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Can I speak to Mr C Lion?

By Arnold Johnson

I started working at the zoo in 1964, after a job I had in London as a prison officer.

I approached the zoo to see if they had any work, and Miss Howard (George Mottershead's secretary) gave me the job of walking around with the public. Then after a few months George offered me a full time job as a Security Guard. He was such a fabulous character. Mrs Mottershead was a lovely lady. She asked me one Christmas to get ten new £10 notes from the bank, which she gave to staff members' children.

During my time working in security at the zoo I did all sorts of jobs. There was never a dull moment. As it was a 24 hour job, when the staff on the switchboard went home in the evening all phone calls were directed to my house - there were many phone calls I took asking for a Mr C Lion and Mr Albert Ross!

On occasions I would drive to the airport to pick up animals for the zoo - one of these visits included picking up Boris the chimpanzee, in 1969.

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