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Author Topic: Maidstone Zoo.  (Read 32662 times)

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Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #48 on: August 20, 2013, 08:17:54 »
I was given a VHS tape recently which contained footage taken by an amateur photographer on a cine camera in the 1950's. On the tape there is a small portion showing children from Rodmersham Primary School on a day trip to Maidstone Zoo. I have uploaded the zoo portion to You Tube and it can be found via the following link. http://youtu.be/fWo67L9wIFQ
I would love to see this video but cannot access it as it says it is private. Any ideas?

Offline Lyn L

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Re: Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #47 on: August 20, 2013, 06:27:01 »
Snap ! The same goes for me Gazza7558, I'd love to see the clip please.  :)
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Offline smiler

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Re: Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #46 on: August 20, 2013, 04:29:25 »
When trying to get into Gazza7558  link I can only get "this video is private" link sounds interesting, can it be corrected please?

Offline kyn

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Re: Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #45 on: August 19, 2013, 22:03:07 »
Than you for doing that, I am sure some of the members will really enjoy seeing it!

Gazza7558

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Re: Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #44 on: August 19, 2013, 21:37:30 »
I was given a VHS tape recently which contained footage taken by an amateur photographer on a cine camera in the 1950's. On the tape there is a small portion showing children from Rodmersham Primary School on a day trip to Maidstone Zoo. I have uploaded the zoo portion to You Tube and it can be found via the following link. http://youtu.be/fWo67L9wIFQ

Offline Lyn L

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Re: Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #43 on: June 21, 2013, 18:17:21 »
I've just read this book by Vickie Harris, thoroughly enjoyed reading it too  :) From her Introduction, it seems she had to get a lot of information from newspapers etc. Lady Tyrwhitt-Drake told her that all of the papers and records of the zoo had been lost. I'm just very pleased she managed to find as much as she did. Some wonderful photo's in it and memories from staff that worked there.

I'm not sure now if the 'ornate' pond I mentioned in an earlier post is recorded as 'The Lake ' perhaps it was bigger then than it is now, but although we still visit Cobtree Park often, it's hard to tell from the map layout in the book, just what was where. How it's all changed, this year it has certainly had thousands spent on it and is a lovely place to visit. The small bit about a Wallaby escaping in September 1946 gave me a chuckle. It managed to get as far as Borstal village before it was captured and put into someone's Anderson shelter in their garden, until the van and staff came to collect it.  :)

S4, a little bit about the train ..." Sir Garrard purchased the track secondhand from a local quarry? Avery brothers of Maidstone built a steam-outline loco, powered by 14hp petrol engine and two open 18 seat coaches were constructed on the frames of old tram cars"

Lovely little book, I really enjoyed it.
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Offline Robin

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Re: Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #42 on: March 06, 2013, 19:24:30 »
There is a copy of Vickie Harris' book available to loan at Gillingham Library. If anyone is interested I can get the details :)

At my monthly Active Retirement Group meeting today, we were given a very interesting illustrated talk by Vicky Harris, I was able to have a quick browse of her book, she certainly knows her history.

Robin.
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Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2013, 11:25:38 »
The Royal Cream Ponies were bred from a stallion named Prince, which Sir Garrard bought in 1913. Unable to find a cream mare, he experimented and the eventual result was cream foals. Prince`s ancestors pulled Queen Victoria`s coach, hence "Royal". A rather sad story is that due to the lack of horsemeat, etc., during WWII,  Sir Garrard was forced to `sacrifice` two of the ponies in order satisfied the needs of the large carnivores. The only time that he slaughtered a well animal.

Offline smiler

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Re: Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2013, 10:22:41 »
Thank you Bryn that may well be the reason  :)

Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #39 on: February 04, 2013, 21:54:46 »
The ponies were still there a long time after the zoo closed in the field between the big house and the lake.
As far as I know, the Royal Cream Ponies were not really part of the Zoo. They had a free run of the Cobtree Estate and could be seen by visitors to the Zoo.

Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2013, 21:26:12 »
Bryn, you mentioned you thought that you had seen little cream ponies pulling Cinderellas coach at the Chatham Empire. There was a production of Cinderella at the Chatham Empire Christmas 1946 or 47 (with Sandy Powell as Buttons) and the only part that really impressed me was the lovely pumpkin  glass coach pulled by the two lovely little ponies.
Thanks for reminding me about Sandy Powell as Buttons. I had completely forgotten him - "Can you `ere me moother?"

Offline smiler

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Re: Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2013, 20:56:27 »
The ponies were still there a long time after the zoo closed in the field between the big house and the lake.

Offline Maid of Kent

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Re: Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2013, 17:56:22 »
Bryn, you mentioned you thought that you had seen little cream ponies pulling Cinderellas coach at the Chatham Empire. There was a production of Cinderella at the Chatham Empire Christmas 1946 or 47 (with Sandy Powell as Buttons) and the only part that really impressed me was the lovely pumpkin glass coach pulled by the two lovely little ponies.

Offline smiler

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Re: Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2013, 09:03:54 »
On Radio2 this morning they were interviewing Petula Clark, and someone phoned in to ask if she remembered opening Maidstone Zoo (as the caller lived next door to the zoo at the time). I assume this would have been at the start of the summer season one year. Must have been pretty late on in if the zoo closed in the late 50's.
Come on Stroodle what was Pets answer?  :)

Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #34 on: February 02, 2013, 21:39:35 »
Petula Clark opened the Zoo in March, 1953 for the summer season when she was 18. TV cameras covered the event for the first time.

In 1954, Julie Andrews attended the 1954 opening ceremony, which was performed by the Mayor of Maidstone, and showed great interest in one of the Royal Cream Ponies which Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake supplied to draw Cinderella`s coach at the London Palladium at Christmas 1953, in which Julie was the star.

I`m certain that I remember the same ponies drawing the coach at the Chatham Empire many years ago.



 

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