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6th Dec, 2021

Monkey in unlikely campaign to save it after decades as Solihull landmark

AN ENDANGERED species of monkey larking around in Solihull town centre is the subject of an unlikely and not-so tongue-in-cheek campaign to save it.

The performing monkey in question – or monkeys, to be precise – have been somersaulting in the window of Gordon Scott shoe shop, High Street, since the 1960s.

The store owned by Jones Bootmaker is closing on September 7.

The 160-year-old Jones Bootmaker has been closing other stores nationally, and was earlier this year bought out of administration by private equity firm Endless.

And the fate of the monkey has appeared to instill in people a little more than a sense of amusement.

Some have taken to Facebook and contacted us with nostalgic affection, after first being introduced to the monkey in their childhood.

They also note it has in turn become a well-known Solihull landmark for their children and grandchildren.

Marc Brook wrote on Facebook: “So, Gordon Scott on Solihull High Street is closing down.

“What will happen to the landmark that is ‘The Gordon Scott Monkey’?

“For too many years to remember it has brought many a child a chuckle and smile, even scared some…..

“Please like this page so we can save the monkey and have it rehoused somewhere else in the town centre…..

“Suggestions received so far include Children’s area of Solihull Library, Touchwood, but if you are a local business or have some better options please comment on the page.”

The Solihull Observer was also contacted with the following words: “Hello. I know this isn’t a huge news story but definitely human interest.

“Gordon Scott in Solihull is closing down which is sad as it’s been there a long time.

“However the main outcry is regarding the somersaulting monkey in the window which has been a firm favourite since I was a child and further back (I’m 41) and my two year old niece now loves him too.

“There has been an outpouring of support for the monkey and a wish to have him rehomed once the shop closes, so much so there is a Twitter and Facebook campaign to save him. On Facebook alone he has over 300 supporters.”

One reply on Facebook from Cathy Barr reads: “I was just saying to my sister today that I was going to start a facebook page to save the monkey.”

In 2014, Gordon Scott Solihull store tweeted: “The new baby monkey in Solihull has been christened Gordon!

“Congratulations to our prize draw winner Rosie Bilsland who voted for the name Gordon AND has won a family trip to Twycross Zoo

“Pop in to the Solihull library any time to see Gordon’s older brother Charlie who has now retired from the store!”

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