the Big Top show until your mention triggered the memory. What a nice presentation pack, very collectable, as is the toy trailer although I did a double take on the price, yikes. I don't think my 50p pocket money as child would have covered this, LOL. I missed these fun stamps and I share your views on animals in circus.

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