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Crystal Palace Zoo in the 70s


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#16 twinkle

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 04:31 PM

the rookery is full of flashers...once i was there sitting peacefully minding my own business when a guy comes flying past me and in hot persuit of him were about 10 mothers waving sticks saying he had 'exposed himself' - since then ive been another couple of times (like a change)...and again another flasher shows his tiny crown jewels off to the onlooking squirrels etc!!!!

yes im small and most definatley younger than andyb ;)

oh and the best place for sledging i have found so far is spa hill park - as you fly down the hill you can see the whole of croydon and theres only a small 2ft gap to squeeze through with your sldge etc....if you don't make it then you head for a prickly bush - yes i like the danger of that... :ph34r:
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#17 andyb

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 04:36 PM

Come to think of it my mum was once flashed there :huh:

And will you lay of my age. I'm 32 - that's not old . . . Is it?

:rolleyes:

#18 twinkle

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 04:40 PM

well its older than me..... :D
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#19 wmp

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 04:58 PM

And I feel v. old indeed (but that could have to do with moving to Upper Norwood on Monday & the packing stresses, rather my actual age)...

I gave up sledging after breaking my father's ribs, but I could be persuaded to start again.

Andy, thanks for the welcome - wmp is the noise I make falling over, I think...

#20 Dazza

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 10:41 PM

Bit late but I remember the penguins, llamas, monkey & otters too ! The small bridge was also the access to the dinasaurs not official obviously.

But does anyone remember the smelly flamingo's towards the top of the park never understood to this day why they were kept up there on their own.

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#21 Becky2

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 09:56 AM

smelly flamingos? No, dont remember them. Where were they kept?

#22 twinkle

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 11:01 AM

Bring back the boating lake down at the bottom - if you think of it - the more activities/entertainment in the park...the less likleyhood of vandalism because they will be otherwise occupied with drowning each other! :D
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#23 Sylvester

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 01:57 PM

I used to take my children to the CP zoo (I'm talking 25 yrs ago!) and there were monkeys, parrots, otters and goats that followed you round nibbling your clothes. It was not up to modern standards and I'm glad they are going to replace it, hopefully with something more suitable for the animals. I don't recall any camel rides but certainly you could have a short circular ride on a sad looking pony but that was near the swing park to my recollection. The adventure playground was probably was one of the first to be built and was pretty rough, so the bigger kids loved it. I think there was a section for little ones as well which wasn't quite so dangerous. Went to the adventure playground at Hever Castle the other day which was very tame in comparison - not much adventure to be had there but the water maze was fun esp in the hot weather. What's the water thingey like in CP park, the one that was designed by the infamous designer of Diana's ? I have never seen it.
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#24 Chris Doran

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 02:32 PM

A picture of Gustafson's water thingey is here (scroll to bottom of page). Fairly tame compared to Diana's. I haven't looked recently to see whether it's still true that water isn't pumped around -- there was some debate about whether or not it would be.

#25 twinkle

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 02:50 PM

ive never seen the water cascade before....its a mystery or is it a victim of theft!!??? so if you see one similar being sold down the market at a dropped price please report it....ha ha :ph34r:
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#26 James

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 03:49 PM

I used to take my children to the CP zoo ... it was not up to modern standards and I'm glad they are going to replace it, hopefully with something more suitable for the animals.

They did replace it with a new farm building. However the animals never moved back in because there are new regulations on city farms - it can't be used because it doesn't comply with them.

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#27 jamesl

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 04:45 PM

I remember the zoo and the adventure playground. I lived in beckenham as a kid and going to CP park was a major adventure. Me and my brother used to pretend that the adventure playground was a lifesize version of the Mousetrap Game - it was all different coloured pieces of wood - I seem to recall the most death defying bit was a single plank thick walkway about 12 ft off the ground (at least it seemed that high at the time)

When my parents first moved down from the North my Dad also used to take me to see the motorbike racing they used to do on a circuit up on the derelict bit at the top - only remember it very vaguely so it must be late 60's/early 70's

P.s does anyone else miss the dinosaurs in their old painted form ?

#28 Silver

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 09:09 PM

I can remember the zoo very clearly. It was sixpence to go in and it was next to the boating lake near the little bridge. You would walk up the central avenue of trees until you came to a major left. You would walk towards the boating lake and when you got to it you would turn right. Almost immediately you would see the zoo on your left.

The first animal on your left was a very angry llama. If you went to your right there were monkeys. Further on from the llama were birds including a toucan. There were tortoises and various other wondrous creatures. The best and worse inhabitants were the goats which roamed freely in between the visitors. You could purchase a bag of peanuts for a few pennies. I remember how tempted we were to eat them ourselves and were only stopped from doing so because the goats would head butt you from behind until you handed them over! One day I visited the zoo on the way home from school and a goat eat a chunk out of my straw hat!

There were penguins who would all stand around a blue kidney shaped pool. Feeding time at the penguin pen was always a major attraction. There were resident staff who would feed them fish. Basically it was a unique and wonderful facility and its loss is very sad. Its decline began when vandals broke in and stole the monkeys, then the tortoises. People may get confused because after the zoo closed a farm was built up further past the dinasaurs and towards the station.

The farm had no exotic animals only cows, pigs, ducks etc. but still it was great for the kids. Unfortunately Bromley in their wisdom packed the animals off and closed it down. They also got rid of the horses, the emus and the donkeys. Another great favourite for the children and indeed the adults was the pony and trap rides. These were to be found where the children's playground is now and it was a wonderful treat.

The children and indeed the general public were given the impression that the animals would be back after the new buildings were constructed. This was of course completely untrue and I suspect from what I have heard that most of the animals, being too old for much, were slaughtered.

I heard that the new building was going to be a reptile house though I am not sure about that. You see parks have to be educational now. The Council and indeed the London Development Agency if they take on the responsibility of the park would like it to be, to a great extent, self financing. Long gone are the days when fun, joy and wonder had a value. The Zoo and the Farm did keep the kids off the streets though and it did teach them to love and care for living creatures. Such facilities may be expensive to run but in the end, I suspect that this would save the authorities a lot of money in legal and custodial costs.

#29 Dazza

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 09:35 PM

smelly flamingoes were kept near the top of the park opposite the running track most easily accessed from the crystal palace br entrance.

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#30 trixie

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Posted 18 September 2004 - 09:09 AM

My Gran used to take me to the zoo in the 50s - it was called Pets Corner then. A goat ate the ribbons off my plats and my mum gave me a bollocking when I got home! Loads of goats, rabbits, donkeys & shetland ponies, and sheep wandering around everywhere. I then took my kids there in the early 80s - much the same as 30 years before.
I can also remember my dad taking me to see the motorbike racing there in the 50s - it was on the bit where the athletic track is now.
There was also a building the other side of the park to the zoo which ran what was called a 1 o'clock club which I took the kids to early 80s - it was like a parent & toddler group only better. Never understood the name though as it opened from 10am-12 & then 2pm-4pm. Is it still there? I've moved away from the area so haven't been by in a long time.
And are the monsters still in the park? Ken Russell wanted to buy them at one point to put in his back garden (he lived in Church Rd at the time in the 50s) but they wouldn't sell them to him!