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Transfield's New Royal Circus, Dorning Street, Wigan, Lancashire

Wigan Theatres

Transfield’s New Royal Circus was not a great success and survived for less than ten years; years that included many closures. Situated in Dorning street on the site of the now demolished CO-OP warehouse, the building was advertised in March 1891 as:-

“The handsomest and most costly Iron and Wood building ever erected in Lancashire
Now Open For the Season
The greatest success ever known in Wigan
Sunday Next March 9th. And during Week.
First appearance in Wigan of:-
Miss Nellie Baily
The Greatest of all Lady Riders.
First appearance of Frisco
The Funniest Clown in the World.
Splendid Stud of Horses and Ponies.
Prices of admission 2s 1s 6p 1s and Gallery 4d
Illuminated Performance every Saturday at 2.30. Doors open at 2. Doors open every evening at 7.15.
Carriages ordered, Afternoons 4.15; Evenings 10.15.
Manager Mr P Adair.
Fresh Novelties Every Week”.

And 'The Comet' reported on the place in their September 5th 1891 edition saying:-

“This place of amusement was opened last Monday under entirely new management. On opening night there were fully two thousand present; and the entertainment provided was so highly appreciated that there has been no diminution but rather an increase in the numbers since.

Many who object to Theatres and Music-Halls, visit circuses with their wives and families; this they may do in the case of the Grand Circus without fear of hearing word or phrase that would call the indignant blush to the cheek of the purest maiden. The company with which Messrs’ Widdowson and Grafton have opened is a fairly good one, but it is capable of much improvement. The band needs mending”. The Comet September 5th 1891.

The last two sentences, in the quote above, are a reliable indication of the standard of entertainment to be found at this venue. This in spite of many changes in management and the name of the house. The advert shown below is one of the last to be found in the local press:-

Observer January 7th 1903
“Ohmy’s Grand New Circus Dorning Street Spring Gardens Wigan.
20 New Performers.
Tonight and EVERY Night
Proprietor Ohmy, Hero of the Balloon.

This article on Transfield's Royal Circus, Wigan, was written and kindly sent in for inclusion on this site by George Richmond in 2012. The article is © copyright George Richmond 2012.

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