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1961

Working at the Zoo in school holidays

By Rick Hayes

You had to be 15 to work at the zoo, I couldn't wait. My first job was selling Zoo Guides, pay was 2 shillings an hour, good holiday money in 1961. I soon graduated to selling ice creams out of an insulated cart with dry ice, 2 shillings and sixpence an hour.
When people started to go home and sales dropped off we would go and cash up and a few of us would help the stores staff make up the animal rations for delivery all round the zoo first thing the next morning.
The Stores Manager was a very kindly Irishman called Steve McCarthy. After I had worked in the holidays for three summers he came and asked me to come on staff as the Assistanr Stores Manager, a great job for a teenaged lad. There was quite a family feel to the staff which amazingly extended to many of the part-time summer staff as well. It was a very pleasant working environment, very diverse if you worked in the stores and there were many interesting people on staff drawn together because they so enjoyed their work. Happy days.

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