Woolly Zoo uncages crafty animals at Hull History Centre

One of Hull’s most exotic historical attractions has been recreated – entirely from wool.

In 1861, the city’s hugely popular Spring Bank Zoological Gardens, which featured an impressive collection of animals including elephants, lions, tigers and polar bears, closed to the public.

Now, a century and a half later, Hull History Centre has recreated the lost attraction after staff and members of the public knitted and crocheted animals of all sizes, from a 6cm goat to a 6ft giraffe.

The Hull Woolly Zoo exhibition, at the centre in Worship Street, Hull, is open until Saturday 7 April. Entry is free. Visitors can pick up a free trial map to be guided around the centre in search of some animals that have escaped their enclosures.

And guests will be able to take home some of the animals as a charity auction allows visitors to place bids on many of the crafty creations and own them for good when the exhibition closes.

Councillor Terry Geraghty, Hull City Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Tourism and Chair of Hull Culture & Leisure Limited, said: “Staff at the Hull History Centre, along with volunteers, have worked hard to create a magnificent attraction, which has already been viewed by a huge amount of people. This exhibition is a fantastic way for visitors to learn about one of Hull’s most famous historical attractions.”

The centre is running a series of free events to accompany the exhibition.

On Tuesday 13 February, the centre’s Lunch Time Club talk, The Zoo on the Avenue, will explore the history of the gardens that inspired the exhibition. The event, from 12.30pm to 1.30pm, will be hosted at the Maritime Museum.

On Wednesday 7 March, an informal Knit and Natter session will be held from 10am to 1pm, to offer advice on help offered by the History Centre. And on Wednesday 28 March from 11am to 1.30pm, the centre will host a Teddy Bear’s Picnic.

To book, or for more details, call 01482 317 500 or visit www.hullhistorycentre.org.uk