Elephants are jumbo passion for Rochester woman with 3,000 models
Maureen Davey at home
with her elephant wallpaper
by Nicola Jordan
The elephant is regarded as sacred by millions of Hindus
Closer to home, Maureen Davey has her own shrine to the giant
The 63-year-old has more than 3,000 models of elephants of all
shapes and sizes crammed into her flat in Rochester.
Carpets, wallpaper, mugs, jugs, door knobs, toilet roll holder,
tea towels - everywhere you look there are jumbos.
Maureen lives and sleeps elephants – her bed headboard features
the creatures – and she's the first to admit she's jumbo
When she met her husband Doug on a coach holiday in Switzerland,
it was his chat-up line 'Can I come round and see your elephant
collection?', that led to them getting married.
An elephant is even
painted on Maureen Davey's front door
Maureen's giant passion started when she was just eight when her
father gave her a pack of cards featuring her four-legged
She said: "I've always loved all animals and wanted to be a
"But there was something special that sparked straight away. I
was fascinated by the way they are so like us and are so family
Since then, deciding what to buy Maureen for birthdays and
Christmas has never been a problem for friends, family or
Her mammoth passion has taken the couple around the world. She's
been to Thailand, home to the unique white elephant and ridden
elephants in Sri Lanka.
Maureen Davey got up
close with elephants in Sri Lanka
Doug's 50th birthday gift to his wife was spending four hours
with the elephants at London Zoo.
She said: "It was one of the best experiences I have had being
so close to them. I have no fear of them and I don't actually
understand how people can be scared."
Much of her spare time is spent trawling around charity and
antique shops for elephant memorabilia and sewing her
Once inside her one-bedroom apartment, visitors have to squeeze
past four large glass cabinets crammed with elephantine
Maureen said: "It takes me at least four hours to dust, but
it's worth it. I know I'm nuts, but I can't watch Dumbo without a
box of tissues."
Have you got a passion for elephants or another animal? Let us
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