Big Charlie

By JH Williams.

The true story of the transportation of an elephant between two Butlins camps in the 1950s, abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

In May 1957, Butlins placed an advertisement in The Times offering 1,000 pounds cash to anyone who would arrange safe transportation of an elephant from Ayr to Filey in Yorkshire.

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AR012008122920100801

By JH Williams.

The true story of the transportation of an elephant between two Butlins camps in the 1950s, abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

In May 1957, Butlins placed an advertisement in The Times offering 1,000 pounds cash to anyone who would arrange safe transportation of an elephant from Ayr to Filey in Yorkshire.

Colonel "Elephant Bill" Williams' amazing story of how, in the summer of 1957, the largest elephant in captivity - Big Charlie - was moved from Butlin's Holiday Camp in Ayr, Scotland, to Butlin's, Filey, Yorkshire.

In May 1957, an advertisement in The Times caught Elephant Bill's eye.

Butlin's Ltd was offering £1,000 in cash for the immediate safe transport of the largest elephant in captivity from its camp in Ayr to its camp in Filey - a distance by road of 350 miles.

Colonel JH Williams had earned his sobriquet "Elephant Bill" as a result of his experiences working with elephants in the jungles of Burma and, intrigued by the advertisement, he volunteered his services.

As did 3,500 other people, for the problem of moving Big Charlie, a 5 and a half ton male elephant, and one of the finest tuskers in captivity, had captured the popular imagination.

Some of the suggestions for moving the elephant were eccentric in the extreme, but not long after the advertisement appeared, Elephant Bill found himself engaged as elephant consultant - with very ill-defined duties - to help Mr Willie Wilson of Glasgow transport Big Charlie.

Although Big Charlie was accompanied at all times on the journey by his gentle and devoted mahout, Shaik Ibrahim, the job was made much more hazardous by the fact that Big Charlie was on "musth" - or in season - and that Billy Butlin's demands for constant publicity posed tricky problems for all concerned.

The story of this incredible journey begins today.

Written by J.H.Williams.

Abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Butlins place an advertisement in The Times.

AR012008122920100801

By JH Williams.

The true story of the transportation of an elephant between two Butlins camps in the 1950s, abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

In May 1957, Butlins placed an advertisement in The Times offering 1,000 pounds cash to anyone who would arrange safe transportation of an elephant from Ayr to Filey in Yorkshire.

Colonel "Elephant Bill" Williams' amazing story of how, in the summer of 1957, the largest elephant in captivity - Big Charlie - was moved from Butlin's Holiday Camp in Ayr, Scotland, to Butlin's, Filey, Yorkshire.

In May 1957, an advertisement in The Times caught Elephant Bill's eye.

Butlin's Ltd was offering £1,000 in cash for the immediate safe transport of the largest elephant in captivity from its camp in Ayr to its camp in Filey - a distance by road of 350 miles.

Colonel JH Williams had earned his sobriquet "Elephant Bill" as a result of his experiences working with elephants in the jungles of Burma and, intrigued by the advertisement, he volunteered his services.

As did 3,500 other people, for the problem of moving Big Charlie, a 5 and a half ton male elephant, and one of the finest tuskers in captivity, had captured the popular imagination.

Some of the suggestions for moving the elephant were eccentric in the extreme, but not long after the advertisement appeared, Elephant Bill found himself engaged as elephant consultant - with very ill-defined duties - to help Mr Willie Wilson of Glasgow transport Big Charlie.

Although Big Charlie was accompanied at all times on the journey by his gentle and devoted mahout, Shaik Ibrahim, the job was made much more hazardous by the fact that Big Charlie was on "musth" - or in season - and that Billy Butlin's demands for constant publicity posed tricky problems for all concerned.

The story of this incredible journey begins today.

Written by J.H.Williams.

Abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Butlins place an advertisement in The Times.

AR022008123020100808

Colonel 'Elephant Bill' Williams arrives in Ayr and meets Big Charlie and his mahout, Shaik Ibrahim, for the first time.

The true story of the transportation of an elephant between two Butlins camps in the 1950s.

Colonel "Elephant Bill" Williams arrives in Ayr and meets Big Charlie and his mahout, Shaik Ibrahim, for the first time.

Written by JH Williams.

Abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Story of how the largest elephant in captivity moved from Scotland to Yorkshire in 1957.

AR022008123020100808

Colonel 'Elephant Bill' Williams arrives in Ayr and meets Big Charlie and his mahout, Shaik Ibrahim, for the first time.

The true story of the transportation of an elephant between two Butlins camps in the 1950s.

Colonel "Elephant Bill" Williams arrives in Ayr and meets Big Charlie and his mahout, Shaik Ibrahim, for the first time.

Written by JH Williams.

Abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Story of how the largest elephant in captivity moved from Scotland to Yorkshire in 1957.

AR032008123120100815

The five and a half ton elephant is reluctant to enter its crate.

Colonel Williams' amazing story of how in the summer of 1957 the largest elephant in captivity, Big Charlie, was moved from Butlin's in Scotland to Butlin's, Yorkshire.

The Colonel faces an obstacle as the 5-and-a-half ton elephant is reluctant to enter his crate.

Abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

AR032008123120100815

The five and a half ton elephant is reluctant to enter its crate.

Colonel Williams' amazing story of how in the summer of 1957 the largest elephant in captivity, Big Charlie, was moved from Butlin's in Scotland to Butlin's, Yorkshire.

The Colonel faces an obstacle as the 5-and-a-half ton elephant is reluctant to enter his crate.

Abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

AR042009010120100822

The true story of the transportation of an elephant between two Butlins camps in the 1950s.

Billy Butlin wants Charlie photographed for publicity purposes en route, but Elephant Bill has other ideas.

Written by JH Williams.

Abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Billy Butlin wants Charlie photographed for publicity, but Elephant Bill has other ideas.

AR042009010120100822

The true story of the transportation of an elephant between two Butlins camps in the 1950s.

Billy Butlin wants Charlie photographed for publicity purposes en route, but Elephant Bill has other ideas.

Written by JH Williams.

Abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Billy Butlin wants Charlie photographed for publicity, but Elephant Bill has other ideas.

AR05 LAST2009010220100829

Colonel Williams' amazing story of how, in the summer of 1957, the largest elephant in captivity was moved from Butlin's in Scotland to Butlin's, Yorkshire.

The journey over, Big Charlie makes his triumphal entry to Filey.

Written by JH Williams.

Abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Charlie makes his triumphal entry into Butlins, Filey.

AR05 LAST2009010220100829

Colonel Williams' amazing story of how, in the summer of 1957, the largest elephant in captivity was moved from Butlin's in Scotland to Butlin's, Yorkshire.

The journey over, Big Charlie makes his triumphal entry to Filey.

Written by JH Williams.

Abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Charlie makes his triumphal entry into Butlins, Filey.