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United Kingdom Oakfield Zoological Gardens , Shavington , Crewe (1926-1933)

Discussion in 'Zoo History' started by zoowhosewho, 3 Jan 2020.

  1. zoowhosewho

    zoowhosewho Well-Known Member

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    This establishment was started by George Mottershead ( who went on to Form Chester Zoological Gardens ) ... Mr Mottershead had had his Army Disabilty Pension stopped in 1919 after the Army discovered that he was now able to walk following an injury during World War 1 .... He borrowed money off of his Father in Law and purchased a Smallholding 30 miles South of Sale ... between the villages of Shavington and Hough ... The Smallholding was called Oakfield ... They sold their "produce" initially at markets but George Mottershead purchased a shop where their produce could be sold direct to the public ... By 1924 the premises next to their shop was purchased and Mr Mottershead sold exotic birds and small animals from the second shop ...1924 also saw a mining crisis in the area ....By 1926 the mining crisis hit a major new low when there was a 10 day General Strike and the country came to a standstill ... Pets became a luxury and nobody wanted to buy them and the Pet Store went bust ... Fortunately for the family the original house purchased was in the name of Mr Mottersheads wife and they still had something that was theirs ... A thought was put into the familys head that if they were to open a small Zoo and charge the public to come in they could get an income ... Thus the beginning of Oakfield Zoological Gardens in 1926 ... Their tomato house was used for Birds and Animals and the henhouse became a Monkey House ... It was an instant success Adults were charged 6d and Children under 12 half price ...It was no ordinary Monkey House there were at least 12 different varieties within it .... Other animals at Oakfield were Porcupine , Canadian Black Bears , A Chimpanzee and a Polar Bear ... ... By 1930 the Zoo was expanding but there was one thing missing to continue the expansion and that was Money .... So a partnership was formed with Dr William (Willie) English who was a member of the Royal Zoological Society ... Dr English was a difficult man to get on with and there were many disagreements ... Dr English wanted control and tried to tell Mr Mottershead how to run things ... In September 1930 Dr English brought in Captain HE Boswell as another Director something Mr Mottershead was not in agreeance with .... Basically in 1930 once they argued between them who was to leave the business it was Mr Mottershead that left ... Dr English kept all the animals and continued the business .... However not for long as the business was officially closed on the 1st January 1933 and the animals at the Oakfield Zoological Gardens were repatriated with Mr Mottershead in his by now opened Chester Zoological Gardens which he had opened in 1931 (coincidentally the house that Mr Mottershead purchased to establish his new Zoological Gardens was called Oakfield )
    1st Image Mr George Mottershead 2nd Image the family shop Nr Shavington
     
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  2. SHAVINGTONZOO

    SHAVINGTONZOO Well-Known Member

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    Where did you get this information? Particularly that related to the Mottershead/English disagreement and that "Dr English was a difficult man to get on with"? By "Royal Zoological Society" do you mean the Zoological Society of London? The shop illustrated was in Mill Street, Crewe and was demolished in the late 70s/ early 80s. Interesting summary.
     
  3. zoowhosewho

    zoowhosewho Well-Known Member

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    Apologies there was no foundation to suggest Dr English was a difficult man ... the source insinuates this and I have misinterpreted ... Either Mr Mottershead or Dr English could have been difficult in not being to convey their wills on the other Partner ...
    Regrettably I am unable to change the posting but obviously from this comment can retract what was said . ...and of course it was the ZSL .

    I have duly amended my other postings of this Establishment elsewhere on the internet

    Are you aware of what Dr English went on to do after his Zoological Gardens closed ?
     
  4. SHAVINGTONZOO

    SHAVINGTONZOO Well-Known Member

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    No need to apologise - I was just curious where you'd seen it suggested that Willie English was difficult. As you might gather from my username I've a great interest in the Shavington Zoo and had the opportunity when researching to meet people who knew Dr English. Everyone spoke very highly of him. I'm curious which source you found which insinuated that he was difficult.

    Dr English was village GP in Haslington before, during and after his involvement with the zoo. He also kept animals at his home, where he bred Tamarins and Dourocouli, which is pretty impressive!