Saturday, 1 March 2014
Three men - riding llamas
Three men hiking up a mountain with a telescope proved an impossible task so my offering has to be three men on llamas.
The card itself was sent to me from France three years ago with the only information on the reverse being "Hommes et lamas" from Editions du Désastre, Paris. I spent quite some time trying to find out where in France these llamas might have been found without any success.
It wasn't until I remembered the clever Google search by image that I found an exact match, and via Getty Images I realised that the image originated in England. Not at Ampthill House Llama Farm as suggested by Getty Images but at Wingfield Zoo, Ampthill also known as Ampthill Zoo. There are further images of the same type at Ampthill Images website.
Apparently it was a private zoo maintained by Mr Wingfield from the late 1800s until after World War I. He had all sorts of animals other than llamas roaming freely: camels, bison, pigs ostriches, all great attractions, especially as rides. The animals were gradually transferred to Whipsnade Zoo (created 1926) when the estate zoo was gradually run down.
Further information about the town of Ampthill in Bedfordshire, including Ampthill House and the zoo, can be found on the Towns in Britain site.