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The Jungle Wedding

The Evening Times, Tuesday, April 12, 1910

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The arrangements for the interesting wedding ceremony announced for Friday evening in the arena at the Jungle have now been completed. The time set is 9.15. The Rev. David Rollo, M.A., B.D. of Springburn Parish Church, has consented to unite Mr Alexander Gaston and Miss Mary Mackie in matrimony under the unusual conditions of lions and lionesses acting as groomsmen and bridesmaids.

A befitting item of the proceedings will be the rendering of Mendelssohn's Wedding March by the Jungle Military Orchestra. While this will be the first marriage under these conditions ever conducted in Europe, there have been several in the Frank C. Bostock Jungles in the principle cities of the United States, and, in every instance, a prominent clergyman has officiated, while in St. Louis a few years ago, a bishop conducted the ceremony.

No increased charges will be made for admision on Friday night. The management do not regard the unique wedding as a money making venture, but simply as an evidence of the perfection of the training of the animals comprised in the Jungle. The marriage contract is as follows:

  • This agreement entered into this day by and between Harry E. Tudor, general manager of the Bostock Jungle, hereinafter known as the party of the first part, and Alexander Gaston, of 54 Kerr Street, Springbank, Glasgow, and Mary Mackie of Braehead Street, S.S., witnesseth hereinafter known as the parties of the second part.

    Witnesseth that parties of the first part (sic) do hereby agree and covenant with the party of the first part to have their marriage ceremony performed in the large steel cage of the Bostock Jungle during the evening of Friday 15 (of such other evening that party of the first part shall appoint) at which time of said marriage ceremony said steel cage shall also be occupied by from six to ten lions and their trainer.

    Furthermore, for the faithful fulfilment of this agreement by parties of the second part, party of the first part agrees to hand over to parties of the second part a valuable consideration mutually agreed upon, and to defray the expenses incidental to the performance of the said marriage ceremony.

    Furthermore, parties of the second part hereby absolve party of the first part and his principals from all blame and responsibility in the event of any unforeseen occurrence arising during the performance of the said marriage ceremony.

    Furthermore, parties of the second part agree that they will be attired for said marriage ceremony as is customary on such occasions, and hereby declare that the names with they will be married will be their own rightful names, and that they have never before formed the contract parties to a marriage.

    Furthermore, party of the first part assures parties of the second part that the marriage ceremony will be conducted in strict accordance with Scots marriage laws, with all due solemnity and rigid observance of the respect to which parties of the second part are entitles in their forming the contracting parties of a wedding.

  • (Signed)....Harry E. Tudor
  • (Signed)....Alex Gaston
  • (Signed)....Mary Mackie
  • Witnessed - J. Arbuckle (witness)

The Evening Times, Thursday, April 14, 1910

Advertisement:

3 - LAST 3 DAYS - 3.

____

"THE JUNGLE."

TO-MORROW (FRIDAY) EVENING.

"THE SUBJECT OF ALL THE TOWN'S TALK."

THE

MARRIAGE AMIDST LIONS.

ACCOMMODATION FOR

6000

WEDDING GUESTS.

ADMISSION AS USUAL

A FEW ARENA CHAIRS MAY STILL BE BOOKED

AT MUIR WOOD & Co.

SATURDAY - "GOOD-BYE, JUNGLE."


The Evening Times, Friday, April 15, 1910


Advertisement:

LAST TWO DAYS OF ALL.

"THE JUNGLE."

TO-NIGHT.

THE MOST REMARKABLE WEDDING CEREMONY

EVER CONDUCTED

A MARRIAGE AMIDST LIONS

IN THE GREAT STEEL CAGE.

LIONS AS GROOMSMEN.

LIONESSES AS BRIDESMAIDS.

MENDELSSOHN'S "WEDDING MARCH"

BY THE JUNGLE MILITARY ORCHESTRA.

WEDDING CEREMONY AT 9.15.

ADMISSION AS USUAL. NO FREE LIST.

DOORS OPEN AT 7.

_____

TO-MORROW (Saturday)

THE JUNGLE'S FAREWELL.

MORNING EXHIBITION OF ANIMALS.

11 O'CLOCK TO 1 O'CLOCK - ADMISSION, 6d.

SPECIAL 'GOOD-BYE' PROGRAMS (sic)

AT 3 AND 8

DOORS OPEN AT 2 AND 7.

ADMISSION - ONE SHILLING.

RESERVED SEATS, 1s 6d and 2s.

CHILDREN HALF-PRICE.


The Evening Times, Saturday, April 16, 1910.


WEDDING AMID

LIONS.

_____

UNIQUE GLASGOW

CEREMONY.

____

The Attitude of the Minister.

____

SPECIAL INTERVIEWS.

The wedding amid lions was duly celebrated in the Bostock Jungle, Glasgow, last night, and to-day Mr and Mrs Alexander Gaston may congratulate themselves upon having been the central figures in a ceremony unique to the Second City of the Empire, and also claim to be the first of its kind in Europe. During the ceremony nothing untoward happened. The great crown which packed the building was on its best behaviour. The six lions and lionesses which acted as "best men" and "best maids" showed no disposition to embrace the contracting parties nor their attendants in an excess of festivity, but rather appeared to be indifferent and bored, a frame of mind not unknown among human guests at weddings. Altogether the occasion was a success.

The Crowd.

The element of risk, which added a piquant savour to so novel a wedding, had attracted a large crowd. From seven o'clock the entrance to the Jungle was thronged by long and patient queues stretching to the Cowcaddens. Not only that, but large crowds waited round the entrance during the performance to hear whether or not the leonine guests had behaved with that decorum and dignity one expects from their majesties of the forest. Inside, the scene was memorable. Every point of vantage which commanded a glimpse of the arena was seized upon. The big gallery was packed. Barricades were utilised as grandstands. The monkeys had reason to hold an indignation meeting, as their view of the nuptial proceedings was hidden by human backs, whose owners had clambered up the sides of the simian cage the better to get a sight of the gallant Gaston and the daring Miss Mackie.

In the Cage.

The proceedings in the cage, prior to the ceremony, were exciting enough. A fearless young trainer put through a happy family of lions and polar bears. One of the latter was inclined to be fractious, naughty even under the eye of the trainer. So for a minute or two was a battle between the human and the brute. The human will triumphed. Then the trainer introduced a wrestling bear and proceeded to engage in a three-round contest. Hardly had these gladiators started, when shouts were heard coming from the gallery. "Hard up," "Hard up," was the cry. It is the satiric chant which young Glasgow throws raucously at marriage processions whose progress is not accompanied by the distribution of back sheesh. In the present case there was a note of humour, a hint of welcome; yea, even a suggestion of admiration in the chorus. It indicated that the happy couple were on their way by a back passage from Manager Tudor's room to the scene of the ceremony. The cry screwed the great concourse to the very pitch of anticipation and excitement. The wrestlers, human and bear, finished their gallant contest almost unnoticed and vanished behind the folding doors. For a moment the huge arena lay untenanted under the yellow glow of the electric lights.

The Ceremony.

Then the orchestra rendered Mendelssohn's impressive Wedding March. When they finished, Mr Harry E. Tudor, the special particular Cupid, who had arranged the leonine attendants at the Jungle hymeneal altar, entered. The house was half-past nine. In a short introductory speech Mr Tudor thanked the people of Glasgow for their reception of the Jungle and intimated Mr Bostock's intention of reviving the Glasgow Zoo on a scale that would be larger, better, and more varied than before. He bowed and retired. At the back of the arena a shrill whistle piped forth, the heavy doors were opened, and six lions - magnificent brutes, whose tawny, well-kempt hides gleamed finely beneath the glare of the arc lamps - stalked slowly into the arena to the music of the orchestra. One of them showed a slight inclination to hang about the entrance to the arena but

A VERY LITTLE PERSUASION

sufficed to get it to give up the idea of retreat. Smiling and debonair, Trainer Tallon, in evening dress, a flower in his coat placed his charges in position upon their stances in a few moments, and all seemed ready for the entry of the wedding party when one of the lions quietly got off its perch. But the trainer was all alert, cancelled the message he had given for the party's entrance, and calmed the restless one. Then the wedding party were ushered in. Mr Tudor, who attended the bride and the bridegroom, showed the former in first, the groom following close behind. The lady appeared to be the more composed of the two. She was dressed in white, in the customary veil, and carried a large bouquet of flowers. The officiating clergyman - the Rev. E. Lloyd Morris, of Hutchesontown Congregational Church - entered immediately after and the party in the arena was completed with the advent of two assistant trainers, who stood near by ready in case of emergency. But there was scarcely the slightest stir on the part of

THE LEONINE SEXTETTE.

which actually appeared bored during the whole proceedings. There was no loss of time. In a voice that was inaudible in the hum of conversation, Mr Morris recited the wedding ceremony, the usual questions were asked and answered, sotto voce, and the ring was slipped on the bride's finger. During the ceremony the bride and the bridegroom, as is customary, turned their backs to the audience, but as Mr Morris advanced a few steps to address the crowd they faced round. Mr Morris remarked that when he thought of the manner in which the Salvation Army utilised the marriage ceremony many times for the benefit of the on-looker, he came to the conclusion that there might be some opportunity that night for a lesson on moral or spiritual improvement, and in a few well-chosen words of advice he addressed the throng before him. Then the party quitted the cage. There was only one regrettable omission. "Ach," said an observant lady, standing at the rails, "whit wey did he no' kiss her."

The secret of the mode of departure from the building had been well kept. The exit of the bride and bridegroom was made from the rear door of the building. It was witnessed by only a privileged few, and was made amid a shower of rice and confetti and a salvo of adieux and good wishes from the Jungle company and other friends.

The Minister's Attitude.

After the ceremony the Rev. Mr Morris told an "Evening Times" representative that he did not feel at all nervous during the time he was among the lions. Indeed, he was rather surprised at not being called upon to go neared the animals. He had consented to perform the service because he felt that there might be some opportunity of impressing one or two of the crowd. On the whole the behaviour of the audience was seemly enough, but there were a number of them, he imagined, who hardly realised the solemnity of the service. He held that there was no reason why a wedding ceremony inside a lions' den should not be as solemn and impressive a ceremony as elsewhere.

Naturally, the bride and bridegroom were anxious to be off after the ceremony was over. "Did you feel nervous?" asked the "Evening Times" man. "Not very," was the reply of both. "We knew we were quite safe."

"Of course," said Trainer Tallon, "the ceremony came off all right. How should it have been otherwise? My charges were on their best behaviour, and appreciated their responsibilities as well brought-up lions should do."

"I can't say I'm sorry it's over," admitted Manager Tudor. "While the audience were protected by the iron bars of the arena, there was nothing but thin air between the bridal party and the lions. Lions are lions all the world over."