Lace doilies, plastic covers, porcelain figurines. On the cake line the coffee machine gurgles, the oven spreads a cozy warmth. Anyone sitting in the circus caravan with georg frank quickly forgets that life between these walls is very different from life with grandma.
"I myself was even born in a caravan", says the 66-year-old circus director, not without pride. "My grandfather had to hold a stable lantern for the midwife so that she could see something", wife frank, who himself has nine now grown-up children. "All are junior chefs. If one of them agrees to something, a performance or whatever, then that applies", he says.
Pride in the family
he is proud of his family. Also on his many grandchildren. "We are a real family business. Everyone pitches in." even the youngest show acrobatic tricks. "When i was nine months old i got my first taste of the ring. My father balanced me on his hand", remembers the senior boss. "It should not be a compulsion. The children have to enjoy it, otherwise they won’t become good artists. We introduced our children to the craft with love."
Apparently the calculation works. All nine children and the 17 grandchildren are with the circus, performing in the ring and helping to care for the animals. But the life of the family is not as romantic as the first impression might suggest. But: "we don’t go to the social security office, we don’t want to be on the state’s pocket", according to frank.
But you can’t do it without support. Farmers come to bring hay and straw or even a bag of bread. The hay does not necessarily have to be fresh. Camels also like to eat what farmers can hardly use anymore. "The summer was hard. The floods have cost us many jobs. Then the wonderful weather in august. Many prefer to go to the swimming pool than to the circus." and now it’s winter again. And thus again no or only few incomes. But the franks don’t want to sit around with their hands in their shoves waiting for spring to arrive. "You can book us."
"We offer a show with a plate juggler, one of my granddaughters will perform with a body show. It can bend and fold like a pocket knife. That is really great!" also the calculating pony is always well received.
"Friends all over germany"
georg frank is already the seventh generation to manage the small circus. His great-great-great-grandfather henry had once founded it. 38 vehicles and of course caravans belong to it. And so the winter quarters must be quite coarse. On the land of the family unger, the former construction company muller, the circus is housed for the winter. The 60 or so animals have a roof over their heads here, and even the humans can rest for a while. And the children go to school in the same place for a while. "When you change often, sometimes it’s not easy to keep up", female chantalle, who is in the 3. Class goes. However, she and her siblings see the advantages above all else. "You meet new children all the time. We have friends all over germany."
Besides 15 horses, ponies, goats, donkeys and dogs, the camels are the pride and joy of georg frank. "He cannot understand that some people are critical of small circuses because of the way they keep animals. "No one wants to see a circus without animals. With us the animals are fine. There are companies where things look different. But there are black sheep in every field, aren’t there??"
at the end of the second week of march, the franks plan a rough seasonal opening. There will be a free event to thank all the people who supported them during the winter.
On saturday the people of thurnau will have the opportunity to get to know the circus henry: at 6 pm at the advent window in the town hall courtyard. More is not revealed…