NZ50: Barry Hyde – Gardening at Newquay Zoo

NZ50: Barry Hyde – Gardening at Newquay Zoo


The bison used to come halfway down and
then slide down and right into the fence didn’t. They used to wait…
going down across come up there from the top and then they’d slip and slide
right into the fence and I thought if somebody was going by have they’d be in trouble. I was on the Parks Department and ‘course from when i got here it was just swamp
basically, you know, but I used to enjoy it mind. It’s landscaping the stuff like that.
It was just right for me instead of cutting grass all day long and then when the zoo
opened and like I came up here nearly all the time you know, except for the
summer when it was really busy with the visitors you know. We spent weeks and
weeks filling the holes in, it was really really bad here my boss used to say
it’s soul destroying ain’t it Barry? This old chap here made me laugh he was he was a cut card he was, he would start his machine up and one day it slid right into
the pool, into the pond I should say and it just drifted right into the side and
they have get another one up like this one here and he had to get
that one up to get this one out. He come out crying to me I said
what’s the matter John? He said oh Barry, oh Barry he said, I killed a tortoise
I’ve killed a tortoise I said what do you mean, he’s over here on the couldn’t find anything in the grass. And then I found him of course
all I could find was a shell. I wasn’t very nice you know and he was, he was in
tears, he was really upset about it but that’s the only time we’ve ever had
anything like that. Peter Lowe was the nicest chap you’ll ever
meet. We used to work Saturdays here sometimes and… I’d say have you got anything for lunch Peter… I used to get me wife to send me some more food, a pasty or something and Peter was… he’d eat, eat like a horse he would. He wouldn’t swear though, I tried to get him to swear several times but he wouldn’t. But like I say he was a nice bloke. He was a park superintendent, Ernie was, and he
was one of these old-fashioned gardeners and he was my boss right. He would have
everything right he was a good gardener very good gardener and like I say when
you listen to him he was like God to us when it came to gardening. Ernie was one of
these… he’d have a carpet bed and stuff like it in the parks and then the same up here. He would have it done and he would have it done his way and that was it and if he
didn’t want it he’d chuck it all out he’d throw it all out, no messing. He wouldn’t
mess around. Of course, I used to laugh about it but that’s all you could do is laugh about it because if you start laughing he
didn’t like it so… but I he was a good boss you know. I can remember the chap down there
before this was built I was working down there, before this was built and he said to me… I forgotten his name no but it doesn’t matter… He was there it was like a little menagerie you know
it’s um… so he said um… if you can come down here and give me hand sometime just like, we used get a lot of RAF boys come here and go overseas and
they’d give the animals to the zoo or the place down the road here and oh there was loads of things. I went home with all sorts of things I did. I had a love bird, peach faced love
bird, I had… what’s that bird that talks? … mynah bird, I had one of those. We had, we had a macaw there and he was… he’d go onto a broom and handle like that and he’d just crunch it and one day there I was mr. clever, because sometimes I take him it
in the park with me and put him on my shoulder and he wasn’t in a good mood one day so I put him on my shoulder and ‘course he put talons in there
like that and I couldn’t move so I try to get him off and I couldn’t honestly…
I used to look after that one. I used to enjoy that. I’ve got a record here in one of the papers saying they used to get a lot of vandalism and birds injured or shot. I’m glad you said that because I was there one
day, and I was in the gardens and some lady came down to me down from the hospital…
down through the steps and she said please quick gardener come up
here quick quick so I went up there, and somebody’d been
there with an air rifle and shot a lot the pigeons
the… all of them, budgies, everything shot shot the lot with an air rifle and ‘course I
went berserk and my boss did as well it was horrendous you know and they
never… I don’t think every found out who it was. We arrived at work one morning, early before
the visitors were around and me and my group was out working over by the…what was it
called over there? I said it earlier on… Um… The Japanese garden and we was there
working but doing a bit of Japanese stuff, anyway… Darryl came out from the the… that’s when they had lions over that side… Anyway this is a long time ago
mind. He started shouting, he shouted down something and so I said there’s a lion behind you Darryl… I said there’s a lion behind you. Of
course, somebody else said it as well and of course he thought we were joking
anyway one of my mates one went up a tree not as tall as this they were all
small willows, anyway I thought myself was it time, time to go for it or not?
He came quite a way down the the road there and then I said Darryl
there’s a lion being on you honestly and so he, he in the end he turned around and
he looked and he said, and I can see him now, he said: “Where are you going? You get back in there” or something like that and that lion turned around I went back in I cannot
believe it honestly I’m glad he did but um and my mates come out the trees… (laughter) (Lion Roaring) To come here today and after I know that I planted nearly all these trees me and my mates
I think it’s brilliant

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *