Christian the Lion with Bill Travers, John Rendall, Ace Berg, and Virginia McKenna at the beach

Photo: © Virginia McKenna/

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Bill, John, Ace, Virginia and Christian at the Beach
"We had that wonderful morning where we went down to the beach on the south coast of England in the very early morning and ran along the beach with him. The thing is, not every lion likes water, so we'd hoped he would have a bit of a paddle and a splash, but he didn't really like the water at all. He dipped his toes in—or his paws in—then shook them and then didn't want anything more to do with the sea. But we brought balloons, and we chased along the beach, and then we all flopped down and had a lovely sit together. It was like a dream, in a way. Of course, you couldn't do anything like that now with all the rules, but in those days, things could happen."
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