Search

‘It’s the energy, it’s the happiness’ - Iconic circus helps man overcome anxiety

PUBLISHED: 14:31 26 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:31 26 September 2020

Jack Young, 21, from Birmingham, has been collecting memorabilia from the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome for four years. Picture: Courtesy of Jack Young.

Jack Young, 21, from Birmingham, has been collecting memorabilia from the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome for four years. Picture: Courtesy of Jack Young.

Archant

A 21-year-old man has opened up about how an iconic circus on the coast has helped alleviate his anxiety and depression.

Jack Young, 21, with Johnny Mac and Jack Jay of the Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Courtesy of Jack Young.Jack Young, 21, with Johnny Mac and Jack Jay of the Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Courtesy of Jack Young.

Jack Young, from Birmingham, makes the three and a half hour trek every summer from the midlands to Great Yarmouth - and never fails to take in a show, or two, at the Hippodrome.

His first visit to the venue was in 2012, when he was 13-years-old and enjoying a holiday on the Norfolk coast with his family.

“It wasn’t actually part of our plans. I was going to watch the fireworks with my brother but we had to wait so to pass the time we went to the Hippodrome,” Mr Young said.

“It was the first ever circus I had been to.

Memorabilia from the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, collected over the past four years by Birmingham man, Jack Young. Picture: Jack Young.Memorabilia from the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, collected over the past four years by Birmingham man, Jack Young. Picture: Jack Young.

“Ever since then it has stuck with me and every year since then we come back to Yarmouth for the summer holidays and we’ve always done the Hippodrome.”

Mr Young suffers from anxiety and depression, but a trip to the Hippodrome always cheers him up, he said.

“It’s the energy, the happiness, it’s all a laugh.”

MORE: ‘Fingers crossed’ - Hippodrome performers anxiously hoping the show will go on

Four years ago he started collecting memorabilia.

Memorabilia from the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, collected over the past four years by Birmingham man, Jack Young. Picture: Jack Young.Memorabilia from the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, collected over the past four years by Birmingham man, Jack Young. Picture: Jack Young.

“One day I had a look on eBay, there was a seller selling a load of programmes for the Hippodrome dating back to the 1950s, I thought, this is brilliant,” Mr Young said.

“Ever since then my collection started and I got more passionate for the Hippodrome.”

His bedroom is full of posters, programmes, leaflets, letterheads, DVDs and signed T-shirts.

“I’ve got into other circuses but they just can’t compare with the Hippodrome. It’s the nostalgia of the building and the history. You can feel the passion in the building.

Jack Young, 21, with Peter Jay of the Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Courtesy of Jack Young.Jack Young, 21, with Peter Jay of the Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Courtesy of Jack Young.

“It’s helped me massively because it gives me something to concentrate on. I could sit looking at my posters and programmes for hours.

“With my mental health it was a big thing to help me and cheer me up.”

Mr Young said the owners of the Hippodrome, the Jay family, have also been a “massive help”, offering him T-shirts and posters from old shows.

Peter Jay said: “Jack is a great guy, and to be such a fan of the Hippodrome at his age is fabulous for us, and we keep in touch with him and always enjoy seeing him and his family when they visit.”

Memorabilia from the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, collected over the past four years by Birmingham man, Jack Young. Picture: Jack Young.Memorabilia from the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, collected over the past four years by Birmingham man, Jack Young. Picture: Jack Young.

The circus’ summer spectacular show finished its run on September 20 after finally opening, following lockdown and a last-minute government U-turn, on August 15.

Memorabilia from the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, collected over the past four years by Birmingham man, Jack Young. Picture: Jack Young.Memorabilia from the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, collected over the past four years by Birmingham man, Jack Young. Picture: Jack Young.

You may also want to watch:


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Great Yarmouth Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury