We love hearing your memories of Colchester Zoo! This story is from one of our long standing Animal Care Team’s father who used to work at the Zoo himself back in the 70s!

“I worked at Colchester Zoo during the summers of 1976 and 1977 as an attendant in the penny arcade operated by E M Harrison of Clacton-on-Sea, as a concession in the Zoo. Mr Harrison had several outlets at the Zoo at this time and several of my friends worked there from the nearby Shrub End estate. We used to cycle or walk to and from the Zoo until we got our 49cc mopeds (I had a Yamaha FS1E). The Zoo was quite different in those days”, said Michael.

“My eldest daughter, Lisa, joined the Zoo in June 1998 and is still there! She is now Animal Leader and very much enjoys her role.

“Robert, started in the Spring of 1999 and worked with the Grounds Team for the season.

“Samantha enjoyed weekends and school holidays, working on the Familiar Friend’s section, and only left when the urge to go travelling took hold.

“Max, works with the Catering Team when not studying, and has done so for the past couple of years.

“My youngest son, Jake, began working at the Zoo as a scarer during the Trail of Terror event – this involved scaring guests, dressed as a pig. He has now been offered a position to join the Catering Team which he is very excited about!

“So all in all I have had quite a long relationship with Colchester Zoo (nearly 50 years!). I have watched it grow and develop from Mr and Mrs Farrar’s days and have always been happy that my children were working in a safe, friendly, and fun environment.”

Michael Davis – Former Penny Arcade Attendant, Colchester Zoo

You can read the wonderful memories shared through poetry as a part of our recent poem competition here.

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