Ardentinny monkey puzzle


The photograph above of two children and a chimpanzee was provided by Elaine Allan, former owner of Blink Bonny Cottage, Ardentinny.

During renovation of the property some years ago, Elaine found the photograph hanging on a concealed wall. The image shows the children and chimp in front of a painted canvas backdrop of Glenfinart Bay and Shepherds Point. From the style of dress, it possibly dates from the 1950’s.

If anyone has any information on who the children are and how the photo came about, please get in touch.

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  1. Tom Rhodes says:

    FAO Margaret McPherson

    Sadly John Rhodes passed away on 24th May 2018.

  2. Ian MacPherson-Blane says:

    Ardentinny Monkey Puzzle
    I don’t know if the following is of any connection with the monkey puzzle story.
    Mrs Lilian M. Russell lived at Ashburn, Strone. She worked as a voluntary worker with Dr Albert Schweitzer in Africa up until about 1939.
    Sometimes when she came back from her work there she would bring a young monkey with her to ensure its life, the mother having been killed.
    She visited Ardentinny quite a few times with the monkey. She did write a book ‘My Monkey Friends’ and I was given one. Many years later I loaned it to someone but never got it back. She wrote quite a few books.
    Could the youngsters who lived in Ardentinny have known her or is there another story behind them?
    Is John Rhodes still alive? I remember him very well. I remember him taking us out in a rowing boat on Loch Long. (Us being me and Jeanie and Belle Johnstone).
    Margaret MacPherson

  3. admin says:

    We have received the following from Ian Rhodes:

    I think I can help with some information on those two children.

    First a little introduction to explain how I know! My father was John Rhodes (who older residents of Ardentinny may remember). His mother Christine (Chris) Rhodes owned Blink Bonny Cottage between 1938 and around 1961. The Blink Bonny of today was actually two separate cottages in 1938 that were spliced together to make the house big enough for them.

    My brother visited my dad (now 87) tonight and he told me there were two children who stayed at Blink Bonny as world war 2 evacuees when they weren’t away at school. The older boy was William (Bill) and the
    younger girl Daphne. Most of the year they went to boarding school in the Lake District (Bill) and Edinburgh (Daphne). Dad believes their dad was a doctor in the army and was captured in the Far East and held for the remainder of the war. We cannot help with any information with chimpanzee.

    (Dad’s brother – Thomas Gerald Rhodes – is named on the war memorial in the village).

    My dad then married Dorothy MacIntosh – the fifth daughter of the Donald & Lillian from Angle Cottage, unfortunately neither my mum or her four sisters (Molly, Evelyn, Sheila and Betty) are with us anymore.

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