Taxidermy makes a stop at museum

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PUPILS from a Portchester primary school came up close to nature of a historic kind.

Children from Red Barn Primary School were at the official opening of the Stuffed and Mounted exhibition at Westbury Manor Museum, in Fareham.

EXPLANATIONS From left, Willow Sykes, 10, William Doswell, 11, Charlotte Williams from Anchor, Westbury Manor Museum curator Tom de Wit and Izzy Rumso, 10, at the exhibition. Picture: Sarah Standing (14438-1175)

EXPLANATIONS From left, Willow Sykes, 10, William Doswell, 11, Charlotte Williams from Anchor, Westbury Manor Museum curator Tom de Wit and Izzy Rumso, 10, at the exhibition. Picture: Sarah Standing (14438-1175)

The taxidermy collection has come from Bishopstoke Park, Eastleigh, which has been turned into a retirement village.

Scores of dusty taxidermy pieces, from crows to widgeons, were saved during the restoration. The collection was owned by Thomas Atkinson Cotton and wife Charlotte and passed through the people who lived there since 1844, including Richard Gilman, a founder of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and HSBC Bank.

Curator Tom de Wit said: ‘It’s wonderful this great building has been saved. I’ve been astonished at the influence of the people who lived in this house. The work of Thomas and Charlotte Cotton laid the foundations for future discoveries, from DNA to modern genetics. The fact they had a passion to spread this knowledge is truly inspiring.’

Stuffed and Mounted will be at Westbury Manor Museum until March 22.