‘Tropical World’ or just a grubby greenhouse?

From: Michael Booth, The Birches, Bramhope, Leeds.

I HAVEN’T visited Roundhay Park for some 60 years and last week I took a fellow octagenarian to show off Tropical World – big mistake.

On entry, I paid the £3.40 per head charge and entered what can only be described as a filthy greenhouse, quite full of ailing tropical plants growing in well- trodden beds which hadn’t seen a hoe or a rake for some considerable time, although the plants themselves did bear a good crop of half dead leaves.

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There was a large number of glass tanks for fish and reptiles, but unfortunately the tanks were so dirty we could barely see the fish in some of them and a lot of the reptile tanks were unoccupied. During our visit, we saw three free-flying butterflies and five/six small tropical birds – – no meerkats or other animals.

The large waterfall would have been quite spectacular had its stream water been clean, alas, it wasn’t. I expected it to be warm in a “tropical house” but it was almost unbearable. Surely at £3.40 per head the Parks Dept could afford a few plastic cups and cold water every few yards as is provided at the Eden Project?

Altogether both my friend, who hadn’t been to Leeds before, and I were thoroughly disappointed. As a Leeds “loiner” who had been bragging about Roundhay Park, I was ashamed.