All concentration from Frespa - one of three plate-spinners from the circus kitchen - in a race against time and broken plates. DN 11.12.1985
An elephant is not everyone's idea of a family pet, but Micala Ratcliffe (15 months) and her father Tony, seen here with Jumbo, are members of the Whirling Bros Circus, looking after a wide range of animals. TH 14.12.1981
Five-year-old Courtney Johnson got to know the African Elephant, Jumbo, as the Whirling Bros Circus set up its show at Mangorei School in April 1985. Behind Courtney is circus manager, Tony Ratcliffe. DN 04.04.1985
A bond of affection has built up between Whirling Brothers Circus owner and animal trainer Tony Ratcliffe and his 14 year old elephant Jumbo. TH 23.12.1988
Try catching 50-odd plates thrown at you at pace by three of your comrades. Mono-cyclist and juggler Vladimir Gusev made it look easy during performances of the Moscow Circus at Bell Block. MW 13.12.1992
The circus was in town, and Bubba the chimpanzee was pictured hugging Tiki Gray (8) of Raumati, on holiday in New Plymouth. DN 17.05.1989
Pint -sized clown Merlin Balfour may be a dab hand at the dumb-bells, but he is not so dumb himself. The 3ft tall little funny man is only six years old, but he can already make 'em laugh in five different languages. Since he was born, Merlin has toured Europe in a double-decker bus with his family act, the Circus Hazard. TH 27.11.1986.
A Juggling and acrobatic scene from the Chinese Magic Circus of Taiwan. TH 29.10.1983
The Whirling Circus' elephant, Jumbo gets a welcome cooling down. Watching on are owner Tony Ratcliffe's children , Mikala and Gabriel, while behind them is the country's largest caravan which the Ratcliffe family use as they travel the country with the circus. Tony Ratcliffe, a former Taumarunui man runs the Whirling Circus show. DN 26.01.1988.
Jumbo the fifteen-year-old African elephant with the Whirling Brothers' Circus, made a guest appearance at the Taumarunui, New World Supermarket car park yesterday, among a lot of screaming children, who were frightened by his size. Manager, Tony Ratcliffe, said he was a very well behaved elephant and it was all in the handling technique. DN 27.01.1988.
Owner Tony Ratcliffe of Whirling Brothers' Circus, brought it to his home town of Taumarunui for two shows. As well as running the show, Tony is the circus' lion-tamer. Here he shows the newest addition to the lions' cage, Natal, a month-old lioness. DN 15.12.1983.
The great Puzanov Troupe was just one of the amazing acts on show at the Great Moscow Circus which performed in New Plymouth in December 1992. This was the circus first ever trip to New Zealand. MW 09.12.1992
Monocyclists Vladimir Gusev and Veniamin Prokhorov practice their Great Moscow Circus act at Bell Block during the circus visit to New Plymouth in December 1992. DN 10.12.1992
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