Chessington History EssayChessington Zoo was opened in July 1931 as a private venture by Reginald Goddard who invited the public to view his private animal collection. After the War Chessington soon became known for the different types of entertainment it could offer:- a circus, a funfair and a miniature railway as well as the zoo. Despite this in the early 1970s the attendance figures of over 800,000 began to decline. The Zoo was in need of further investment. In 1978 the Pearson Group bought Chessington and when they later bought Madame Tussauds, they put all their leisure interests together to form the Tussauds Group. 1981 saw the beginning of the planning for the transformation of Chessington. Six years and i 12m later the Park was ready. It was opened in July 1987 by H. R. H. Prince Edward. The opening coincided with the opening of the M25 which gives easy access to the Park from various parts of the country. Approximately 18m people live within a 2 hour drive of the Park.