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Compiled by Roger Edwards, Special Projects Officer, Glasgow Zoopark, December 2000

3. Cutting the first turf, Friday 31st May 1946

The 'cutting of the first turf' to mark the beginning of the Zoo development was performed by the wife of the second president, the Countess of Dumfries.


The Countess of Dumfries.


Joan Benson, daughter of Sydney Benson, watched by the Society president, the Earl of Dumfries, presenting a bouquet to the Countess of Dumfries. In the background is the marquee from Strachan Kerr Limited, Caterers (see Strachan Kerr in photograph F. below).


The Countess of Dumfries with A. McNab Chassels (vice-president).


The Society president, the Earl of Dumfries, addressing the gathering. Seated behind are (from left) Sydney Benson (Society secretary and now director of the Zoo), unknown, A. McNab Chassels (vice-president), two unknown, the Lord Provost of Glasgow (Mr Hector McNeil), the Countess of Dumfries.


Joan Benson, daughter of Sydney Benson presenting a bouquet to the Countess of Dumfries. Seated from right are Dr James Johnstone (vice-president) and the Earl of Dumfries (president). The man in spectacles is Tom H. Gillespie, director of Edinburgh Zoo.


Joan Benson, daughter of Sydney Benson presenting a bouquet to the Countess of Dumfries. Between them, smiling, is Strachan Kerr, an original Council member. To the left are the Lord Provost of Glasgow (Mr Hector McNeil) and the Earl of Dumfries (president).


The front row: the central four from left are the Lord Provost of Glasgow (Mr Hector McNeil), the Countess of Dumfries, her husband the Society president, the Earl of Dumfries, and Dr James Johnstone (vice-president).


The front row closer: the central four from left are the Lord Provost of Glasgow (Mr Hector McNeil), the Countess of Dumfries, her husband the Society president, the Earl of Dumfries, and Dr James Johnstone (vice-president). Russell's Ice Cream van in the background.

NOTES : These notes come primarily from a taped interview with W.R.S. MacKenzie (Society President) and others in July 1987.

1. Russell's Ice Cream . Mr Russell was a very keen photographer (some of these pictures may be his). He was a caterer, and also ran the catering at Craigend Castle, the zoo at Mugdock, Milngavie. A lot of other stories.