We’ve been to Dudley Zoo today to celebrate the birthday of the daughter of one of Mrs Fleet’s oldest friends. It was a lovely afternoon – the kids got to meet and touch a rat, a guinea pig and a rather super little lizard, had their faces painted and had a nice tea, and then we wandered around the zoo for an hour or so.
A Hungry Giraffe
I haven’t been to Dudley Zoo before. It’s compact in size and features some wonderful, but in many cases sadly deteriorating art deco architecture, in particular some lovely little refreshment stands and great swooping arcs of concrete around some of the animal pens. The animals themselves have nice and appropriately sized enclosures to live in, but many of the buildings look like they could do with some investment.
Decaying art deco concrete of the Bear Ravine
All in all, though, it’s a charming zoo situated in the grounds of the motte and bailey Dudley Castle, and made for a nice day out. The weather was great, too.
There is an interesting article for the Twentieth Century Society by Ben Flatman (dating from 2004) on the architecture of the zoo here… sadly the Lubetkin/Tecton pavilions, 12 of which are listed (although criminally none at Grade 1) and which Ove Arup worked on, appear to have deteriorated still further in the intervening 5 years. It’s heartbreaking to see such remarkable art deco works allowed to rot away like this, particularly given the current interest in the modernist movement.