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."

Monday, 30 December 2013

Northampton Clown inspires Clown Crime Wave

Funny, Scary or anti-social?
- The Burnley Clown

Have Britain’s clowns gone crazy, or is someone out to ruin their reputation? Tony Eldridge, the secretary of Clowns International, certainly isn’t laughing and has called for an end to a clown crime wave that has been plaguing Britain’s towns for the past three months.
Police across the land have been inundated with reports from the public concerning clowns peering through their windows while brandishing knives and guns. There has even been a speeding incident including a clown on a motorbike.
Eldridge, whose clown name is Bluebottle, said: "This is doing clowning no favours and is harming society. The people behind it might see it as a bit of a laugh, but for the victims it can be a horrible experience.
"The fear of clowns – coulrophobia – is a real thing and some people will react very badly to this.”
Bluebottle is especially worried about the harm being done to the reputation of professional clowns by the anti-social clowns who have been terrorising the streets of Britain. He added: “We have to reclaim clowning as a positive thing which brings happiness.”
Sally Beadle - who clowns as Crazy Bananas - has said she is now afraid to go out in public in her clown outfit for fear of reprisals and even her children, who have grown up around clowning, have been scared by national news stories about people acting suspiciously while wearing a clown mask.
Superintendent Carl Edwards of Norfolk Police has warned the public to stay away from anti-social clowns after a number of incidents in Kings Lynn, including news reports of a clown in full costume and red hair chasing members of the public.
The clown who started a craze
- The Northampton Clown
“I’d like to stress that it isn’t against the law to dress up as a clown,” the police chief began, but added that Norfolk’s finest would be out in force to “find those responsible and offer them strong words of advice.”
The clowning started in September, on the ominous date of Friday 13, when a student dressed like Pennywise, the scary clown from the Stephen King film It began making appearances near Northampton landmarks and inviting people to post pictures of him on Facebook.
The Northampton Clown admits he has given a few people a scare, but that they actually enjoy it and his intention is simply to give them a laugh.
A series of copycat clowns around the country, however, have taken things to another level of terror and several police forces have issued warnings to the public to beware of anti-social clowns.
Derbyshire and South Yorkshire police forces have each recorded nearly 30 clown-related incidents, including one of a clown carrying balloons and a knife and others of a clown jumping out from behind bushes to scare passers by and then chasing them.
Other clown incidents have been reported as far afield as Sussex, Wales and Northern Ireland as the clown craze grows.
So far, no one has been arrested for clowning, but it’s believed police have gathered a number of clues including some very large footprints...

Read more about clowns, from Victorian star Joey Grimaldi to todays masters of mirth, including Bippo, the Chipolatas and Clive Webb and Danny Adams, in Circus Mania! - The Ultimate Book for Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away with the Circus.

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