This project is about the different meanings and uses of ostensibly scientific specimens. So I was delighted to find out about a taxidermy mount of a greyhound called ‘Bed of Stone’ now on display in Blackburn.
During a recent ‘New Light on Old Bones’ team meeting, Vinai Solanki kindly pointed her out; thanks to him and Mark Steadman, I now know she was a champion racer who won the Waterloo Cup in 1872, and later was somewhat talismanic in local politics. Her owner’s brother was the Blackburn MP William Briggs – her name stemmed from the family’s quarrying interests.
This specimen of Canis familiaris stands deservedly proudly in Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery’s wonderfully eclectic social history display, embodying not only her zoological characteristics, but also local sporting and political history.