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Snaps of a bygone age
8:10am Thursday 21st June 2012 in Local
OLD postcards and photographs taken by a young Dudley Zoo keeper in the years following its opening have come to light 75 years later.
Roddy Stevens contacted zoo staff to explain how he had inherited the collection from his mother, Rosina Joyce Gardner, following her recent death, aged 92.
Joyce, as she was known, was 17 years old when she became a keeper and it is believed she worked at the zoo while it was being set up for its big launch by the Earl of Dudley in May 1937.
Roddy said: “I remember mum telling me all about the zoo’s woolly monkey, and she also worked with the lions, and had a deep scar on her left hand from an encounter with a lion cub. She lived in Oldbury most of her life, in Warley and then Brandhall.
“She married once in 1940 to my father Allan Hougton Stevens and trained as a teacher just after the end of World War II.”
In the pictures Joyce is pictured wearing her uniformand holding Fidget, a Humboldt’s woolly monkey. She also took photographs of her colleagues, and collected postcards which show the zoo’s animals and Tecton enclosures in 1937.
Head of media and communications, Jill Hitchman, said: “These images offer a fascinating insight into a bygone era at Dudley Zoo.
“We are immensely grateful to Mr Stevens for sharing this important collection with us.”