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Author Topic: Maidstone Zoo.  (Read 55289 times)

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Chatham_Girl85

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Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2009, 14:43:00 »
Been reading on Knowhere, quite informative and I found this someone had written:


Well remember Sir Garrard Tyrwhitte-Drake's zoo. I used to bike from Edna Road on Ringlestone Estate quite often. The light railway I used only once for the novelty. It was out of action for a while when a doodle-bug hit the fir trees at the back of the buildings. Sir GT-D also used to have a field between the Running Horse and the Zoo where he ran trotting races for his own pleasure and rode around town (when not on his horse) in a beautiful yellow 'roller'. As has been mentioned, the Zoo itself was rather sad and it was what put me off caged animals as entertainment for ever.
Is the family still in the area?
 

seafordpete

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Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2009, 09:20:02 »
I'm sure there was some visible when the car park off Forstal Rd. was built for Cobtree Park about 30 years back.

Chris_Kent

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Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2009, 23:08:11 »
Hey guys, I was walking around the old zoo today looking for subtle remnants of the railway (as you do) and I remembered I had posted this here. Having never visited the zoo (closed before I was born) I have to base all of these things on what I can find there, all the literature I have amassed on the place and a bit of common sense :D.
The map here is based on some areas I found whilst walking on the golf course (shhhh) which were obviously unused and redundant but were ballasted loosely and were in the right place. From what I have I found in books that the railway was about 500 yards which seems about right, but it looks like some of its original route is lost under the golf course. I can only assume that it travelled further to the pay box area (red circle) as mentioned. The pay box area is approximate due to there having been a large strip of land bought in the 80's to widen the Chatham road further, so I fear it's original site may be under that road now. The green circle is the original entrance area to the actual zoo.


Hope this helps, if anyone can add to this from personal experince that would be great.
I do have shedloads of photos and junk from the zoo but I don`t have a scanner and its all in good old paper format :(
will upload some stuff if I can find a way :D
Saw the "ornate" pond today but its all bone dry, like someone literally pulled the plug on it! Never seen it like that before :O
cheers
Chris

Chatham_Girl85

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Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2009, 15:34:41 »
The 'Ornate Pond'

tono

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Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2009, 00:14:43 »
I alwaysa thought it was on the A229 too, probably lost along with Veglios when the assorted improvents (?) happened. Pete

When you come off the London Bound J6 exit and take the 1st exit (to Chatham), you run alongside the A229 flyover.

Before you pass under the motorway, on the left there is/was a slight layby with a load of rubble in it. That is where The Veglios Motel used to be.

I wonder if anybody has any pictures of it.


seafordpete

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Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2009, 17:03:30 »
I alway thought it was on the A229 too, probably lost along with Veglios when the assorted improvents (?) happened. Pete

Offline MedKev86

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Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2009, 16:36:03 »
I have a vague memory of what I guess was this place. About 10 years ago I remember going to pick blackberries with a friend and his parents, not too interested in picking said blackberries we went for a wander, ended up in the elephant house, it was very overgrown back then as well if I remember, but we went inside. It was pretty scary if I remember. We soon ran away from it thinking we had stumbled across something we shouldn't be in! I think the enterance was on the bottom of Blue Bell Hill, somewhere near where the exit to the golf course is maybe?

Offline Lyn L

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Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2009, 15:55:19 »
Went there last Sunday, the elephant house is almost completely overgrown with ivy now but we steered clear of the 'ornate' pond, someone else's hadn't and was covered in yuk !
Can't honestly remember where the entrance was now, seem to think it was somewhere on the bottom of Bluebell Hill , but since the road changed I've lost it. Could well have been where the entrance is now ??
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life tryi

Chatham_Girl85

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Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2009, 11:44:23 »
I walk past the entrance on my way to work. So took the opportunity (however you spell it) when the weather was nice to take some pics.

Only of the entrance area though, sorry. It`s a lovely place to take the dogs for a w a l k. Cannot say it out loud as they will hear and start going mad looking for there l e a d s. Can`t say that either gives the same effect as the w word lol
But next time I take them I shall take some photos of the inside, like the elephant house and 'ornate' pond.


But here are a few photos.

The cafe sign.


Entrance





The darker green grass is in like a dip and goes westwards from the entrance along the hedge. Was wondering if this was the location of the little railway that took visitors to the entrance. I`m not sure where the original entrance to the zoo was though.


Near the edge of the hedge between the park and the house next door I found this piece of metal in the grass, not sure of what it is. Again i was thinking back to the railway, not sure if it is to do with that or not.


And as you come over the motorway bridge from the Malta Inn side there is the Gate House I suppose at the front of
the drive way that leads up to Cobtree Cottages. The cottages are on private land so didn`t dare venture up the driveway in case there are BIG DOGS lol

But here is the cottage at the front of the driveway. It`s up for sale too!
i want it  :'(





merc

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Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2009, 19:28:49 »
so as u say merc about the AA guns etc, where was the placements for this?
I know there was one somewhere at Burham ???

I don't know if there was any others in that area or not...

Offline grandarog

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Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2009, 18:20:22 »
Hi all,
          There is a very interesting book about Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake and the Cobtree Estate. ISBN 0949193344. Its long out of print but the local library should have a copy or get you one if you are interested,
                                                                                          Rog
                      &n
bsp;                                                                            

Chatham_Girl85

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Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2009, 16:45:46 »
Not sure about the zoo though, as it`s been said the elephant house is still there, apparently there's a story of a fragment of bomb or shell or something lodging into the roof just missing the elephants.
So as you say merc, about the AA guns etc,, where were the placements for this?

merc

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Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2009, 12:37:47 »
Monday, October 14, 1940

Animals and Air Raids
Some very interesting reports have come from the Maidstone Zoo. The animals show no reaction to the most violent air activity or AA fire, on the other hand, the two chimpanzees though they do not mind the guns, stamp and shriek at the sound of the siren. Of the two Emu's, one is indifferent to the noise, but the other gets so excited at the sound of the AA guns and rushes about so violently that fears are entertained for its safety. A Cow Elephant about 20 years old is so sagacious that she hurries to her house if the AA barrage catches her in the open, but once inside does not mind. Finally, one Lion, normally a quiet animal, after a shell fragment hit him in his cage (doing little hurt as it richocheted off the bars) has become conditioned to the AA guns, starting to rip his cage to bits every time they start firing.

I don't think this next bit refers specifically to the zoo:

As regards to wild birds, there is a good deal of evidence that many of the larger kinds are disturbed by the sound of bombs or AA fire, with song-birds and other passerines, however, the chief reaction seems to be to aircraft. They treat the aircraft as if they were hawks, the birds scattering downwards and crouching to avoid detection. There are two curious exceptions to this, neither Robins nor any member of the Swallow tribe have been seen to pay the slightest attention to aircraft.

From The Times.


Offline Lyn L

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Maidstone Zoo.
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2009, 11:50:44 »
There was a train that you could use on the approach drive to the zoo as it was a good walk! There were only 2 elephants there called Gert and Daisy, the old elephant house IS still there and although it's getting overgrown now, there's a  board there with the story of them.
It's a good place for dog walking and you can watch some golf if you want! Cafe open from 7am to 3pm every day, and a really mangy pond that was ornamental once, which my yorkie decided to dive into, nearly had to go in and get her, she came out almost as pongy as the zoo used to be  ;D, only remember going once when it was open. Good to see the pic though.
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life tryi

 

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