Memories of Bristol Zoo and Arnos Vale Cemetery

Following on from our successful Know Your Bristol event at Hillfields, members of the public were invited to share their memories of Bristol Zoo and Arnos Vale Cemetery.
A visit from the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress got Know Your Zoo off to an exciting start with childhood memories of the monkey temple, polar bears and Rosie the elephant.


Rosie the Elephant, (photo from Bristol Zoo, Bristol Museums, galleries and archives)

Members of the public brought some fantastic stories of past visits to the Zoo and memories of specific animals, as well as photographs playing with baby animals, giving an insight into how the Zoo has evolved to the one we know today. Copies of photos and other objects were taken to add to the Know Your Bristol archive. Past members of Zoo staff and students from the veterinary college who had studied at the Zoo brought along behind the scenes knowledge and even video footage from the 1950s. The range of stories I heard gave a fascinating insight into how the Zoo has changed over the years. It has clearly been a much loved day out for many generations of Bristolians.


The Lord Mayor contributing memories of Bristol Zoo to Know Your Bristol.

Know Your Bristol at Arnos Vale saw memories being brought to us in even greater numbers, from the personal stories of family members who are buried at Arnos Vale, to memories of crowds of 1000s for the funeral of a cricket player. An exhibition of past photographs of the cemetery accompanying the Know Your Arnos Vale day proved equally popular, with the sun, a jazz trio and wonderful cafe serving up a lovely day out for all who visited.

Relaxing in the sun with a cup of tea for a chat about memories with the Know Your Bristol team, proved to be the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon. Listening to all the stories brought along has given us a wonderful reminder of the valuable contributions individuals memories can make to the local history and understanding of Bristol places and the importance of projects such as Know Your Bristol.


Recording memories in the sun for Know Your Bristol.

Keep up to date with our up coming Know Your Bristol events: Know Your Kings Weston, Know Your South Bristol and Know Your Bristol by going to our website, finding us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter.