Our monthly Newquay Zoo history snippet for February 2017 focusses on the late 1980s and a rather unusual renaming of Newquay Zoo.
When I first started work at ‘Newquay Zoo’ in the mid 1990s, under the new private ownership of Mike Thomas, it still bore its Council Zoo renaming of Newquay Animal World. So did our letter heads, leaflets, vehicles and uniforms.
This strange name, presumably chosen to match the Water World swimming pool name, led to some odd telephone conversations in the zoo office.
People would phone up and ask to buy a guinea pig. We would then have to explain we were a zoo, not a pet shop, despite our name.
Mike thankfully changed the name back to Newquay Zoo about 1996/97, despite the extensive criticism of ‘zoos’ and the word Zoo flourishing at the time.
The posters and leaflets show the joint marketing of 2 major ‘world’ attractions ‘Animal World’ and ‘Water World’ along with the other surviving elements of the original 1960s and 1970s Trenance Leisure Gardens.
This was all part of renewed attempt to market the Trenance Gardens area as a ‘World’ of Leisure, 26 acres of Sports and Leisure.
Inside the Animal World leaflet (c. 1993) are visible some staff that I remember when I started at Newquay Zoo – top left, keeper Claire Roper with our then zoo vet Mike King, Claire is also seen with some of the encounter animals with visitors, keeper David Eyre with python (and elsewhere Kinkajou).
The posters below are from the joint Newquay’s World of Leisure that was (and still sort of is) Trenance Leisure Parks late 1980s / early 1990s.
Interestingly the Zoo (at only 8 acres) is branded as a “ZOOlogical theme park”, no doubt to account for the entertainment features such as the recently planted Maze, Activity play park and Tarzan trail all c. 1983.
Interesting in itself to see how styles of zoo posters and general attraction advertising have or haven’t changed over the years, something we look at with students on business and marketing or leisure and tourism type school and college talks.
More lions of our leaflets here:
Since Animal World and the early Nineties
The 26 acres of the ‘World of Leisure’ that was ‘Trenance Leisure Gardens’ have changed somewhat after a business dip mid-1990s.
Newquay Zoo is now run as part of a conservation charity, the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust http://www.wwct.org.uk/ with Living Coasts and our big sister zoo in Devon, Paignton Zoo. Newquay Zoo expanded onto the nearby ‘Little Wembley’ sports field, growing a few acres to its current 12 – 13 acres to create the Savannah area which opened in 2009.
We now open all year round, from about 1993/4 as opposed to the original Council Zoo being open Easter to October.
The Toboggan Run has given way to the Wooden Waves skate park.
The golf driving range is now (since 2000) the site of Cornwall College Newquay https://www.cornwall.ac.uk/location-pages/newquay-campus.html
The miniature train and the pitch and putt / crazy golf still thrive, the Tennis Courts are now part of the Heron Tennis Centre whilst Water World’s swimming pool and gym is still very busy, its visitors watched as ever by our African Lions. http://www.tempusleisure.org.uk/waterworld-newquay/
The Lakeside Café, Boating Lake and Rose Gardens (home to the original Charles Trevisick’s Newquay Children’s Zoo – see below) are still flourishing.
The newly reopened Trenance Cottages Museum, Community Centre and Café is also thriving. http://www.trenancecottages.co.uk/
Here’s to another busy season for all the activities of Newquay’s World of Leisure!
Blogposted in February 2017.