The fantastic picture in last week’s Memory Lane section of the elephant parade at Ilkeston has evoked many personal memories. The facts are:
The date will be the summer of 1958. The occasion is the visit of Billy Smart’s Circus to Ilkeston. It arrived by special train to Ilkeston North Station on Heanor Road and the vehicles were stabled in the goods yard.
In the picture the elephants have just emerged on to Heanor Road through the gate on the extreme right of the photograph, immediately in front of the Midlands General bus, which is standing on the bridge over the railway.
The parade was from the station, down Heanor Road, up Bath Street and the left onto Station Road then along Station Road and left again into either John Street or Blake Street in order to reach Wash Meadow (Johnie’s).
From 1958 to 1960 I worked at Ilkeston North Station and I was involved in the commercial aspect of this train.
I dealt with the advance receipt of advertising literature, leaflets etc, and liaised with the circus representatives when necessary. I was given two free admission tickets to the circus for my efforts.