Wednesday, 21 October 2009

STATION JIM AND LONDON JACK...


This is Station Jim. From1894-1896 he worked for the Great Western Railway as a canine charity collector. Based at Slough Station, and now stuffed, Jim is on permanent display on Platform 5. His glass case has its very own collection slot - still raising funds in doggy heaven. The Virtual Victorian is very fond of Jim and often stops by for a quick hello, though it has to be said he does look a little moth-eaten these days.


And this noble fellow is London Jack. He worked at Paddington Station from 1894-1900, collecting coins in the box on his back for the orphaned children of railwaymen who were killed in the early days of steam trains. He raised more than £450 in his lifetime, and like Jim, went on to collect even more when he was dead and stuffed. Today, Jack is on display at the National History Museum in Tring which contains many examples of nineteenth century taxidermy.

8 comments:

  1. These remind me of the taxidermy museum that used to be at Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor. There was a stuffed dog just like these, and some bloke was standing there videoing it for about five minutes. I don't know if he was expecting it to do a trick or something.

    I've never been to the Tring Museum, even though it's only a few miles away from me.

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  2. Caro, you are absolutely right!

    In 1996, Jack was sent to Potter's Museum at Jamaica Inn, then ended up on a internet auction site before being homed at the Natural History Museum in Tring - where there are several galleries full of stuffed animals! I've never been but it looks fascinating - if not a little macabre.

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  3. Your lovely post on taxidermy lends itself to plotting ... perhaps Mr. Russeau should have a bevy of stuffed creatures, should we ever visit his abode.

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  4. 88 Letters - yes, very much a Victorian form of household decoration and excellent for use in plot!

    The book I had translated into Russian has a stuffed crow (not that anyone but the Russians and me know that), and the story I'm working on now has a stuffed monkey...in fact, just off to see if I can find a pic of something similar to post.

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  5. Oh! This reminds me of my visit to The Museum of Everything in London in which two rooms were devoted to taxidermy. Aren't these dogs gorgeous and probably very beloved.

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  6. Kate - I had another post lined up about the Museum of Everything (with Peter Blake curating?) and lost it...I must try to do something else on that show though - it looked fascinating and brought together some wonderful examples of Victorian taxidermy.

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  7. London Jack was at WATERLOO not Paddington. There were at least three other London Jack's at the station plus a number of other London & South Western stations had them (Southampton, Eastleigh, Aldershot, etc.) there being at least fifteen collecting for the L&SWR Orphanage at Woking by 1916

    Fred Neill

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  8. Dear Unknown,

    Couldn't comment last night as I was travelling, but have now checked my material and the National History Museum definitely has London Jack listed as being at Paddington. Perhaps there were others at Waterloo too.

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