LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS... welcome to the big top blog of Douglas McPherson, author of CIRCUS MANIA, the book described by Gerry Cottle as "A passionate and up-to-date look at the circus and its people."

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Moving the Chinese State Circus

"Gypsies know not to mix it
with the circus," warns
Chinese State Circus
transport manager
Ingo Dock
as featured in
Truck and Driver magazine

Ingo Dock reveals the secrets of Britain's biggest Chinese takeaway

Moving a circus is a big deal - 13 drivers, 20 trucks and 22 loads of a big deal in the case of the Chinese State Circus. The man in charge of the operation is 34-year-old Ingo Dock, who has been a circus man all his life. He grew up on Uncle Sam’s American Circus where his father drove the lorries before him.

I spoke to Ingo recently for a feature that appeared in the April issue of Truck and Driver magazine to coincide with the publication of Circus Mania, and he told me all about life on the road, from the hazards of waterlogged grounds to travellers who have taken over a site before the circus arrives.

“It happens about once a year,” Ingo sighed, “But on the whole the Gypsies know not to mix it with the circus because we‘ve got forklifts to get them off...”

I also talked about circus transport, this time in days gone by, with retired ringmaster George Pinder, who’s family have been circus for around 200 years (Click here for pictures of the Pinder circus from yesteryear).

The Chinese State Circus
- between shows they travel in lorries...
George is full of amazing stories about the introduction of steam generated electricity in the big top in the 1890s, and the move from horse-drawn transport to lorries between the two World Wars. He supplied some great pictures which will hopefully be in Best of British magazine in the New Year also. There’s even a poster for his great-great-great-grandfather Thomas Ord’s circus, in 1817, which appears in Circus Mania.

George, incidentally, is the uncle of Carol and Gracie, the sisters who run Circus Mondao.

New edition for 2018
For the full story of the Chinese State Circus, Circus Mondao and the 200 years in the circus of Britain's oldest circus family, read Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book For Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away With The Circus.

Click here to buy Circus Mania from Amazon.

Click here to see the trucks of Uncle Sam's American Circus.

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