New life under a Big Top

17 August 2011

by Pat Ashworth

THE Big Top at Peter Jolly’s Circus in Redcar was the venue for the bap­tism last Sunday of the ring­master’s six-week-old daughter, Daisy May. Her family was following circus tradi­tion, and the Vicar of New Marske, Redcar, the Revd Rachel Harrison, said that she had been excited to take the service.

The audience gathering for the 2p.m. show was able to witness the baptism, including children who knew Mrs Harrison, and were in­trigued to see her in the ring. “Every baptism is special, but this was just a very special occasion altogether,” she said on Wednesday.

She had been invited to take the service when she called on the circus families early last week. “The god­parents were taking this very seriously, as were the parents,” she said. Despite llamas, ponies, and showpeople in the ring, there was “no larking about and no gimmicks — a happy occasion, but not so in­formal that it wasn’t proper”.

Mrs Harrison carried Daisy May round the circus ring, to huge ap­plause, after the baptism. “I felt like a performer myself,” she said. When she and her husband had been to the show on the previous Friday even­ing, they had been drenched by the antics of the clown. She took her revenge after the service was over. Armed with a water pistol, she sought out the clown and told him: “I’ve got some unfinished business with you. . .”

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