In 1944 I (Basil Hyman) was given my first camera, a Baldinette, at 8 years old. Taking photos of anything that captured my attention I set up a make shift photography studio in my bedroom between the bookshelf and wardrobe.

I built up quite the collection of images, from milk vans in the street to young hopefuls waiting to be asked to dance at the school ball.

As a youngster I visited the well known Bertram Mills Circus with my beloved Baldinette, ready to capture the magic of the Circus.

My photography albums are available to purchase at, which are full of my photo’s and memorabilia from 50s/60s Britain.

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#1 Aged 13 and influenced by the famous french photographer Man Ray, I started experimenting with my photography.

#2 It’s not easy to photograph a circus – there’s always so much going on. I’m particularly proud of this picture because, like all the others I took as a teenager, I used a Baldinette camera I’d been given for my eighth birthday. It’s not easy to use, because you can’t alter the shutter speeds – so to get good lighting like this is quite an achievement.

#3 The star lady of the show had zebras and horses trotting around her in a strict pattern.

#4 These pictures capture the innocence of the 50s. Back then, circuses made people happy – you could see that on the faces of the audience. Now, of course, you wonder whether the animals were treated well, especially since news has come out about certain circuses abusing animals.

#5 The ringmaster and his helper perform.

#6 Acrobats showcase their talents.

#7 I also kept a lot of memorabilia such as magazines, newspaper clippings and circus programmes.