Monday 21 November 2011

Frank Bellamy and Gerry Cottle's Circus

Tony Smith commented recently to me by email as a result of my comment in the King Kong post:

Interesting to read your latest blog in which you mention three posters Bellamy produced for Gerry Cottle's Circus in 1976. Please find attached one of the three posters he was commissioned to do shortly before his death. I am the proud owner of original copies of two of these posters - both rare (and valuable) because they advertised the circus when it appeared in Frank's home town of Kettering. One shows the strongman Khalil Oghaby and the other features the blindfolded and hooded Cimarro Brothers performing their "Walk of Death" on the highwire. I would love to know what the third one was and wonder if any of your readers can oblige? Best wishes Tony 

Well this one was easy for me as I was exciited when I tripped over a variant poster of Khalil Oghaby from the one I owned. I had seen the Khalil "crushed beneath the weight of a huge American limousine" poster but not the "He lifts an elephant!" "Mighty strongman for Persia. First time ever!" version

The third poster was of the highwire act the Cimarro Brothers.


The Internet is wonderful. here's a video from the 1960s. The caption reads:
Mr.Khalil Oghab or pahlavan khalil was some of the most popular pahlavan in tehran iran. This is a brief caption from the incredible Mr. Khalil Oghab who was born in city of Shiraz in Iran 1924. He performed in Amjadieh Soccer Stadium inTehran Iran in front of over 50,000 people in 1960s. He holds numerous titles and records including "The Strongest Man" in Europe for decades. He lives in good health and owns and operates the only Circus in Iran .
 and indeed has a Facebook page!

The Cimarro Brothers are are harder thing to find. They appeared apparently on Seaside Special in the same year I got my poster - 1976 and there is a comment on someone's blog how they enjoyed seeing the Brothers - who were Italian

Bellamy met with Gerry Cottle and produced to our knowledge three posters for the 1976 season. I have collected pictures from auction sites and thought you might like to see them. Please excuse the poor quality of some of them but it's interesting how far circuses travel.

Wood Green


Plumstead Common





United Arab Emitrates


1 comment:

Tony Smith said...

I feel humbled that you should deem my email worthy of a follow-up posting. At least I now know the identity of the "third" poster - albeit a variant on one of the other two! Best wishes and keep up the truly excellent work that you do!