James Craythorne (see below) joined the Belle Vue staff in the 1880s when he was 12 he was hired to work beside his father who was in charge of the reptile collection in the Belle Vue Museum. The Craythorns were responsible for the preservation of the skeleton of the famous elephant Marharaja (shown below in the Belle Vue Museum and now in the Manchester Museum.)
James performed a number of tasks in the zoo including working with the sealions and finally taking responsibility for the Reptile House. When James retired in 1944 his son Albert took over from him. Below are a number of photographs of the Craythorns over the years.
The Craythornes with a komodo dragon