The following ancient photographs were taken from a personal album of a former Luton resident. They were labelled: Sanger’s Circus in Luton, Beds 1931.
“Lord” George Sanger had died many years before, but his circus travelled till 1941 when it was broken up due to food rationing, a ban on performing animals(in case they escaped during an air raid!) as well as labour shortages.
These photographs represent some of the last remaining documents of a travelling circus pre-WWII. The adult elephant may be Sanger’s famous Annie(who lived over 50 years) or her younger companion Alice.
It is not known who the girls are, but they probably rode the elephants during a show. It is interesting to see the continuation of the African theme right into the 1930s. They were obviously very accustomed to handling big cats so they were probably not local Bedfordshire girls. Any further information on them and the elephant keeper in the lower photograph would be gratefully appreciated.