From when we were about 8 year’s old in 1965, my friend Gillian and I used to walk to Rochester from Strood every weekend to buy stamps for our collection in the Rochester Stamp shop and then visit the City Museum at Eastgate House, which was free to enter.
We remember always spending time gazing at the exquisite Doll’s House and then looking through the beautiful Butterfly Collections displayed in cases on the walls and in large wooden cabinets. The cabinets comprised of dozens of drawers just deep enough to display the butterflies under glass, and we would spend hours just pulling them out and looking through them, amazed at the variety of colour, patterns and species.
We didn’t understand that Naturalists in the early 19th century collected butterflies for scientific study to try to understand the evolutionary secrets of the Earth, and so we had mixed feelings about the collection - sadness at the thought of all the beautiful creatures killed in their prime, and delight that they were displayed in all their glory.
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Barbara and Eddie Goldsmith
Edwin John Elliot
Stephanie Goodrum (nee Cole)
Mrs Y Atkinson