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Reginald Stuart Goddard (1890-1946) founder of Chessington Zoo

Discussion in 'Zoo History' started by Designaka, 19 May 2020.

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  1. Designaka

    Designaka Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have a good quality photo of Reginald Stuart Goddard? I'm researching an article about him and can find very little information and just three very poor photographs online. I have the book Chessington Story by Clinton Keeling and just these few snippets found on the 'net:

    Born and raised in Battersea.
    Schooled at Ongar Academy in Essex.
    Flight Lieutenant in the First World War.
    Known as 'RS'
    He married Doris Ena Layborn in 1915.
    They had two children Moira and James, and possibly a third child Joan.
    Worked in insurance.
    He was a managing partner? in the family business, Goddard and Son, a slate and slab merchant that manufactured of billiard tables.
    Opened a small zoo in a billiard hall (?) that he owned.
    He found the Chessington site in 1930. Opened Chessington Zoo in July 1931.
    Died Christmas day 1946 and is buried in St Mary Churchyard, Chessington.

    Any new information would be much appreciated. Thank you.
     
    Terry Thomas likes this.
  2. Designaka

    Designaka Well-Known Member

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    Silent as the grave... Hellooooo. Anyone out there?
     
  3. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    I found his parents but you probably already have that info. Otherwise I can't find any photos and I don't really have a way of delving deeper. It's strange how a founder of a relatively large zoo is so unknown to this day. :(
     
  4. Paradoxurus

    Paradoxurus Well-Known Member

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    There always used to be a good image of Reg Goddard holding a young drill on either the Hulton or Francis Frith archives. I can't remember which but, either way, it doesn't seem to be locatable now. I have saved a copy of it somewhere - I'll dig it out.
     
  5. Designaka

    Designaka Well-Known Member

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    Thanks chaps. It is strange that all his contemporaries who were born in the late 19th century and founded successful extant zoos are easy to research: Mottershead, Whitley, Gillespie... but Goddard is an online ghost. I'd love to see the Drill photo. Thanks again.
     
  6. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    See the link below; it features two photographs of Reginald Goddard.

    Burnt Stub Mansion
     
  7. Designaka

    Designaka Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Tim. That must be the drill photo (not a macaque) that Sam mentioned. Any of those photos would be great if I could get hold of hi-res, good quality versions. There is also an uncaptioned photo of RS on the Chessington train on that site and again, appalling quality.