Among the passengers on train from Bridgwater G.W.R. Station on Friday morning were two fully-grown lions. They were Wallace, four-years old grandson of the lion that killed the ex-Rector of Stiff key. and John, also aged four years. They had been sold for £100 each by Reco Bros.’ Circus, showing at Bridgwater, on Friday and Saturday, to Butlin’s Zoo, at Skegness From St. Matthew’s Fairfield, through the main streets of the town to the G.W.R Station the lions were conveyed in two portable dens on a circus van. They were loaded by the circus staff on to a railway truck which wa« attached to an ordinary passenger train. “SOMETHING FOR THE JOURNEY “, Before leaving each lion was given the leg of a horse to eat on the long journey. Their trainer. Clem Merk, interviewed in his caravan, said. am sorry to lose them, but we want the room and we still have seven. Another member of the staff who was sorry to lose them was Blondini. with whom the lions had appeared in an act. Mr. John Hinde, who made the deal, is a member a well-known Somerset family He took the colour photos for the late Lady Eleanor Smith’s last book on circus life and became so fascinated with the sawdust ring that he threw in his lot with the Reco Bros, and is now general manager the circus.

Source: Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser – Saturday 11 May 1946


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