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Clinton Keeling

Discussion in 'Zoo History' started by Carl Jones, 23 Aug 2016.

  1. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    I have an idea that someone is planning a book about CHK -- I need to ask him. Certainly in his writing he comes across as a fascinating, creative and deeply flawed individual. Wish I'd known him, and would love to read a biography.
     
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  2. Designaka

    Designaka Well-Known Member

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    Probably Clin’s greatest achievement, apart from his educational work with live animals in schools, was the founding of the Bartlett Society.
     
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  3. zoowhosewho

    zoowhosewho Well-Known Member

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    I never ever had the opportunity to meet with Clinton Keeling .. I have read a fare few of his books and I must say his style of writing is encapsulating ... You always feel that he is talking to 'you' in person .... It is amazing to think that when he wrote most of his books he worked from a lot of research that he had undertaken himself from scratch ..... I guess most families are dysfunctional in one shape or form but it seems from reading articles on the internet and books that this family had a good few problems that have been aired in public .... Ashover in Derbyshire appear to have quite airbrushed the Zoo from the planet .... I guess some of the family are still living in the Area and wish to keep their family matters private which is understandable ... I look forward to a book coming out about Clinton Keeling should it be true what I read on the posts about this possibility ...
     
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  4. arnold balk

    arnold balk New Member

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    In the 80´and 90´s I had correspondence with Mr. Clinton Keeling about his books about bygone zoos. I liked the way he wrote these books and it was me a pleasure to deliver him sometimes a book or newspaper articles.. Curious the thing that when you ordered a book he had to print it first before he delivered it. There were no books on stock.
     
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  5. Andrew Swales

    Andrew Swales Well-Known Member

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    I did meet Clinton Keeling, a couple of times as a schoolboy, and later in adulthood (as above) at 'Zoologica' and at a meeting at ZSL called to discuss the founding of something called NAPAK (National Assn. of Private Animal Keepers).
    His efforts with the 'Where the..' books were both major and important), and it is unfortunate but hardly surprising that so few (including all mine) never physically stood the test of time - but my opinion does vary from some of those voiced here. In life you were far more likely to be talked 'at' rather than talked 'to'..
    It is worth digging out a copy of 'Ask of the Beasts' by his then wife Jill Keeling which details the building and running of Pan's Garden, and has some pictures of same. 'Air-brushing' is an oft-used term here, but from the description in her book, it is easy to see why Ashover would perhaps prefer the place to be forgotten.
     
  6. Carl Jones

    Carl Jones Well-Known Member

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    As a boy with the dream of one day having my own zoo, I started to keep exotic animals, I read and re-read his book on Unusual Pets (1958) which I enjoyed. Viewed by today's standards the cage designs and captive management advice given are very basic, but do give a good idea of the thinking at the time,
     
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  7. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    I've got that book, and it's a really good read, but does take one back to a very different age. However, I wish I had met him (fairly sure he was high up on the Autistic spectrum), and visited Pan's Garden. I hope to collect all the 'Where the....' Books as the Bartlett Society republishes them:)
     
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  8. Andrew Swales

    Andrew Swales Well-Known Member

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    Twice, I remember him speaking at my school. I recall a slightly nasal, but almost booming voice which terrified the school audience into silence, matched by his appearance. A finger missing from one hand (bitten off by a civet?) and only one eye, the second having been lost to some sort of (animal related?) infection he had refused to be hospitalised to treat. Both years I was the only member of the whole school audience (all Caucasian at a rural English Secondary-Modern, so we were ok there!) who dared to ask a question at the end. I don't remember what I aksed, but do remember he answered politely and in great detail. On both visits I helped him carry his animal boxes back to his car, a big Citroen Safari a rare and expensive car in England in those days. Even as a teenager, I was surprised he had such as I'd read his wife's book about the chicken wire and plywood Pan's Garden they built themselves in their back garden.

    A number of years later I had a sense of deja-vu whilst observing (from a distance) the late Reg Smith haranguing a member of his audience during a flying display at Weyhill. The poor unfortunate visitor was being given piece of Reg's mind in front of the assembly, for daring to talk during his delivery. Suddenly I was back in that school hall...
     
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  9. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Let's be honest; the majority of us in the zoo enthusiast community probably are!
     
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  10. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    It wasn't until I worked in mental health that I realised how many people I knew who must have been on the spectrum, me included!
     
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  11. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Purely in terms of officially-diagnosed Zoochatters, I know of at least a dozen!
     
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