Huyton Baddies Versus The Circus.

First, a little background on the Huyton Baddies...
250 strong gang of hooligans and petty criminals. Famous for football related looting sprees across Europe in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Huyton, Liverpool 1977. Every year in September, the circus would come to the common in Huyton, a nice spot of sub Billy Smart family entertainment. The big top had been up for a couple of days when the Strongman was in one of the local pubs having an aftershow drink with the Trapeze Girl. One of the Huyton Baddies top boys was also in the bar with a mate who was hyping him up to have a crack at the Trapeze Girl. So up he goes, all swagger, to chat her up right under the nose of the Strongman. After a brief exchange of pleasantries the Strongman just grabs the Baddie Top Boy, picks him up above his head and throws him through the front window of the snug. Not surprisingly, the Trapeze Girl and him get out of there fast, whilst the unfortunate scallie lies unconscious in the street. News of the incident quickly spreads through the estate and a war council convenes to formulate an appropriate direct action response. No Strongman comes on their patch and chucks Top Boys through pub windows. It's decided....... The following evening a 200 strong mob of Baddies gathers on the common. They attack the circus just before the last show of the evening. These Baddies really mean business - beating and giving a good kicking to the Strongman, all the clowns (even the little one) and the ring master. Still not wholly satisfied they start burning down the big top and then release all the animals from their cages. Suddenly there's lions tigers and elephants stampeding out across the common towards the bright lights of the town. Before too long crazed circus animals are prowling the mean streets of Huyton terrorizing the local residents. Special police and zoo swat teams arrive on the scene. A lion is shot outside the King's Head. A tiger finds itself in Betty's Hair Salon on Mortimer Street, whilst the elephant roams unchallenged up and down the High Street. The chaos lasts until the next morning when all the animals are rounded up or shot. The Baddies will not bring such glory upon themselves again until they hijack the P&O ferry the following year. But that's a story for another time.

Graham Ramsay 1996.