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John Claridge’s Clowns (Act Two)

February 17, 2013
by the gentle author

A fortnight ago, Contributing Photographer John Claridge & I attended the 67th Annual Grimaldi Service at Holy Trinity Church, Dalston, as guests of Clowns International, the world’s oldest clown club founded in 1947. This rare gathering of so many clowns offered the ideal opportunity to take a set of portraits and this week it is my pleasure to publish a second vivid selection from the startling pictures John took that afternoon, recording some intimate encounters with memorable buffoons and pranksters.

Mr Woo – Clowning since 1950. Performs in a double act with Uncle Colin as The Custard Clowns.

Toby Jingles – Clowning for forty years.

Benzy – Clowning for eight years, Benzy is Mickell’s grandson.

Joey the Clown – Clowning for four years.

Pippa – Children’s entertainer for thirteen years, clowning for six years.

Mickell – Clowning for fifteen years.

Snoozy Clowning for four years, married to Mr Mudge.

Crazy Bananas – Clowning for seven years, with her son (Crazy “Dan”anas) and daughter (Squeak).

Photographs copyright © John Claridge

You might like to take a look at

John Claridge’s Clowns (Act One)

and read my account

At the 65th Annual Grimaldi Service

or read these other Grimaldi stories

Celebrating Joseph Grimaldi

Joseph Grimaldi, Clown

7 Responses leave one →
  1. February 17, 2013

    Amazing characters.

  2. Lee permalink
    February 17, 2013

    What a great photographic subject !

    Stunning artistic images.



  3. Adrian Taylor permalink
    February 17, 2013

    Hi John and Janet,

    the clowns are a nice counterpoint to the darker sides of Spitalfields, but no less poetic and poignant.

  4. Olga Secerov permalink
    February 18, 2013

    love their individual characters.

  5. David Drakes permalink
    February 19, 2013

    Clowns: to JC’s lens they’re to be taken just as seriously as his pugilist friends . . . just a bit more colourful, that’s all!

  6. Marien de Goffau permalink
    February 23, 2013

    Great graphics.

  7. Robin permalink
    March 2, 2013

    As much as I respect the Grimaldi service they spook me. Maybe I should become a clown…become the scare-er and not be the scare-ee any more.

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