It's not every day you see elephants parading through Weymouth.

These pictures were taken in 1961 and show Billy Smart's Circus arriving in town.

They were taken by the bridge opposite Knightsdale Road by the Marsh, where the Big Top would be pitched and the circus would be held.

People have gathered to see the circus arrive and there is even a policeman on duty to keep order.

There seem to be four elephants in the picture, coming through the tunnel trunk to tail carrying some rather fancily dressed elephant riders who are waving to the crowds. So eager were people to catch a glimpse of this sight, you can even see some youngsters on the hill trying to catch a glimpse!

Dorset Echo:

Billy Smart's Circus arriving in Weymouth Picture: Courtesy of Graham Perry

It is even thought that the elephants were taken down to Weymouth beach - now that would be quite the sight.

The circus also put on performances in Dorchester.

Of course, this is an image from bygone days and circuses no longer have animals.

Billy Smart’s New World Circus began in 1946 when the highly successful showman – known to his family and staff as The Guv’nor – bought a Big Top and added circus performances to his funfair as an ‘extra attraction’. The circus soon took precedence.

Over the next 25 years, Billy Smart’s Circus became a household name, touring under a massive 5,000-seat big top and synonymous with the highest-quality, most modern and most exciting circus entertainment available.

Dorset Echo:

A television tribute to Billy Smart made history as BBC TV’s first ever colour programme, and TV broadcasts continued as a Christmas tradition long after regular touring last ceased in 1971.

TV audiences peaked at 21million, a huge figure, and earned a Silver Camera Award.

Dorset Echo:

In September 1966 Billy Smart collapsed and died in Ipswich. He was such a huge star that his death made headlines around the world.

Billy Smart's Circus continued to visit Weymouth in more recent years, changing location to Lodmoor Country Park, with no animals and 'all human' shows made up of acrobats, jugglers and breath-taking aerialists.

Dorset Echo:

Billy Smart's Circus in more recent times

It seems as though the days of this particular circus are a thing of the past with the last known visit to have taken place in 2013.