Caroline's news

The lost zoo of Walworth remembered, 175 years on

In 1834, arguably the greatest attraction in the country at the time was formally opened in Walworth, in the shape of a 15-acre exotic zoo. It housed not only elephants, rhinoceroses and leopards but also the first giraffes ever seen in the UK. As well as the zoo, the Royal Surrey Zoological Gardens also hosted spectacular shows that incorporated large scale scenes of historical events, such as the eruption of Vesuvius or the Siege of Sebastopol. These were popular shows of the day using specially constructed sets and special effects such as fireworks, or burning ships which were part of naval battle re-enactments. One recreation of the city of Rome covered 5 acres.

The venue was so popular that it once drew crowds of up to eight thousand visitors a day and over 500,000 people came to see one spectacular during its first 100 days. Its music hall could hold over 12,000 people and put on concerts of up to 1000 performers.

However, by the late 1840s the popularity of the zoo was beginning to fade, and the animals were sold off, the music hall was destroyed by a fire, and the park was finally closed in 1877.

Caroline writes for Lib Dem Voice on Tube closures

In an article for the Lib Dem Voice website, Caroline describes the difficulties of carrying out repair work efficiently on the Underground, and asks whether it would be better to accept lines shutting completely for a few weeks, rather than disruption continuing for months.

Caroline says:

LibDems and Londoners need to face reality: would you prefer a six week closure of a section of Tube line and get the work over and done with (more efficiently and so at lower cost), or do we stick with 19 weekend closures and take four months? We have many years of this work ahead so it is perhaps time Boris made up his mind.

What would YOU want him to do?

Pullens summer open studios

Simon Hughes MP joined Caroline for the summer open studios on the Pullens Estate in West Walworth. After a wander around the wonderful artistic studios chatting to local residents and businesses, including jewellers, painters, photographers, dress designers and ceramic artists, the team enjoyed some food and drink in the wonderful Electric Elephant Café run by Louisa.

“The weather held off for another successful Pullens open studios. The work never fails to impress me” commented Caroline Pidgeon.

The Mayor needs to green the bus and taxi fleet

Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson at City Hall and Chair of the Assembly’s Transport Committee, today published a response to the Mayor’s Statement of Intent on transport.

Commenting, Caroline said:
“Londoners are looking for cleaner, greener and cheaper solutions on transport in London. The key transport challenges for London in the next decade really turn on what the Mayor, business and the taxpayer can afford.


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