Hastings Rarities Affair

From Historical Hastings

In August 1962, an ornithological journal entitled ‘British Birds’ published two articles examining the topic of some rare birds that had been reported as being found in the Hastings area between 1890 and 1930. The authors, Max Nicholson and James Ferguson-Lees, aimed to prove, by statistical analysis and comparison of records, that many, if not all, of the rare birds that had been recorded as being found in the Hastings area were the result of a deliberate deception carried out by George Bristow, a taxidermist of St. Leonards. It was suspected that Bristow had the birds shipped to him in a frozen condition and later stuffed them, intending them to be a portrayal of actual finds.[1]