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An exciting trip to a Zoo with a train

This vintage home movie was taken in the 1970s during a trip to a Zoo. I don’t know exactly which zoo it was, but there was a narrow gauge railway as part of the attractions.

It is interesting how certain subjects were popular with home movie makers from the 1960s and 1970s and Zoos and wildlife parks were certainly one such subject. I’ve already, in the short life of Vintage Home Movies, published a movie taken at Plymouth Zoo and also London Zoo, and now here is another film taken in a zoological garden. I guess that isn’t a surprize; certain places are popular attractions for visits and it is natural that people want to keep a record of the good times they had there.

Unfortunately, although it was easy in my detective work to find the fact that this was taken at a zoological garden , it wasn’t easy finding the exactly which one the family were visiting. I can see from the film that there was a narrow gauge railway, which could mean it was Whipsnade but there is only a short sequence which doesn’t provide much evidence.

It is easy to see from the film however that the children were excited to be on their trip – that is something which hasn’t changed over the intervening 50 odd years!

I’ve put the date as the 1970s because this clip comes from a reel which included that date in the writing on the box. It’s likely that the box included individual films from several years, but the likelihood is that the film was taken in the 1970s.

Generally the film is in good condition and plays well so I didn’t need to make many edits but there is a section taken with the big cats which was very underexposed – possibly this part was taken indoors or shot through a window into an interior cage?

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If you see anything in the film which you recognise, or you think gives clues to the location or date, please let me know in the comments below. Also, please share this post with your friends if you think they may be able to help locate a scene in this film.

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A software developer by profession and an amateur photographer by hobby I've been interested in all things photographic since I was a teenager some 40 years ago. Many of my interests centre around vintage film photography and cinematography.

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