Larry Turnbull Circus Scrapbooks and Audio Recordings

Scope and Content

These scrapbooks and sound recordings were collected and compiled by Larry Turnbull, who was an employee of Bertram Mills' Circus. Spanning over 50 years, the scrapbooks are divided into two groups; the first group being dedicated exclusively to coverage of the Bertram Mills' Circus, the second group covering circus and variety acts in general from Great Britain, Western Europe and Northern America. The sound recordings are Parts 1 and 2 of a BBC Radio programme on the circus.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born c.1910/11, Larry Turnbull lived in Durham. He was employed as a foreman and electrician at Bertram Mills' Circus, which operated from 1920 until 1968.

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

The collection was bought by the V&A Theatre and Performance department at auction in November 2010.

Archivist's Note

All scrapbooks in original bindings and in good condition.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here:


No accruals expected.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. Material relating to the Bertram Mills' Circus, as well as the fields of circus and variety performance in general may be found in several collections, including the biographical, productions, company and photographs files.

Please ask for details.