Market Monkey Mania
The Capuchin Monkey
The Capuchin Monkey seems to be a popular monkey of choice for exploitative purposes due to their high level of intelligence and skill for adapting themselves to suit the task before them. Sadly this has made them the prime target for animal laboratory experiments over the years
They are also seen as 'nature's butlers' and have made a sizable impact as service animals...some having been trained to take care of quadriplegics around the home...seeing them perform tasks such as washing the patient, preparing basic meals, opening packages and tins and cleaning and tidying.
They can be kept as pets but this requires the procurement of a proper licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act and the local authority will have to check out your home to see if you can look after the monkey safely and considerately.
It might seem like a charming idea...but you should explore all aspects of owning a monkey before taking the plunge. We are not all as rich and frivolous as a certain mop-haired young pop star who can drop his monkey at will when the mood suits. Allegedly ;)
Capuchins were also often seen in the streets of Europe and America as assistants to the organ-grinders of the 19th and early 20th century...where they would dance and perform tricks and collect money from the enraptured public as the organ man cranked out his tone-deaf rhythm-mangling tunes with relentless regularity...much to the distress of the musical connoisseur.
So there you have it...a little potted history of the role of the Capuchin Monkey in modern history...rounded off nicely with the reason I made this little feature in the first place...the curiosity of the use of the monkey for photography purposes at markets and in streets around Britain.
When I first decided to make a hub with pictures of people holding monkeys at markets I thought there would be lots of information and narratives online...pertaining to the photographic guise of these cute little creatures...but no...hardly anything.
So...without further ado...I give you a small collection of photographs of people holding warmly-dressed primates.
The photos from Maidstone Market were posted in the 'MEmories of Maidstone' facebook group...and the ones from Romford Market were published in the Romford Recorder in January 2013. These are the ONLY ONES I can find anywhere...so if anyone has had their piccie taken with one of these adorable little critters...and still has the photo....please please message me or leave a comment on here...and we can add it to this hub if you are interested in being a famous 'kid-with-monkey' subject
Here's a picture from Maidstone market with Lucia McKnight and her mum
I was surprised when this one cropped up on the MEmories of Maidstone FaceBook page...it's the latest I've seen....1977...and the only colour one I've seen. I'd assumed that the 'photo-with-monkey' phenomenon had been phased out during the very early 70's. Thanks for the photo, Jason, and whilst I'm on the subject, a big thank you to all the people who have given me photos to use x
Geoff Collins at Margate, probably Dreamland or on the seafront parade. 1968. He's not really changed that much tbh
Duncan Monk at Maidstone Market, probably 1965-66. Digging the jumper
Here's a rarity, what we call the 'double monkey older couple' shot.
It's Emily and her second husband Harry Lambert. Maidstone Market, late 60's.
Emily being grandmother to the donator of photo, Stephen Golding
Jill Fennell at Hastings Pier, and in her own words 'Hastings Pier. September definitely, possibly 1976. Cheeky monkey owner snuck up behind me and threw them on my hair and they kind of clambered on board!'
Dionne Law and her sister Samantha, with monkey in Maidstone Market circa 1968/69. (Dionne is now Dionne Noakes)
Adrian Holdstock and little sister Nicci Holdstock in Brighton in 1982
Dreamland, Margate in the 70's
and here, above, we have Shaun A J Stockdale, at Dreamland Amusement Park in Margate, Kent
Maidstone & Memories
Most of these photos, and a lot of the people, can be found in the FaceBook group, Maidstone and Memories. Here's the link
Should people keep Capuchin Monkeys as house-pets?
It's interesting to note that the Capuchin Monkey has a lifespan of 15-20 years in the wild...but can double that...sometimes triple...in captivity
Thank you for looking in and please feel free to comment below...especially if you have any memories of photographers with Capuchins at markets or anywhere else. I also recall seeing one outside The Hazlitt Theatre in Maidstone many moons ago...and I think it might even have been with a mini barrel-organ.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this article...so if you have any opinions to offer...or experiences or examples to share...please put them in the 'comments ' section below.
Perhaps you have your own story to tell ?
What do you think ?
How do you feel ?
What is your opinion ?
Are you working on something similar ?
I will respond to all comments and I look forward to hearing from you