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Seaburn Zoo/ Ocean Park Sunderland

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by RobSunderland, 13 Jan 2015.

  1. RobSunderland

    RobSunderland Member

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    Hello everyone.
    I am posting on this forum in the hope than someone can help me with some information and photos. I am currently making a short documentary on Seaburn Zoo in Sunderland which has not been a round for quiet some time. I have looked at previous threads posted on this website and found them helpful although they are from some time ago.
    Any information relating to...

    *The people that worked there and methods of contacting them or current where a bouts.

    *The types of animals that were at the zoo and their names.

    *It's opening date/ Closing date.

    *Where the animals came from/ Where they have ended up.

    *The treatment of Animals there.

    * Any photos perhaps from personal photo albums.

    * Any stories or anecdotes you may have.

    Any information anyone one has would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
     
  2. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member 10+ year member

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    I'd suggest your best option would be to contact the Bartlett Society, a group devoted to the preservation of and research into zoo history. A lot of members post here, but here are the website contact details:

    Contact us - The Bartlett Society
     
  3. RobSunderland

    RobSunderland Member

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    Thank you for the help.
     
  4. Animal Friendly

    Animal Friendly Well-Known Member

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    It opened around 1972/3 a dolphin show was its main attraction. In 1976 Martin Lacey took over and presented his lion show there instead. It closed end of season 1979. When it originally opened it had penguins and sealions, they left the collection the same time as the dolphins, Martin Lacey lived on site in a caravan, he had quite a few lions and tigers, bears.I visited it every year from it opening until it closed, not one of the best zoos I have ever visited by a long chalk.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jan 2015
  5. RobSunderland

    RobSunderland Member

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    Thank you i was having trouble pinning down the open and closure dates and when it changed management. Do you have any photos that might not have been online perhaps from your own photo album?
     
  6. Animal Friendly

    Animal Friendly Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately I don't have any personal photos, I did see a while ago some on facebook Sunderland in pictures. Mr. Lacey during, his time at Seaburn supplemented his income by taking his lion act to galas and circuses. When he was away his wife Sue was in charge, she had previously worked as a keeper at Twycross Zoo.
     
  7. Paradoxurus

    Paradoxurus Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    There are lots of details about Seaburn Zoo in both of Martin Lacey's two books:

    My Life with Lions - Martin Lacey, Jeff Link - Google Books

    and

    [ame="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-British-Circus-Views-Martin/dp/1846248485/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421227833&sr=8-1&keywords=martin+lacey"]The Great British Circus: Views of Martin Lacey: Amazon.co.uk: David Barnaby: 9781846248481: Books[/ame]
     
  8. RobSunderland

    RobSunderland Member

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    Brilliant thank you both for the help.
     
  9. RobSunderland

    RobSunderland Member

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    I'm unable to find My Life With Lions but I will be sure to pick up his other book.
     
  10. Nanook

    Nanook Well-Known Member

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    It is hard to come by now since Martin has stopped trading as the Great British Circus ( the GBC website did sell it for a while).
     
  11. Animal Friendly

    Animal Friendly Well-Known Member

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    The Great British Circus, Views of Martin Lacey would be a better book for your purpose, as My Life with Lions is mainly a picture book, interesting as it is. One thing I learned about Martin Lacey in the Great British Circus book is that during his time at Seaburn he worked on an evening as a bouncer, right man for the job there I would say!
     
  12. NigeW

    NigeW Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    There's nothing I can contribute here, so my apologies for the post, but having grown up in County Durham very close to Sunderland, in the 1970's, I had no idea this place existed! Stanley Zoo, Lambton Lion Park and a little further afield Flamingo Park were 'it' as far as our family were aware. Their marketing must've been very low profile :)

    In any case, good luck with the research Rob. Ha'way the Lads!
     
  13. dean

    dean Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    It wasn't there long, I went once as a child, but my parents weren't impressed I remember Stanley zoo and the winter zoo in Newcastle town hall but never did flamingo land, we usually went to Blackpool or Edinburgh.
    have you tried U tube Rob, they may have a clip on there.

    Does any one recall the traveling zoo that used to go to the town moor "hoppings," I remember it was mainly small animals giant toads, lizards, monkeys, a sort of believe it or not display of animals. I have often blamed that on my keeping such critters myself.
     
    Last edited: 15 Jan 2015
  14. Animal Friendly

    Animal Friendly Well-Known Member

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    Yes there were various animals on show at the annual Hoppings on the Town Moor Newcastle. I think the one you are referring to Dean was run by Gilbert Chadwick who still attends the Hoppings to this day, but with a fun house on show row where all the freak shows etc used to stand. I also remember a lorry containing various animals, some in bottles preserved with a live sheep with five legs, if the fifth leg was actually genuine I would not like to say!. I recall some years ago an old showman friend of mine telling me about a side show he presented years ago on the fairgrounds "The Siamese twins live" he stood up front telling the tale and his wife sat in the paybox taking the two bobs admission, on entering the customers were no doubt fascinated to see two newts with their tails stuck together with glue, however he did used to take the glue off on an evening to let them swim about at liberty.
     
  15. RobSunderland

    RobSunderland Member

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    Thank you this has been very helpful.
     
  16. Animal Friendly

    Animal Friendly Well-Known Member

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    If you require any more assistance Rob just ask, not saying I will be able to help but I will if I can,
     
  17. RobSunderland

    RobSunderland Member

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    Thank you again I appreciate it. I find the fact that he was a bouncer at the same time rather interesting I will be trying to get in touch with him in the coming weeks. Would you be open to being interviewed about what you remember from your time at the zoo?