Wednesday, 5 December 2018

The Polar Bears That Ate My Mum's Butties. ("These animals are dangeroos" ).

The following anecdote came to mind when I walking over the hills the other day:

When I was young growing up in deepest Lancashire.  We would have our annual school trips to far off places like: York (I sat on Dick Turpin's bed), The Lake District (Dove Cottage), New Brighton (pebbly beach) and even Manchester.  

Anyway one year we went to Belle Vue Zoo in Manchester.  I remember me and one of my mates walking passed the Polar bear pit.  This looked like a squash court for Polar bears.  The Polar bears lived in a concrete pit and we could look down at them.  Not in a condescending way, but literally!  

I pulled out one of my home made sandwiches that my dear mama had made that very morn.  It was Ham and lots of salt and pepper in between two slices of bread (brown of course).  I said to my mate:

"I don't like these, they're crap!"  

So I threw it down to Mr and Mrs Polar bear.  

My mate duly pulled out his sandwiches, threw them down to Mr and Mrs Polar bear too and said:

" Mine are crap too Dave!"

We looked down and there were Mr and Mrs Polar bear (all 12 feet of them) in their white stocking feet.  Scoffing our sandwiches that our mother's had sweated and toiled and made that merry morn! Stood eating our butties with the generous offerings of ham and salt and pepper.  

We laughed and walked into Wimpy or what ever the zoo snack bar was called and bought ourselves an hot dog a piece!

Have you any zoo tales?


  1. Funny the things that we remember. When reading it I can feel the laughter and enjoyment you all had that day. I do have a zoo memory. To celebrate my brother passing his driving test we were allowed out in his £25 Triumph Mayflower car for the afternoon and we went to the zoo. We stood looking at some llamas and one of them sneezed all over me. We both thought this was extremely funny and laughed and saw no problem with it although it was pretty ugh but I wouldn't admit that to him at the time. On the way back on straight bits of road he showed how fast the car would go. I remember it as if it was yesterday. Thanks Dave for bringing back good memories.

    1. That's brilliant Rachel. I remember when we use to get fits of giggles and our pop and crisps would go everywhere. Isn't it amazing what we remember and still laugh at? Thanks.

  2. We once went on a school trip to London Zoo at Regents Park. The only thing I can remember about it was my friend wondering aloud how rhinoceroses “did it” (we were 12 years old). I went through seven years of school, including school trips, with luncheon meat sandwiches in brown bread every time. I was always too ravenously hungry to consider giving them away, even to polar bears.
    I went through a phase of ‘car spotting’ when I was in primary school even though we never had a car growing up. I remember seeing a triumph mayflower once which was by then a rarity on the road. I’d forgotten all about them until Rachel mentioned them. A flood of memories from your post, Dave.

  3. Thanks Philip. You should write them down. I do. I laughed at your thoughts about rhinos. I remember once asking my mum if the gold fish was wet?

  4. My brother would often lament years later that he wished he had kept the Mayflower, Philip, when they seemed to increase in value.. He used to consider it very old-fashioned and described it as being like a pram. He got a Triumph Herald Estate next for £40 which he later gave to me.

  5. One of my aunts was visiting Dudley zoo and when she got to the Elephants enclosure she said something derogatory about them being wrinkly and immediately one of the elephants put it's trunk into the water butt and drenched her with water.

  6. That's so funny Heron. Perhaps they had been watching Doctor Doolittle? He could talk to the animals. Thanks!

  7. Thanks for your sharing. Hope you can contribute more quality posts to this page
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  8. Not a zoo tale but one bitterly cold day I was walking along when I saw a man sitting on a horse and I said: Can I give your horse something to eat? The man on the horse said: Give him whatever you like. He'll eat anything. So, I gave the horse two of my Victory V lozenges. Well, judging by horse's reaction you'd think I'd given him a couple Viagras. I've never seen such a change in animal. And so quickly. Almost instantaneous. I said: I think your horse likes them. But I didn't hang around to see the final outcome.

  9. Thanks Gwil. Victory V lozengers for horses. I always thought they loved sugar cubes and Polo mints? I would imagine Winston Churchill's horse would have liked the Victory V's? Sorry!

    An old Monty Python joke for you:

    A man walks into a pet shop and says:

    "I would like to buy a Wasp please."

    The pet shop owner replies:

    "Sorry sir, we don't sell Wasps."

    The exasperated customer retorts:

    "Yes you do. You have got one in the window!"

    Well it made me laugh. Thanks Gwil!

    1. I like your jokes. That one has a sting in the tail.

    2. Tut😂! Very clever Gwil. Don't encourage me. I have lots more jokes.

  10. That's a lovely tale. Being a permanently hungry youngster I would have scoffed the lot before I got to the zoo. It's a nice idea though for those who don't like sandwiches!

  11. I am glad you liked my tale Valerie. I think I was trying to be clever and showing off more than not liking my dear old mums sandwiches. Manchester Polar bears weren't fussy and I am sure they must have sampled chips. Thanks!


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