PUBLISHER and circus fan from Dorset, David Jamieson, has died at the age of 68.

David was born in Christchurch in 1949 to Richard and Wilma Jamieson. His father died just four months after David's birth so Wilma moved to Parkstone in Poole to be near her family.

When David was six years old he was taken to King's Park, Boscombe, to see Billy Smart's Circus. Two years

later he went to see Bertram Mills Circus at the same venue, followed by the Chipperfields.

The circus was popular family entertainment when David was growing up and having got the circus 'bug' he joined the Circus Fans' Association, now the Circus Friends' Association of Great Britain, and became a lifelong member.

"David attended Hailey School in Bournemouth from 1950 until 1960 and having passed his eleven plus could have gone on to the Bournemouth Grammar School but instead went as a boarder to a fee-paying Sevenoaks school," said Roy Sharp, a friend and colleague.

In 1968 he joined Longman Publishing and became a specialist representative travelling the country and giving presentations and lectures to school teachers about the new Breakthrough to Literacy project of Longman's. He was subsequently promoted as Longman's publisher and editorial director, the youngest in Longman's history.

Following the success of Breakthrough to Literacy were Longman Science World and Longman Reading World. "He also published a series of children's books by Paul Groves starring the lovable cheeky chimpanzees, Bangers and Mash in the 1980s, which became an animated television series from 1989 to 1993 in the UK, Australia and Canada," said Roy.

In 1974 David took over as editor of the Circus Friends' Association's magazine, the 'King Pole' and continued to edit it right up until his death.

He started his own publishing firm Aardvark Publishing and two notable books published under this banner were the autobiography 'Norman Barrett MBE - Ringmaster' in 1994 and 'The Legend of Salt and Sauce' by Jamie Clubb.

"He wrote three lavish pictorial books on the complete histories of the post-war mega circuses, Chipperfields, Bertram Mills and Billy Smart's in 1997, 1998 and 2004.

"When he left Longman Publishing he did freelance work for the BBC and Oxford University Press and later became managing director of Badger Publishing in Stevenage and continued to commission educational books," said Roy.

In 2000, David, in classical Arab dress, led a procession of mounted camels before the Queen Mother in the Horse Guards parade at her 100th birthday pageant.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2001 but still carried on with his publishing and visiting circuses

throughout Britain and Europe.

Following a routine operation, he suffered pneumonia and passed away at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge on July 9. The funeral was held in Hertfordshire. David is survived by his wife Bridgit.