Curious Zoological Exhibition, 1902

Now here’s a story you may not have heard about. On 12th March 1902, Bostock and Wombell brought an incredible travelling exhibition to the show ground in Low Blantyre. It had already been to Hamilton Larkhall and in the following days, would go on to visit Cambuslang.

This was a colossal amalgamation of strange and curious zoological and equine wonders from all parts of the Earth. Billed as “The oldest, largest and best exhibition its kind in Europe”.

So, what could you see? Well in the advert, it was stated you would see hundreds of beasts, birds and reptiles. Exciting and wonderful animal performances. Interesting equine exhibits including “White Wings”, the king of novelties, a beautiful pure white Percheron steed whose mane and tail exceed 30 feet in length.

Then there was “Columbus”, the giant cart horse and “Tiny”, the midget horse, 26 inches high. Tallest and smallest on record. A giant donkey over 18 hands, and midget donkey 27 inches. The hairless mare from the Transvaal. Royal Wild Boars from Windsor Park, a gift from King Edward. The wonderful bell ringing ape from Mafeking and numerous other wonders that captured the attention of the beholder.

Adult admission was a significant 1s and children 6d with descriptive performances at 3.30pm and 7pm. For 3d extra you could take part in feeding time at 9.30pm. Proprietor was K.H Bostok of Glasgow Zoo.

Attitudes to performing animals have changed immensely in the last hundred years, but in this era, this would truly have been a spectacle that people would have queued for.

For the attached picture, my new AI software has the capability of reading my articles back and generating a computer image imagining an illustration fitting and depicting the words it has read. It means some realistic and often photorealistic illustrations for some of my older stories here on Blantyre Project.

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