Elephants walking past the old Royal Hospital in Chesterfield in the 1960s.
Elephants walking past the old Royal Hospital in Chesterfield in the 1960s.

Do you remember elephants in Chesterfield?

Do you remember when elephants walked along the roads of Chesterfield?

Michael Henry Fanshawe posted a photo on Facebook of circus elephants walking past the old Chesterfield Royal Hospital in the town centre. He said: “Me and my dad are on the right of the picture.” Keith Taylor comments: “I remember that very well, couldn’t believe elephants walking down the road.”

From 1890 to 1960 a travelling circus frequently visited the town and would entertain generations of families in the big top at either Queen's Park or Whittington Moor.

In later years, circus entertainers with animals including zebras and llamas would set up in a big top in off the Bowshaw roundabout near Dronfield.

However, public demand for cruelty-free enterprises resulted in a ban on travelling circuses using wild animals.

We’ve taken a look back through the archives to uncover photos of circus visits and how the masters of circus craft passed on their tricks to younger generations.

In later years, circus entertainers with animals including zebras and llamas would set up in a big top in off the Bowshaw roundabout near Dronfield.

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