A retired circus act couple who live near Market Harborough are appealing for help after losing everything in a mobile home fire.
“Buffalo” Billy Wild (now 76) and wife Susan Wild (64) were left so destitute that they had to go shopping for a change of clothes. Asda and Tesco in Corby donated some to the couple.
The Wilds’ wood and aluminium mobile home on their smallholding between Great Bowden and Welham has been reduced to a black platform of ash, rubble and twisted metal.
“We’ve lost everything - we’ve literally got no possessions” a tearful Susan told the Mail.
“We’ve got some insurance, but it’s minimal - not enough to cover buying a new mobile home.
“People can’t believe it until they see it” said Billy. “We’ve lost everything from everyday stuff like driving licence and spectacles, to big things like cooker and fridge.”
The couple were one of the country’s top knife-throwing and Wild West acts, working for all the main circuses, including Gerry Cottle, Gandey’s Circus and the Robert Brothers, before retiring to the Harborough district.
The fire completely destroyed the couple’s mobile home at Wild Meadow Farm, Bowden Lane on Thursday, February 2.
“We still don’t know what happened” said Susan. “There was only me on the site when it happened. When I called the Fire Brigade at about 11am I collapsed on the ground. I still don’t know what caused the fire.”
The couple currently have temporary loan of a small caravan, lent to them by an old circus friend.
“We couldn’t live in a house - that would horrify my husband” said Susan. “But if anyone can help us with donations, we would be really grateful. We’ve got literally nothing of our own at the moment.”
“Normally we wouldn’t ask anybody for anything – we’re fully independent” said Billy. “But this has really hit us hard.”
Welland Valley Rotary Club, led by president Gabrielle Belford has said they are “very keen to help”. The Mail has put them in touch with the Wilds.
Radio station HFM and Specsavers in the town centre – who have donated glasses to Susan - are drop-off points for smaller goods for the family. Any cheques should be made payable to Susan Wild.