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Up to Our Eyes in it. (Snippet No.6)

June 29, 2010 Gallery, The Letters Comments Off on Up to Our Eyes in it. (Snippet No.6)

Reading through the letters brings up many interesting topics..but I can’t resist adding this to the blog even though it is rather childish, it made me laugh..and that is good enough reason at the moment.

From a letter to Mrs Greg from the Assistant curator 31st July 1923…..

“…Secondly, we have been compelled by the authorities to have the drains of this institution relaid so we are up to our eyes in it and will be until about the middle of August.”


“Moths in the Lumber Room” (Snippet No.5)

June 25, 2010 The Letters 1 Comment

Envelope addressed to Mr Batho Esq

Letter to Mr Batho from Mary Greg, June 4th 1924, talking about some dresses she wishes to donate to the Gallery…

“I want to get them sent off but not to lie in boxes in some lumber room where the moths may destroy them.”

The reply , on the 6th July 1924, is from the Assistant Curator ,who like the curators today, clearly takes great pride in looking after their collections and replies with..

“We will see to it that they will not be placed in any lumber room and you must never for one moment think we allow moths amongst our exhibits. Anything liable is examined often and kept clean.”

You can almost sense the horror in their voice that anyone would think they have moths and that  exhibits might be  stored in a lumber room.


Thomas Alfred Coward

October 28, 2009 Hidden Stories 1 Comment

T. A. Coward, acting keeper of Manchester Museum writes to Mr. Batho in 1922 thanking him for the ‘very nice specimen of Platypus from Mrs. Greg’. I emailed the museum to find out more about him. He was an ornithologist and in the 1980’s George Fildes compiled notes on his history.

Thomas Alfred Coward, M.Sc

T.A Coward was a famous Cheshire Naturalist and author of popular ornithological books and had a long and influential association with the Manchester Museum. He served 19 years on the Museum Committee. He was born and died in Bowden, not far from the River Bollin where his house still stands marked with a blue plaque in his honour.

Coward was in his time President of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society and a fellow of the Zoological and Entomological Societies.

His books include…

Birds of Cheshire 1900

The Vertebrate Fauna of Cheshire and Liverpool Bay 1910

Birds of the British Isles and their Eggs 1919.


Arthur Knowles Sabin

In searching for the relatives of the correspondents I’m discovering all sorts. Mr Sabin, Mary’s friend from Bethnal Green Museum, now the V&A Museum of Childhood was a poet! His works include The Death of Icarus. He also was an  early founder of the Samurai Press.