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A Film of Dudley Zoo from the 1960s

This vintage home movie was taken sometime in the early 1960s at Dudley Zoo in the West Midlands and shows a family’s day out with the animals.

The film used for this home movie was Ilford standard 8mm.

I noticed a distinct colour cast on some of the scenes at the start of the film, for example the brown bears in the pool, so it’s possible that the photographer used a film which was not correctly colour balanced for daylight. It’s also possible however, that the film has deteriorated over the years and one part of the film has been affected more than another.

When I initially converted the film to digital and watched it I thought it had been taken at London Zoo, but after a quick bit of internet research I discovered a picture of the entrance to Dudley Zoo and recognised the opening sequence to the film.

Still images from Dudley Zoo film

The images shown below were all taken from the film in this post and serve as sort of pictorial table of contents of the film.

Dudley Zoo Film

The complete film is shown below. I guess in many ways it is unremarkable and shows the same sort of images that any Zoo film will show which mainly focus on the animals, but there are also some scenes of the younger members of the family and some general shots of the zoo as well.

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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.

  1. Roy says:

    I enjoyed that more than I was expecting to. In particular the action sequences in the pools, featuring the Polar bears and the seals, were splendid. I am not usually a fan of zoos and don’t really approve of them. But it must be said that the bears and the seals were really enjoying their antics. they are both excellent swimmers.

    The slow motion sequence was also impressive but I am not sure if the original photographer created that or whether it has just been created in the editing. I guess it’s likely to be the latter.

    1. Everything in the film is as it was taken – I haven’t added any effects so the photographer must have done it with a variable speed camera I guess

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