Recalling the ‘circus’ in Sydney
When I was growing up in Sydney in the 1960s, the ‘circus,’ as we called it, was very popular. Also know as the Bill Lynch Show, it came every summer and was situated on a ball field near the Steel Plant.
The rides are probably the first thing that come to mind for me. The tamer ones, like the Tilt-O-Whirl and the Scrambler, were my favourites. There were scarier ones, like the Octopus, Round-Up and Bonker, but I stayed away from those. I did go on the Ferris wheel, albeit reluctantly, as I was afraid of heights.
The sideshows were also very popular then. These included the ‘Fat Lady on Man,’ the ‘Snake Woman’ (an elderly lady in a small tent surrounded by snakes which she gladly picked up and played with) and the young boys, Siamese Twins, who read their comics in an enclosed mobile home with a long window while we stared at them.
Also, who could forget Consuela the Mexican lady who beckoned us to come in and see ‘the World’s Tiniest Houses’ and other dwarf animals. Finally, I dare mention the ‘X-rated all Female Revue‘ which, obviously, I did not attend but apparently was very popular.
Of course, I have to mention the most popular of all attractions. It was a long trailer, completely dark inside with winding dead end halls, spooky faces and eerie sounds and mirrors which distorted your features.
At the close of the day there was a free act for the public – usually a high wire or trapeze act or maybe someone being shot out of a cannon.
Yes, those were the days. Memories to last a lifetime! Philip McLean Halifax (Formerly of Sydney)