Archive for the ‘1951’ Category

MacCarte’s Circus – Windmill Hills, Gateshead

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

On 16 August 1951 the Gateshead and County Durham Observer published on odd article on MacCarte’s Circus who had arrived in town. Here it is as a Christmas treat for you:

MacCarte's Circus Article from Gateshead and County of Durham Observer August 16 1951 - From Gateshead Central Library

From Gateshead Central Library

MACARTE’S CIRCUS. – On Saturday, a circus was erected on the Windmill Hills, to the great excitement and delight of Young Gateshead. Formerly the cry through the borough would have been, “The mountebanks! the mountebanks!” But the world has now become “genteel.” Shopmen are transmuted into assistants – reporters into representatives of the press, or commissioners-bagmen into travellers or ambassadors – attorneys into solicitors – singers into vocalists – and mountebanks into equestrians, voltigeurs, acrobats, and whatnots. No longer are the boys and girls, and children of a larger growth, presented with performances in the open air, “Mr Merryman” making the “pot boil” with the sale of lottery tickets, giving the “lucky holders” the chance of a gownpiece, tea-tray or fat-pig (said pig falling to the lot of some suspicious supernumery); but a “marquee” is erected – the entertainment is given under cover – and you pay for admission to boxes, pit, and “promenade” – the last of the three corresponding to what in out vulgar youth went under the designation of “standing places.” We dropped in, in the afternoon, upon Madame MacCarte, when Carlo Albertini was exhibiting his surprising feats – perching himself upon a pillar of champagne glasses, surmounted by a decanter-his “promenade”-and there rivalling “the Indian Juggler” with a brilliancy which ordinary “artists” could not have equalled on terra firma. Signor Francisco, a man of wondrous power and muscle, tossed his little nephews about, with leg and arm, as though they had been ball of pith ; and the youngsters did their share of the marvels admirably. The clown – (no longer Mr Merryman,” although still occasionally the “fool”) – was very facetious, and had his reward in the silvery laughter of his juvenile audience. The performance, altogether, went cleverly off.