Circus train arrives in Suffolk

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 21, 2005

Suffolk News-Herald

Sometime between 6 a.m. and noon Tuesday morning, Suffolk residents will get a quick chance to check out the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus train; it heads through downtown Suffolk, unfortunately not stopping on the way past.

But that’s O.K.; they can get a much closer look at a much smaller, slower circus train at the Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum today and next weekend.

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For the third consecutive year, Daniel Bathe will bring the train that his father Oscar put together by hand over a period of several decades.

The collection consists of approximately 60 handcrafted passenger, animal, and flatbed train cars. There’s a small locomotive, complete with sound effects.

&uot;He always had an interest in circuses and trains,&uot; Daniel said of his dad, who operated the Pokey Smokey train in Portsmouth City Park.

&uot;My dad was way ahead of his time, and he and my mom would love to know that people still love to look at the trains.&uot;

Topping off the exhibit is a small display of the clowning artifacts of the late Dr. L.C. Holland, a former dentist around the area. Holland was a freelance clown, occasionally performing with Ringling Brothers and other circuses. He also appeared in the film, &uot;The Greatest Show on Earth.&uot;

The exhibit is full of older circus programs, back when they cost 15 cents, clown shoes, makeup, and other things. For more information, call 923-4750.