Sunday, 1 November 2015


We are approaching the 25th anniversary of one of the most remarkable events in the modern history of North Lincolnshire.....

Some say Grimbsy is the worst place
to find oneself on a dark night,
last resort for the human race
unless spoiling for a pub fight.

Was it lingering fishy smells
from proud history of trawling?
That should have rung the alarm bells
- jungle kings partial to mauling.

Clown ran into police station
- no joke, it was all in the news,
a sudden sinking sensation,
then scrambling of snoozing fire crews.

Four lions made circus escape
as the children and adults screamed,
though it’s not recorded on tape
as if the grim hour was just dreamed.

Now CCTV and smartphone
would have captured the primal fear
- one man trapped cruelly alone,
death’s teeth sinking close to his ear.

Maned beast tried to board the night bus,
maybe to Mablethorpe or Louth,
to escape commotion and fuss;
fearful roar from slavering mouth.

Who had sabotaged lions’ cage?
Were they drunk or simply insane?
Courageous clown took centre stage
with red nose, big feet, borrowed cane.

Police blocked passage with a car,
clown wielding taming chair and stick,
gates closed to trap a feline star
as a pale onlooker was sick.

Of course many things have been brought,
but they’d never seen the big cats
on Grimsby and Cleethorpes Transport
- normally lost brollies and hats.

Thank God for our brave boys in blue
and a single heroic clown,
Grimsby just managed to scrape through
when the circus became the town.

© Paul Judges, November 2015

Four lions escaped from a circus in the town centre of Grimsby, Lincolnshire on 7 March 1991, which conclusively proves that exciting things do happen in places that have grim as part of their name, and are certainly not universally gloomy and depressing.

Thank goodness live animal acts are no longer acceptable to the public!

About Me

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I'm a poet based in Yorkshire, England, sharing a home with a Tibetan Terrier called Bertie who has little in common with the terrier breed, but does support a free Tibet ! (Words & Images Copyright: Maverick Heart, unless otherwise stated).