Cross’s Zoo / Cross’s Menagerie , Otterspool Grounds , Liverpool (1915-1930)

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This establishment was begun by the Cross Family when in 1914 a lease was taken on the Otterspool House and Grounds … It seems that Otterspool House was resided in by James Conrad Cross the son of William Cross brother of William Simpson Cross ..During 1914 there only seemed to be “animal activity” when the Family were selling Spaniel dogs from the address .. It has been reported that all of William Simpsons children were involved in this set up
In March 1915 it was announced in the newspapers that Cross’s Menagerie was moving to Otterspool House
By July 1915 the Gardens themselves were opened to the Public there was no mention in the advert that there were animals at this time …
By July 1916 Cross’s Zoo Otterspool was opened within the Gardens and there were Timber Wolves , Tropical Birds , Baboons , Mandrill , Ostriches , Llamas , Bears , Anteaters and Monkeys admission price was 6d …
By September 1916 William Simpson Cross married his second wife in Edinburgh and his address was given as the Maitland Hotel , Shandwick Place , Edinburgh .and was seemingly not involved with the business at this time
By October 1916 the Lion House at Otterspool was completed and Lions were installed
By April 1920 the cost of admission was 6d
Between 1917 and 1930 many more animal were added to the collection and the reported name of the establishment fluctuated between Cross’s Zoo to Cross’s Zoo and Menagerie … Finally in 1930 the last report states it was called Otterspool (Liverpool) Zoological Gardens ( but only 1 report stated this)
William Simpson Cross passed away on 10th May 1920 his residence at his time of death was Otterspool House .. It was noted in his obituary that he had resided in Edinburgh for his last 3 years of life and his occupation was listed as a Manager of a Picturedome (basically a Cinema theatre) … His estate was left to his sister Olive Troughton and Violet Cross (who was possibly his daughter)
The closure of the Zoo / Menagerie came about it in 1930 as Liverpool Corporation were turning Otterspool Gardens into a Publc Park (Otterspool Park)
By 1931 Otterspool House was demolished and this was the same year that James Conrad Cross became Mayor of Liverpool
1st image Zoo advert from 1916 , 2nd Image Otterspool House just before it was demolished and 3rd image James Conrad Cross
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