Newquay Zoo in the early 1970s

1976 NZ listing Int Zoo Year Bk
International Zoo Year Book Listing for Newquay Zoo,   1976  (vol 16) Curator Norman Marshall. 8 staff.


This month’s Newquay Zoo History blogpost celebrates our 48th Birthday, marking  the opening of Newquay Zoo on May 26th 1969.

First is  a short listing in the International Zoo Year Book 1976 with visitor figures for Newquay Zoo 1973 of an impressive 300,000, almost twice what we see now! Our sister zoo since 2003, Paignton Zoo saw only 341,743 (1974/5?) at the time, today they might see almost three times our average 150,000.

Why the change in visitor numbers?

The answer partly lies in a slightly more colourful publication, no doubt read by many of the 300,000 paying visitors to the zoo in 1973. The listings book “Where to Go, What to Do in the SW” was subtitled ominously  “500 places to visit in the wet or dry“. This popular guide by R.L. and M.J. Elliott was already in its 6th annual reprint edition by 1975.

1975 SW listings book
1975 SW listings book cover: Is the lion on a car a jokey reference to The Lions of Longleat, rather than ours in Newquay Zoo?


The Zoo entry for Newquay in 1975 is brief:

1975 NZ Newquay listingOur Zoo listing: Newquay Zoo. Daily, 10 am to dusk. Trenance Gardens. Attractive selection of animals, birds and reptiles in ten natural acres.  

Looking through the listings book it is no surprise tht we had such record visitor numbers as there were in 1973/75 very few of the familar visitor attractions that we know today.

1975 NZ advert

The 1970/75 zoo advert is simple and very 70s. Lions and monkeys again!

1975 listings SW foreword

Interestingly the 1975 foreword announces the imminent arrival of the M5 motorway.

For many visitors to Cornwall, this cut the original  two day journey from upcountry to a more manageable one day for the growing car-owning, holiday making families of Britain.

Only two years now until our 50th anniversary on 26 May 1969.

Look out for more random monthly Newquay Zoo history snippets each month.

Blog posted by Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo for the blog, 25/26 May 1969.


Author: worldwarzoogardener1939

World war zoo gardener and zoo educator at Newquay Zoo Cornwall UK

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