A wonderfully nostalgic memoir detailing the fascinating lives of the working class family behind the phenomenally successful Chester Zoo.
When George Mottershead moved to the village of Upton-by-Chester in 1930 to realise his dream of opening a zoo without bars, his four-year-old daughter June had no idea how extraordinary her life would become. Soon her best friend was a chimpanzee called Mary, lion cubs and parrots were vying for her attention in the kitchen, and finding a bear tucked up in bed was no more unusual than talking to a tapir about granny's lemon curd. Pelican, penguin, or polar bear - for June, they were simply family.
The early years were not without their obstacles for the Mottersheads. They were shunned by the local community, bankruptcy threatened and then World War Two began. Nightly bombing raids turned the dream into a nightmare and finding food for the animals became a constant challenge. Yet George's resilience, resourcefulness and tenacity eventually paid off. Now over 80 years since June first set foot in the echoing house, Chester Zoo has achieved worldwide renown. Here, in her enthralling memoir, June Mottershead chronicles the heartbreak, the humour, the trials and triumphs, above all the characters, both human and animal, who shaped her childhood.
©2014 June Mottershead (P)2014 Headline Digital
Hearing about many of the animals that stayed at the zoo.
Haven't got one.
None in particular.
Don't know. Don't watch films.
For me, the fact that it ends with June getting married leaves this book unfinished. I want to know what happened after that to both her, her family and the zoo. Think the narrator read it well.
although I've given it a modest rating I did really enjoy this book but was dissatisfied with the very abrupt ending. it was like listening to someone reminiscing but being unable to ask questions to draw out further detail on the really interesting bits (not that any of it was dull). I think as the authors unusual life was so normal to her it was almost as though it was hard for her to gage which bits would leave the audience wanting further elaboration. Still I would thoroughly recommend it.
After seeing the series on TV I was expecting a far more interesting read, but was disappointed. This is more a descriptive story of the animals and progress of the zoo, and was missing the gripping detail of family life with all the troubles that were faced. It was as if the writer was trying to skim through the facts as quickly as possible.
Amazing story, made me cry twice with the dogs story and Christie the lion cub!
Would defo recommend to any reader young or old, and I'm 37 !
A captivating true story of the trials and tribulations of the determination of George Mottershead and family in creating Chester Zoo
the death of Punch
The pronunciation of, in particular, the place names was somewhat lacking in accuracy
A great true story. Really hope June will give us all another installment of her families adventures building a collection without bars.
Our Zoo, is gripping and funny like the best James Herriot and Gerald Durrel stories. If you enjoyed My Family and Other Animals and Every Living Thing, I'm sure you'll love our zoo.
Emily brings a real warmth to the story. Look forward to listening to more books read by Emily.
Chaos in the country
An around great listen. 5 Stars. Hoping for a second installment "our zoo two"
Well written by June Mottershead with just the right blend of humour, sadness and realism to keep you wanting to learn more.
Emily Pennant-Rea read well and was easy to listen too. Enough change of tone to be interesting without sounding false.
I have not been to a zoo for many years but would be interested in going to see this one and see first hand where it all began.
Never listened to her before but would have no hesitation in listening again both to this book or another.
Yes, although I didn't for purely practical reasons
Definitely recommend this book. I saw the tv series and found that listening to this book enhanced my memories of the tv series.
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