Christmas and carols in the frosty Wartime Zoo Garden

back view of the handmade sliding puzzle showing its Australian butter box origins, 1940s Newquay Zoo wartime life collection,

Handmade sliding puzzle made by a man for his daughter in wartime, from Australian Butter box wood and cut out calender dates, 1940s, Newquay Zoo wartime life collection


The nasturtiums and dwarf French beans are the first leafy casualties of frost, though Newquay Zoo’s stream valley is sheltered from the sea winds. Hopefully they will recover.

Father Christmas has been glimpsed around the zoo at weekends and the zoo carol service took place with prayers and thoughts of service families and their loved ones overseas.  (We have ex-service families on staff and many former members of the zoo served at local RAF bases) .

I wonder what modern children would make of the wartime presents in our Zoo Archive wartime life collection. The loveliest of the lot is a sliding puzzle made for a girl by her dad out of Australian butter box. The lady was delighted, we learned from the seller, when she learnt that it came into our collection for use with schools and displays as part of our collection. We have been very touched by the offers of material we have sometimes received regarding our wartime life project.

Happy Christmas!

Childhood treasures from wartime, an evacuee suitcase and christmas dreams - 1940s items from our Newquay Zoo wartime life collection and our Newquay Zoo World War Zoo unnamed mascot bear (recent vintage unclaimed from our lost property section)

We’ll be busy at the zoo but also planning out the next year’s crop plans for our wartime garden, prior to more garden events at Newquay Zoo in May 2010

You can find out more about Christmas in Wartime in the book Christmas on The Home Front by Home Front historian Mike Brown, published in 2004/2007 by Sutton Publishing .

You can also find out more on the Imperial War Museum website and Harry and Edna’s delightful section on Wartime Christmas.

Try some recipes at

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: