Competition for School Children to set the scene for George the swinging Chimp!


George the swinging Chimp is well known to all who live locally. He has been in the store for over 50 years and many people remember visiting the Toy department  as children and seeing George. Now they bring their own children in to visit him too.  Because of George’s strong bond with Colchester people, Williams & Griffin have decided that he is the right man for the job of overseeing the store’s redevelopment.

The real ‘George’ will stay in the Toy department during the redevelopment, along with the newly-named animated Dinosaur ‘Tyrone’.

However ‘George the Mascot’ will be seen popping up in all sorts of places, overseeing and informing customers of what’s happening in-store, and making sure that everything is going to plan!

The modern George today, has set up his own facebook page (georgetheswingingchimp) so you can keep up with his antics on-line. Last week he was trying on Timberland boots in the new W&G Shoe Hall to get fitted out for the store redevelopment works! His fun facebook site will contain colouring in sheets and activities for children, and information about George and his exciting times at Williams & Griffin throughout the store redevelopment.

Do you have any early memories of George the swinging Chimp? Do they remember when he first arrived at W&G?  Did you work at the store or in the Toy department when he first arrived? Do you have pictures of George from years ago? Williams & Griffin would love to hear about it. Any information can be directed to with ‘George’ in the subject box or post to 152 High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1PN.

Williams & Griffin and working together . . .

As ‘George the swinging Chimps’ habitat is due to change at Williams & Griffin, there are also plans being discussed for a new chimpanzee enclosure at Colchester Zoo. There are currently 8 Chimps in ‘Chimp World’, 3 males and 5 females. The oldest chimp is Billy-Joe who was born in 1975, mother to Tara and Kora. Tara is the mother to Tekita, who is the mother to Tumba. The youngest chimp was born in 2009, Talia. Pippin is the largest male of the group and was born at Twycross in 1986 and finally there is Tombe, the dominant male.

The ‘Chimp World’ enclosure is due to be completely refurbished with outside housing which will double the size of the enclosure. The works are not officially scheduled yet but will take several months to complete – so watch this space!

George  is inviting local children to be part of his story  . . .schoolpack

George will be featured in many locations around the store during the redevelopment, and he would like to give local children the opportunity to design a scene for him go up in the store. An entry pack will be sent to all Pre-schools, Nurseries and Primary Schools by mid February 2014.

A minimum of 4 competition winners will receive goodies for themselves and for their school, pre-school or nursery.

If you have any queries, please contact the store via email with ‘school competition’ in the subject header.

To find out more about the competition and download entry materials please visit:

Posted by Tracy Thomas


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