One of the strange buildings from the 1970s near our 1982/3 Dragon Maze is the ‘Bus Shelter’.
For decades this oddly nicknamed little building has kept many visitors dry in the occasional rain that Cornwall gets.
It is built into the woodland bank of what is known to some as The Maze Road and an older name, The Half Round.
I was never entirely sure why it had this name of old – is it because of its half a circle shape? Is it the distance round the zoo from the Entrance, halfway round the zoo?
The clear plastic ‘Bus Shelter’ roof itself is supported by some old cast iron columns, possibly reused from another structure.
Despite decades of repainting, we can see that the iron upright columns are of local manufacture, from Sara and Sons, Redruth.
According to Grace’s Guide, W. Sara and Sons of Redruth were Brass and Iron Founders. Their other work is frequently seen beneath your feet around Cornwall.
Some of the stranger sights seen on the Half Round and from The Bus Shelter include the International World Pasty Flinging Championships (event currently resting, 2017).
Running alongside the Bus Shelter on the steep wooded bank above the Half Round / Maze Road is a native wildlife area.
This wild wooded bank area is home at one end to our 2004 / 2009 Newquay Zoo Time Capsule.
The strangest inhabitants along the Half Round or Maze Road in the past were a ‘lively’ family of free-ranging rare Cotton Top Tamarins, released c. 1996 for a few years on wildness training into the treetops around their house on stilts built amongst these trees. But that is another story …
Another quite little corner of Newquay Zoo’s history explored and recorded.
We will feature the Dragon Maze (built 1982/3) in a future blogpost.
As we approach our 50th Birthday in May 2019, we would love to hear your Newquay Zoo memories and see your early zoo photos. Contact us via the comments box.
Blogposted by Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo History blog, November 2017.
Material from the Newquay Zoo Archive.