Running away to join the circus was always a childhood dream.

Having knives thrown at me while flat against a large board is probably the closest I will ever get.

When Santus Circus came to Heybridge and pitched their tent on the King George V Playing Fields, the opportunity to learn some circus skills was not one to pass up.

Some people are born into the circus and none more so than brothers Ernest Santus, 64, and Roger Santus, 52.

They are the sixth generation of their family to run the circus and their children and grandchildren are all involved.

Roger’s daughter Ruby Santus, 19, first entered the ring aged four, when she worked with animals.

She said: "The circus is magical, you get bitten by the bug."