Wild winds and the start of a storm greeted the family and friends of Nell Gifford as they gathered at Gloucester Cathedral to bid a final farewell.

The fact it was “blowing a Hooley” seemed like a sign the circus founder was setting the scene for a funeral like no other the city has ever seen. Indeed The Hooley is the name of the 2020 Giffords show, announced by Nell just days before her death from cancer, the first show the circus she co-founded will perform without her.

As the gusts whipped around the front of the Cathedral a crowd gathered, with acrobats alongside circus performers from across the globe, all making pilgrimage to say goodbye to Nell.