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Chipperfield, Jimmy (James), 1912 - 1990

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1912 - 1990

Biography

James Seaton Methuen Chipperfield aka Jimmy Chipperfield was born in 1912 into one of the most famous British circus families of all times.

Jimmy started training in the circus from a young age and learned all the key trades of the business including animal training, which had a long tradition in the Chipperfield family.

In the early 1930s Jimmy married Rosie Purchase (1912–2006), a performer from a well known travelling menagerie family and after her father’s death, the couple took over Purchase menagerie and merged it with Chipperfield Circus.

During the Second World War, Jimmy enlisted with the RAF and served as a pilot. Although the war had all but closed down the circus, on his release from service, Jimmy put the show back together and started travelling again. Jimmy travelled the Chipperfield Circus during the 1940s and early 1950s until he briefly retired to a farm in 1955 and worked as a manager providing acts for other shows and animals for the film industry.

In the 1960s Jimmy started to get involved in the drive through safari park business and opened or contributed to the opening of a long list of parks including Longleat Safari Park in 1966, Johannesburg Lion Park in 1967, Windsor Safari Park in 1969, Lambton Lion Park in 1972 and West Midland Safari Park in 1973. He contributed to the opening of the Woburn Safari Park and Blair Drummond Safari Park in 1970 and Knowsley Safari Park in 1971.

Although he spent much of his career away from the circus, in 1979 he returned to his original roots with the Circus World show, which he toured and set up in the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome. Jimmy died in 1990.

Jimmy together with his siblings Dick, Marjorie and John made the Chipperfield Circus one of the most successful and well known circuses in the world.

Found in 11 Collections and/or Records:

Chipperfield Circus Programmes, 1963 - 1995

 File
Reference code: 178K43.619
Scope and Contents

Chipperfield Circus programmes, including Jimmy Chipperfield, Mary Chipperfield and Tony Hopkins presenting the Chipperfield Circus, contain black and white and colour photographs of performers and acts with text, programme and commercial advertising.

Dates: 1963 - 1995

Christopher Palmer Collection

 Fonds
Reference code: NFA0105
Scope and Contents

Circus programmes and VHS tapes from Billy Smart’s Circus and Chipperfields’s Circus collected during the 1970s and early 1980s by the TV producer, Christopher John Palmer. There are also a number of promotional photographs of artistes and other ephemera related to the circus.

Dates: 1973 - 1983

Circus Friends Association Collection

 Fonds
Reference code: NFA0122
Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a large library of books and journals, as well as archival material including posters, programmes, photographs, films, handbills, research material, scrapbooks, original artwork and many other items of ephemera relating to British, Irish and European circuses

Dates: 1795 - 2020

Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Circus and Liverpool Stadium Programmes, c1900 - 2004

 Sub-Series
Reference code: 178K43.281-335
Scope and Contents

Great Yarmouth Hippodrome and Liverpool Stadium circus programmes including Billy Russell, Peter Jay, Jasmine Smart and Sally Chipperfield among others.

Dates: c1900 - 2004

Jimmy Chipperfield's Circus World Programme, c1900 - 1999

 Item
Reference code: 178K43.323
Scope and Contents

Hippodrome, Great Yarmouth. Black and white illustration of clown's face and circus animals in the centre, black and white type on red background on the front cover, inside introduction and historical background, black and white photographs of acts and perfomers with text, programme in the centre and commercial advertising, 6p.p

Dates: c1900 - 1999

Jimmy Chipperfield's Circus World Programme, c1900 - 1999

 Item
Reference code: 178K43.324
Scope and Contents

Hippodrome, Great Yarmouth. Black and white illustration of clown's face and circus animals in the centre, black and white type on red background on the front cover, inside introduction and historical background, black and white photographs of acts and perfomers with text, programme in the centre and commercial advertising, 6p.p.

Dates: c1900 - 1999

Jimmy Chipperfield's Circus World Programme, c1900 - 1999

 Item
Reference code: 178K43.325
Scope and Contents

Hippodrome, Great Yarmouth. Black and white photograh of equestrian act with two horses and female trainer on red background on the front cover, inside introduction and historical background, black and white photographs of acts and perfomers with text, programme in the centre and commercial advertising, 6p.p.

Dates: c1900 - 1999

Jimmy Chipperfield's Circus World Programme, 1979

 Item
Reference code: 178K41.30
Scope and Contents

Margaret Chipperfield and animals, Carl Fischer Junior wild animal trainer, Rochelle Flyers trapeze, Noe-Noe and Gary clowns, Brenda Larenty wire walker. Contains photos, 12p.p

Dates: 1979

Jimmy Chipperfield's Circus World Programme, 1979

 Item
Reference code: 178K41.33
Scope and Contents

Mary Chipperfield and animals, Margaret Chipperfield and animals, Rochelle Flyers trapeze, Noe-Noe and Gary clowns, Brenda Larenty wire walker, Carl Fischer Junior wild animal trainer and others. Contains photos, 12p.p.

Dates: 1979

Programmes, 1970 - 1981

 Series
Reference code: 178K41
Scope and Contents

Programmes for various British and international circuses including Billy Russell's, Blackpool Tower, Fossett's, Chipperfield's and the Toni Boltini's Circus.

Dates: 1970 - 1981

Programmes, c1800 - 2019

 Series
Reference code: 178K43
Scope and Contents

A collection of mainly British and international circus programmes and some variety and music hall programmes containing circus acts.

Dates: c1800 - 2019