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#462291 - 15th Jan 2011 9:19pm Does anybody remember the zoo at new brighton
sarahdavo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 1st Jan 2011
Posts: 391
Loc: Egremont wallasey
another memory of my mums, my mums uncle arthur used to run a zoo at new brighton, when my mum was a child, and she used to help out.
she thinks the zoo was owned by gerald durrell, the writer, although he never had anything much to do with it. one of the small bears escaped from the zoo one day, and went up molyneux drive, all the way up the road, and turned left, and went into the local newsagents that was ther at the time.
my mothers uncle arthur , also ran the wax works, the big wheel, and a ride called the moon rocket or catterpillar, a ride that went round like a train and green hoods used to cover you, so you went round in the dark.

i wonder if anybody remembers the zoo .

xx

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#462306 - 15th Jan 2011 10:35pm Re: Does anybody remember the zoo at new brighton [Re: sarahdavo]
ianbx1 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 1st Aug 2009
Posts: 193
Loc: Woodchurch
Yes I remember the Zoo. The it was run by a bloke and his Wife (although MAY have been owned by Mr Durral ,I also heard it was the moved from New Brighton to become the Welsh Mountain Zoo when the Tower burnt down and the site was closed). You used to enter through a turnstile in a hut made of logs (the whole place was inside a kind of log stockade, just above the quarry where Tommy Manns Train ran). Considering I spent many days in the place (My Gran worked on the fair and I spent 2 to 3 weeks a year there during my childhood) I don't remember a great deal of detail although I do remember the Lady in the pay booth was VERY tiny -(short) and was always lovely to me (as were the couple that ran it). I remember a deep cage with an arched roof of steel bars where there was a brown bear (don't know if this was the one that escaped) I also remember penguins, various birds and some Monkeys. I was there one day when the owner was showing some friends the puppies her dog had recently had when the pups escaped and ran all over the zoo. One of them ran behind the monkey cage and was somehow grabbed by this monkey which bit it. I remember them rushing the pup off to a vet and I think it died as a result. The last memory I have of the zoo was walking around the ruins of it long after it had gone and seeing the bear cage still there but full of sprouting trees. I was told by someone that the last animal there was the bear who could be heard roaring pitifully every day because he missed the crowds and who eventually died there through loneliness! ...That last bit MAY be an urban Myth but I do seem to remember reading some thing about this in the Wallasey News when the bear did die.

I may have met your Mum as I also used to spend loads of time in the wax works (in it's cellar there was a waxwork of a Bloke in "Thumbscrews", his eyes used to scare the living daylights out of me!!) and knew the Daughter / Granddaughter of the Guy who ran it (she was the one who recounted the story of the accident on the figure of 8 to me and was on it with her Cousin ... your Mum maybe?). I often rode on the Caterpillar too again as my Nan worked there I never had to pay for any rides or any entry fees to the Zoo or Waxworks ... To be honest I remember most of the items in the Waxworks so I must have spent LOADS of time in there!
_________________________
Causing mayhem since 1959

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#462310 - 15th Jan 2011 10:44pm Re: Does anybody remember the zoo at new brighton [Re: ianbx1]
sarahdavo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 1st Jan 2011
Posts: 391
Loc: Egremont wallasey
Originally Posted By: ianbx1
Yes I remember the Zoo. The it was run by a bloke and his Wife (although MAY have been owned by Mr Durral ,I also heard it was the moved from New Brighton to become the Welsh Mountain Zoo when the Tower burnt down and the site was closed). You used to enter through a turnstile in a hut made of logs (the whole place was inside a kind of log stockade, just above the quarry where Tommy Manns Train ran). Considering I spent many days in the place (My Gran worked on the fair and I spent 2 to 3 weeks a year there during my childhood) I don't remember a great deal of detail although I do remember the Lady in the pay booth was VERY tiny -(short) and was always lovely to me (as were the couple that ran it). I remember a deep cage with an arched roof of steel bars where there was a brown bear (don't know if this was the one that escaped) I also remember penguins, various birds and some Monkeys. I was there one day when the owner was showing some friends the puppies her dog had recently had when the pups escaped and ran all over the zoo. One of them ran behind the monkey cage and was somehow grabbed by this monkey which bit it. I remember them rushing the pup off to a vet and I think it died as a result. The last memory I have of the zoo was walking around the ruins of it long after it had gone and seeing the bear cage still there but full of sprouting trees. I was told by someone that the last animal there was the bear who could be heard roaring pitifully every day because he missed the crowds and who eventually died there through loneliness! ...That last bit MAY be an urban Myth but I do seem to remember reading some thing about this in the Wallasey News when the bear did die.

I may have met your Mum as I also used to spend loads of time in the wax works (in it's cellar there was a waxwork of a Bloke in "Thumbscrews", his eyes used to scare the living daylights out of me!!) and knew the Daughter / Granddaughter of the Guy who ran it (she was the one who recounted the story of the accident on the figure of 8 to me and was on it with her Cousin ... your Mum maybe?). I often rode on the Caterpillar too again as my Nan worked there I never had to pay for any rides or any entry fees to the Zoo or Waxworks ... To be honest I remember most of the items in the Waxworks so I must have spent LOADS of time in there!


thank you for your responce, i shall pass it on to my mum, her name is janice she is 66-68 years old , and she has not subscribed to this site yet.

sarah xx

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#462601 - 16th Jan 2011 8:35pm Re: Does anybody remember the zoo at new brighton [Re: sarahdavo]
sarahdavo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 1st Jan 2011
Posts: 391
Loc: Egremont wallasey
my mother sent me an email , as i passed the comments of janbx1 to her, she writes, I never met or heard of this person must be a different time line. uncle arthur never ran the zoo with anyone else, nor the wax woirks and he was long gone before the tower shut down (he left aunt gladys and ran away with beryl from the biscuit shop, he went down south (Hastings I think) they had a daughter then he died I do not know what became of them. I think my time at new brighton was much before the person who writes. possibly around 1959 1960. I used to work at the zoo in the summer hols. I used to have to go up and down the main shopping street in new brighton with 2 big wooden bread trays going round all the green grocers and bread shops for stale bread and cabbage leaves for the animals. The animals were kept in appaling conditions.

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#462616 - 16th Jan 2011 9:03pm Re: Does anybody remember the zoo at new brighton [Re: sarahdavo]
ianbx1 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 1st Aug 2009
Posts: 193
Loc: Woodchurch
Mmmm My time there was 1966 to the summer before the fire. The Zoo at that time was just above the quarry in a sort of stockade made of logs, there was an earlier Zoo that ran along the back wall of the tower building were the path came down from the football ground car park and consisted mainly of train wagon type animal cages, this was long closed and the animals gone in my day BUT the cages were still there. Whilst the zoo of my day was not perfect the animals were well fed and there cages clean and tidy.
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