NO, YOUR eyes have not gone funny - that really is a herd of elephants lumbering along Sea Road in Boscombe.

The amazing sight was captured on film by the late Donald Nicholson, a shoe manufacturer who had a holiday flat overlooking the scene, and was shared with the Echo by his grand-daughter, Donna Darbishire.

"After my grandmother Josephine passed away I went through my grandfather's old slides and found this one," she said.

"They lived away from the area but had a holiday flat which my mum remembers visiting and they must have seen this sight and thought it would make a great picture."

Donna believes the elephants belonged to Billy Smart's circus and were walked down during their visit each year for a bathe, although: "I was told that one year a baby elephant went awol and people complained so they had to stop doing it."

Donna now runs The Paddle cafe bar in Highcliffe and says she is no fan of performing elephants in circuses. However, she said: "I hope the fact that they were being walked to the sea for a swim means they were being treated well." She believes the image was taken in the 1970s.

*Do you have any images of the elephants walking through the town or in the sea? Email them to faitheckersall@bournemouthecho