George Barrett

From the list of elephant persons Family: Barrett

George Barrett
Profession circus director
Personal details
Born ?

Spouse(s) Winifred Barret

Country Canada

Title owner 1925-1952
Location at Barretts Canadian Circus in United Kingdom

Biography details

George Barrett , circus director in Canada

Born ? dead 1961 .

Barrett’s Canadian Circus started with famous ringmaster’s father George Barrett (d.1960), show became interested in horses at his father’s iron and steel works in Bradford, through their use for transportation.

After his father and brother’s death George sold the family busine and bought a farm near York, where he started to train domestic animals such as dogs, geese and ponies. George met his future wife Winifred at a local dance and the couple married in 1921.

In 1925 George and Winifred briefly partnered up with Rosaire Circus and started to travel as Desmond and Barrett’s Amalgamated Monster Circus. The partnership dissolved a few months later and Barretts formed the Barrett’s Canadian Circus, travelling a show with a strong equine focus.

Six years after entering the circus business, George sold most of his animals and equipment to return to farming. Although his life as a circus impresario had finished, George still had a strong interest in training animals and from 1943 he focused on training and presenting dogs and horses for other shows.

George and Winifred had a son, Norman, born on 20 December 1935, who soon was introduced to the family’s trade and developed his father’s love for horses. In 1948, George decided to restart the Barrett’s Circus, where Norman started to present horses and dogs from the age of seventeen. Among the cast were Freddie and Olga Yelding and their daughter, Sue, a family of performers who had been instrumental to the Barrett’s family circus from its inception and would become even closer upon Norman’s and Sue’s marriage. Unfortunately, the Barrett’s Circus story was not to last, as it failed to succeed financially and was forced to close in 1952.

George tried to revive his circus once again in 1956 without success, he died four years later, in 1960.


Total: 1 children

  1. Norman Barrett. Born: 1935-12-20.

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). director George Barrett in United Kingdom. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 26 February 2024 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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Selected publications

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Categories director | circus | Barretts Canadian Circus | Barrett family | Born ? | Dead 1961 | People from Canada

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