Meet the team

Our trainers are:

Willie Ramsey

Born and raised in Edinburgh, Willie started at The Triangle Club in a small youth circus (later known as the Pilton Children’s Circus) under the watchful eye of the late Reg Bolton. In the summer of 1984 Willie joined Gerry Cottle’s Circus at the tender age of 16 and went on to travel all across the world performing alongside elephants, lions, tigers, camels, lamas, dogs… you name it, Gerry had it! After a few years performing Teeterboard, Russian Swing, Cloud swing, Trampoline and many other acts, Willie moved on to learning the fine art of bare back riding. With the help of legendary trainer June Witney, The Epson riders were born.

From 1996 till 2006 Willie played the powerful role of Jesuit Priest in the Circus of Horrors created by Pirot Bidon. He has worked in countless shows, TV and corporate events performing Wheel of death, Cloud Swing, Bungee Trapeze, Knife Throwing and much more. In 1999 Willie was employed by the NMEC (New Millennium Experience Company) as head trainer to around 60 aerialists working in the Millennium Dome.

Willie has worked as a stunt performer on many Films and TV shows, Tomb Raider, Sherlock Holmes, Mamma Mia, Walkers Crisps advert. His latest work has included stunt creation and film work with international companies such as Warner Brothers where he has been part of the stunt team on the following box office films… Pan, King Arthur, Justice League, Fantastic Beast, Paddington Bear 2 and starting this Spring Willie will be part of the stunt and rigging team on Maleficent 2 at Pinewood studios.

Willie first ran his own Circus school whilst living in Australia, he is now the head trainer here at Wookey Hole Circus.

Lesley Gardener

Lesley runs the circus school alongside her partner Willie Ramsay. She was trained as a gymnast from the age of 7 and competed at national and international level earning a place in the British team for Sports Acrobatics. She retired from competition at the age of 26 and went on to work at the Millennium Dome as an aerialist for the NMEC (New Millennium Experience Company) in 1999/2000, this was where she found her love of Circus and the pathway to a new career.

Lesley has performed in a number of shows and corporate events in the UK and abroad performing a wide range of acts… German Wheel, Silks, Bungee Trapeze, Aerial Hoop, Trampoline, Banquine, Stilt Walking, Corde Lisse, Abseiling, Tumbling, Handstand Chairs and Magic Illusions.

Lesley has worked professionally all over the world as a circus performer, trainer and consultant, including 9 years as an acrobatics trainer at The National Centre for Circus Arts in London. Some of the companies and TV shows she has worked for include Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, Gerry Cottle’s Circus, Oily Cart Productions, London International Boat Show, ‘You Bet’ (Granada Television), Sisco Systems Paris, Paul Hammond Productions, AstraZeneca, ‘Record Breakers’ GMTV, Tiger Aspect Productions.

She currently plays an integral role in the running of the Circus School, creating and producing shows, selecting and editing music, programming and operating the lights, organising costumes and most importantly teaching and caring for the talented young performers who train and perform here at Wookey Hole.

Rama Mwarburunga

Born and raised in Kenya, Rama finished school at 16 years old and went on to perform as part of an Acrobatic team until he moved to the UK in 1998.

Once making the move from Kenya, Rama worked at a number of Circus venues across the country… Blackpool Tower Circus, Circus of Horrors, Cottle and Austen Circus, Great Yarmouth Hippodrome and Gerry Cottle’s Circus.

As well as working in traditional circuses Rama has worked in many corporate venues both nationally and internationally as well as appearing on TV’s ‘Don’t Try This at Home’ and ‘The Generation Game’ Rama has performed and now teaches many circus skills including Acrobatics, Juggling, Hoop Diving, Chinese Pole, Human Pyramids, Limbo, Magic Illusions and Fire Performances.

He is one of our principal trainers and has been an integral part of the Circus School since it opened in 2007.