Thursday, 17 May 2018
Father of the Circus celebrated in Philip Astley's home town of Newcastle under Lyme
Celebrations marking 250 years of the circus have continued in Newcastle under Lyme, the birthplace of Philip Astley, the Father of the Modern Circus, with a new multi-part metal monument that forms the gateway to the town.
Located on George Street, the monument, which lights up at night, was designed by Candida Kelsall and built by 17-year-old Liam Robinson with funding from the Realise Foundation and Newcastle Business Improvement District. It depicts ringmaster Astley flanked by two rearing horses.
The unveiling was attended by the local mayor and mayoress, along with a delegation from the Circus Friends Association, Carol Gandey from one of Britain's foremost circus promoters Gandey World Class Productions, and performers from Circus Starr, the charity circus that is part of the Gandey organisation. Also present was Zsuzsanna Mata, executive director of Monte Carlo's Federation Mondiale du Cirque and illusionist Andrew Van Buren from the Astley Project, who for 30 years has campaigned for recognition of Astley's legacy in his home town.
For 15 Facts about Philp Astley, the Father of the Circus, click here.
For more about Circus Starr, the circus that helps kids, click here.
For more on the history and culture of the circus, read Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book For Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away With The Circus! Click here to buy the updated second edition.