Zippos Circus rarely visit the NE and in 2013 came to Gateshead, Metro Centre, with a stand in the car park. Proprietor Martin Burton. Zippos had a few animal acts and signs which stated that their vehicles ran on Chip Fat. They also run a school, to which Emma Bloomfield of Sunderland attended, now aerial teacher at Dynamix Skate Park. Other links include Kenyan performers who’ve volunteered at Circus Central and the Bugrov Family, who performed with Zippos and now reside in Gateshead.
Acts in 2013 included motor bike globe of death, horses, cuban acrobats and Ring Master Norman Barrett MBE with his budgie act. In 2013 Norman became the World Record holder as the longest serving Ring Master at 47 years. He first became a Ring Master in 1956/7 with Robert Brothers Circus. In 1959 he joined Bertrum Mills Circus as an assistant Animal Trainer & Presenter. He remains one of the truly gifted Ringmasters “in full technical charge of a performance, not just an announcer”. He went on in the late 60s to work at Tower Circus and as straight man to famous clown Charlie Cairoli. He was popular on television during the 70s and 80s, before circus lost appeal to television broadcasters. He joined Zippo’s in 2002, and was honoured in 2012 with an MBE.