Fossett’s Circus had a remarkable record over 150 years. It operated
through the reigns of five British monarchs and managed to keep
going throughout two World Wars. Unlike the circuses of John and
George Sanger and the Ginnetts, it never travelled abroad, but it
did cover the length and breadth of England, Scotland and Wales.
There can be few towns that, at some time or another, have not been
visited by Fossetts, often showing in out-of-the-way places that
were missed by their larger rivals.
British circus lasted for such a long time or produced so many
progeny who followed the circus business.
WWll, Fossett’s was a similar size to the circuses of Billy Smart
and Chipperfield but, while the last two expanded dramatically in
the post-war boom conditions, Sir Robert Fossett’s remained true to
its family roots and continued to provide its patrons with
traditional circus fare, unchanging in an ever-changing world of
It is a
story of great highs and lows: from heady success, winning cups and
medals and being feted by lord mayors and the gentry at London’s
finest exhibition halls, to pulling vehicles off rain sodden fields,
ankle deep in mud, the canvas of the tent doubled in weight by the
incessant English rain.
FOSSETT'S CIRCUS - THE DEFINITIVE VISUAL HISTORY tells this story
for the first time. From Robert Fossett I selling rock sticks in
Petticoat Lane to the Mammoth Jungle Circuses of the 1950s and the
fabulous Spirit of the Shows of recent years, the complete 150-year
history is here.
illustrated with hundreds of photographs, programmes and posters
from the collections of the Fossett Family, the Circus Friends
Association, the National Fairground and Circus Archive and many
private collections, many items appearing in print for the first
time, this 350 page book is sure to delight circus fans everywhere.