Grotto thanks for Maggie

Staff said a big thank you to Maggie Hickman this morning as Santa’s grotto nears its final day.

dzg_grotto_opening_9_webRetired teacher Maggie designed and co-ordinated this year’s Sleeping Beauty-themed grotto and spent hours working on the final layout in the 11th century Dudley Castle at the heart of the zoological gardens.

Maggie is the mum of DZG Press Officer Rachel Hickman, and along with her other daughter, Sarah, sourced mannequins from Cheltenham, tracked down decorative fireplaces in Dudley and even persuaded media staff to buy an antique spinning wheel spotted in a shop window in Lye!

Head of Media and Communications, Jill Hitchman, said: “Maggie has been inspirational and extremely inventive and came up with a beautiful grotto that has attracted compliments and much positive feedback since its opening at the beginning of the month.

“It’s a lot of hard work to pull together, particularly in such a small time frame, but she did it in style and should be very proud and we’d all – and that includes Santa – like to say a big thank you for her efforts.”

CEO Peter Suddock presented Maggie, of Dudley, with a bouquet – pictured – and has arranged a family meal for her, daughters and spouses as a thank you for her handiwork.


Alongside props loaned from a Birmingham theatre, there was make-up supplied by a Dudley-based salon and Sarah’s own wedding dress was used for the final marriage scene with Sleeping Beauty and The Prince.