Storm topples circus tent

The damage caused to the clubhouse as a result of the tent falling.

Nature intervened in a dispute over Observatory’s circus tent, toppling the shabby, shaky big top in a storm last Friday.

Kami Gordon, who stays in the one-storey clubhouse on the City property where the tent stood for many years, said: “The tent came down around 4.15pm when one of the poles crashed down against the building column of the clubhouse.”

There had been 24 people in the clubhouse at the time.

“It would have come down anyway through the night, I am just grateful that nobody got hurt,” she said.

In April, it was agreed at a Observatory Civic Association (OCA) meeting that the tent had to come down because it was a hazard.

Residents said they would find a way to bring the tent down if the City didn’t ( “Circus Tent must go, say residents,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, April 11)

OCA chairman Tauriq Jenkins said the tent had been shifting precariously in the wind.

“Nature intervened, the tent fell through the velocity of the storm which resulted in it smashing through the bricks on the front patio of the clubhouse,” he said.

Zahid Badroodien, Mayoral comittee member for community services and health, said a contractor was removing the toppled tent and cleaning up debris.

Mr Jenkins said the tent had been an iconic landmark. “However, since the circus school went defunct, there was a steady degradation of the tent structure, compounded by an unlawful rental practice by the previous tenant, this precinct has deteriorated into a complex and unhealthy situation that we hoped would be appropriately resolved.”

The OCA says the City has been vague on its plans for its land at the old circus school, which forms part of the Two Rivers Urban Park precinct (“Future of Circus plot unclear,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, June 20).

Mr Badroodien said the building was previously used as a clubhouse within a sports precinct.

“The building has however been reserved as an interim measure by the recreation and parks department for future use and legal proceedings are currently under way,” he said.