By Dot Brett née Pilling
Mrs. Master's hired me ,age 14, to man the Wall's ice cream stand near to the big house and in front of the lion's enclosure . My duties included cutting the frozen block of vanilla or chocolate ice cream into "thrupenny's or sixpenny's " divided by wafers, and storing them back into the freezer, all ready for the rush of customers . My nightmare was running out of the prepared wafers and having to perform the delivery in front of an anxious queue of eager kids and parents. No sharp knife, solid block of ice cream, make them all the same size, 3d or 6d,, all for a shilling an hour.
One weekend I worked 12 hours, and because I was underage, I did not clock in on arrival. Upon reporting my hours for payment late Sunday afternoon, I thought 12 shillings was too much to ask for , and said 10 Bob would be O.K.
Living in Upton that was a fortune. My dad also helped out with elephants during the war years, delivering hay and cleaning out their stalls. From my house I could hear the sea lions barking and the lion's roaring, which resulted in some vivid dreams.
I still hope to return to the zoo and collect my two shillings or 20p.
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