December 22, 1978:
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Jacko the Clown walked round the ring at the Belle Vue circus.
Jacko made sure of it by squirting everyone with water from two hoses in his hat!
Belle Vue’s annual Christmas circus was often described as the finest show in the North West. Acts were signed from around the world including Harry Belli’s Horse-Riding Tiger and Willi Mullen’s Caucasian Cavalry and Ponies.
The final circus took place at Belle Vue in 1981.
December 21, 1967:
Singer Vince Hill, left, lines up with comedian Des O’Connor and actress Pippa Steel at the Palace Theatre production of Cinderella.
Taking centre stage, though, is Tanya the baby elephant, weighing in at a whopping 1,600lbs!
Tanya had already stolen the show a week earlier when she appeared with Dickie Henderson at the Royal Variety Show at the London Palladium.
Her favourite trick was finding sweets her keeper had hidden in his jacket when she came off stage.
December 11, 1962:
The bossa nova dance craze comes to Manchester as two youngsters demonstrate some of the steps.
Bossa nova was developed in Brazil in the 1950s as a fusion of samba and jazz. Its name translates from the Portuguese as ‘new wave’ or ‘new trend’.
The music and dance style attracted a large following in the early 1960s, particularly among college students and young musicians.
American saxophonist Stan Getz and guitarist Charlie Byrd both recorded bossa nova numbers in the 1960s.