Guildford Museum of Natural History Excursion, March

Michael Buzza’s “Museum of Natural History” in Guildford, is just that. From the metre long skull of an ICHTHYOSAURUS [found in Dorset, England in 1986], to a pair of Mammoth tusks, from a branch showing 20 differently coloured Budgerigars, to the rare pale form of the New Zealand Kiwi, the hall was full of exciting pieces of natural history. Even the geologists were catered for, with displays of rare crystals, including the beautiful CELESTINE [Strontium sulphate], from Madagascar, and OKENITE, a zeolite from India.

Michael’s Museum was once the location of the Guildford Picture Theatre and its walls are now bedecked with mounted heads of Bison, Deer, Kudu, and even that of an Elephant. A pair of African Elephant tusks [2.25 m each], straddle a pair of Tiger skin rugs on the eastern side of the hall. Fish models, including several species of Shark, hang from the ceiling on the western side of the hall.

The centre of the hall has numerous glass cages exhibiting Thorny Devils, snakes, and even the Frilled Lizard from the Kimberley district. Lions, Tigers, a Bobcat, and even a Cougar were some of the cats on display. Michael managed to get a set of timber drawers from the London Museum, in which are colourful butterflies, cicadas with coloured wings, some huge moths and many centipedes, scorpions and other invertebrates. Also on display, there were skeletons of an eagle, an Ostrich, many mammals and even a large snake. (Try counting the ribs!!) Michael has an 8 minute video on the Museum, which people can watch from armchairs. A highly recommended venue.

Eric McCrum