Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Alf Robertson was Conservation Officer at Camperdown Park from the late 60's to mid 80's.
Many of you around my age group will remember Alf from your school visits up to Camperdown Wildlife Centre. He used to do a guided tour around the various sections with one of the highlights being Alf with the golden eagle.
He wasn't only a wildlife expert, he was also an artist and timber contractor, so when combining all 3 talents he ended up personally designing and building, what went on to become, the Camperdown Wildlife Centre and zoo.
When he retired in 1985, he famously sculpted a highland cow out of wood which was presented to Dundee's twin town, Wurzburg.
Alf was born in Lochee, went to Harris, then Duncan Of Jordanstone, and died quite recently in 2009.
The above photo is from around the late 60's / early 70's period.


  1. I couldn't find any mention of Alf on the Camperdown Wildlife Centre website!

  2. 1977-ish, Alf Robertson used to bring his feathered friends to Craigie High for us to draw. There was an African grey parrot called Charlie, who was a great favourite, and hens that were allowed to wander freely around the art room. I'm sure he once brought the golden eagle to the school too.

  3. I remember our school class getting the wildlife tour up at Camperdown, and when we were in one of the enclosures we had just got there in time to see a rabbit give birth.
    Like wee pink jellybeans popping out!

  4. Neale, good chance that Alf did bring the golden eagle to your school. I remember the menagerie being brought to the Eastern in 1971/2, and the photo of my class with Alf and the eagle being on the front of the Tully.

  5. The Golden Eagles name was Aloysius

  6. Remember Alf visiting us at a Mossgiel primary school easter week at Belmont camp around 1973-74.
    Alf was a good man, cared for animals and taught us kids to do the same.
    God bless him.....

  7. The eagle Alf used for school visits was called Apollo. The job of teaching school children all about wild animals is now mine. I have between 4 and 5 thousand school pupils visit the zoo each year. Alf taught me how to teach and I still use some of his methods today. He started me as a volunteer at the age of 15 and I started full time 25 years ago now. I wish I could show him all of the new things we have now !

  8. Alf (or Papa as we knew him!) was my Grandfather, Im in my 30's now and a great deal of my earliest and fondest memories are in and around Camperdown, getting in about feeding and looking after the animals, great fun! (His house in Moniki in later years was full to the brim with animals too!)

    Its nice to hear everyone's memories are similar to mine, he was some character and had a great sense of humour and a cheeky wee smile he used to catch us children with when our parents weren't watching... made you feel like you were both in on the same wee secret!
    He passed on his love of animals to me and I have no doubt he also passed it on to countless children, makes me proud to hear these stories!

  9. Love my grandad more than anything!

    so proud of him and things like this just make me ever prouder :)

  10. Alf used to let my friends and I use the old out buildings in front of his house as our little club with the proviso we all did some work with the zoo keepers now and again. I had many happy years going there. Barbra , his daughter was at the Harris at the same time as me and his son Alan was always about at this time also. He was a great man, quiet but you didn't want to mess with him. He was so strong. amazing to think he was still going in 2009. He must have beena a good age by then.

  11. I remember Alf and I went to the Harris with his daughter Babs, she was brilliant at hockey, my shins can vouch for that! Jeremy the sugar puff bear was one of the residents in the zoo when I went there in the 60s. We used to roll our easter eggs in Camperdown Park every year, they were not chocolate eggs, they were boiled eggs! Alf did a brilliant job with that park, zoo, pitch and put, duck pond and the tea room in the 'big hoose'. Happy days.