Our latest Newquay Zoo Archive offering:
Full of hope for the New Millennium? pictured here is a small zoo staff gathering on the café patio on New Year’s day 2000, ahead of serving cake and bubbly to our visitors at Newquay Zoo.
Left to right in the picture, Newquay Zoo January 1st 2000: Zoo Owner / Director Mike Thomas (wearing tie), Happy Keepers Jinny Pearce, Vicky Buscombe, Roger Williams, Chris Farhall, young zoo volunteers and ex-Penguin Club members Ben Pike and Nick Callender. (Nick later went into keepering).
Holding the banner: left Craig Rodham and (right) keeper Mark “Cheski” Tomaszewski.
Our longest serving keepers Mark Cheski and Roger Williams are still working here as keepers 19 years later, as we approach our 50th Anniversary on 26 May 1969 / 2019.
We were all relieved that morning that the dreaded Y2K Millennium Bug had not wiped the few old computers that we had, crashed our website and caused widespread power shortages, plane crashes, general chaos, the appearance of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse etc.
I remember that much the same ‘tourism apocalypse’ was predicted locally for the 11th August 1999 Total Solar Eclipse a few months before (see previous blog posts). So we thought we were disaster planning veterans already, but none of us expected the Fuel Strike and Foot and Mouth Epidemic of 2001.
This Zoo snake logo that was morphed in to the ‘2000’ on our Millennium banner was based on a US zoo design. It was briefly used around the Millennium early 2000s until no later than 2003, alongside the Newquay Zoo ‘pawprint one from 1996-2003.
The Zoo snake logo wasn’t around for more than a year or two c. 2000 but did make it onto a few uniforms, such as this denim uniform shirt in our archive.
I was working at the Zoo that New Year’s Day and am not entirely sure why I wasn’t in the Millennium staff photograph with the others. I was probably off doing a feeding talk.
I also had a pounding headache from one glass of champagne the night before (Champagne, I discovered, doesn’t agree with me!) so I was avoiding the bubbly served to staff and zoo visitors. Go for the cake instead!
B.P.S. – Blog Post Script
Somewhere in my family bangles, bracelets and jewellery box, we have a quirky little metal Millennium Bug brooch, made locally, that I bought from the Zoo Shop. I will have to dig this out for the blog.
Blog posted by Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo Archive, on 9 May 2019, as part of the photos released from our Archives as we count down the last few weeks to our Newquay Zoo 50th Birthday Anniversary on Sunday 26 May 2019.