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Our family and Chester Zoo

By Mary Burgess

Five generations of our family have enjoyed Chester Zoo, from my grandparents to my grandchildren.

I clearly remember my maternal Grandmother who was not a great fan of the animals, but loved the gardens and in particular the rose beds. (My grandfather however enjoyed watching the animals).

I can remember riding on an elephant around 1950 with my brother and the original elephant house and polar bear enclosure made with concrete cylinders.

In 1956 we came to live on Caughall Road and visited regularly. My mother, Eileen Ham, was a member and later a life member who took an active part with her friend Jean Dixon.

She was involved in the introduction of buggies for those who couldn’t walk far. Two of the outings for our visitors were always: a walk around Chester City Walls and a visit to the Zoo.

By visiting so often we were able to see individual animals grow up. We have witnessed the vast expansion of the zoo and the improved settings for the animals and birds.

In the 1970s my children were regular visitors. Staying with my parents and visiting the Zoo were a regular treat. One daughter adopted elephants - her family are now members and her children enjoy reading the magazine.

From 2004 it has been the turn of my grandchildren, especially the youngest two who live nearby and, thanks to their parents’ membership, can go frequently.

See more: Friends and family, Special Zoo Moments