Final preparations in 1937

The roof’s on the main entrance, there’s action aplenty – and the animals have started to arrive!

That was the scene back in Spring 1937 as the countdown to Dudley Zoo’s opening began.

old-zoo2web

“The zoo was constructed on 30 acres of a 200-acre mainly wooded site, owned by the third Earl of Dudley, which included the 11th century Dudley Castle.   “The ingenious concept of converting Dudley Castle’s grounds into zoological gardens came from the owner of the landmark site, the Earl, William Humble Eric Ward, who held a private animal collection during the 1930s.   “The work, which brought together zoological experts, architects and craftsmen, took 30 months to complete at a cost of £250,000.”   Excerpt from Towers and Tectons: A View from the Hill (2009) by Jill Hitchman old-zoo2web