The Wollaton Puffin

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Wollaton Puffin' page

By R B Parish

In 1953 a curious ornithological find was made on the Oxton to Southwell in road by a Donald Brister of West Bridgford – a puffin a bird more familiar of the cliffs and rocks around our coast, not this rural scene. Mr. Brister named it Tussy and it became a local celebrity:

“ TUSSY THE PUFFIN GOES VISITING. Tussy the puffin went visiting yesterday. Five hundred children at the Musters-road infant school West Bridgford, queued up after afternoon classes to stroke Tussy and watch him splash about in an improvised tank. Tussy was found last weekend, limping along the South-Oxton road, by Mr. Donald Brister, of 18 Leahurst-gardens, West Bridgford. Mr Brister took him home and has looked after him ever since. Mr Brister’s six-and-a-half-year-old son, Roderick, is a pupil at the school, where the children take a keen interest in Nature studies; so Tussy was taken along to let the children have a look at him. Tussy lives in a box at Mr. Brister’s home, but so far has refused any food. The only thing which took his fancy was a tropical fish in Mr. Brister’s aquarium. But the plate glass kept him out.”They often go without food for a month” Mr. Brister said “They have to lose weight so that they can fly.” Mr Brister intends to look after the Puffin until he can return to his natural surroundings.”

Sadly, although Mr. Brister did take him home, Tussy did not eat, sand eels the food of puffins being rather rare in the county and so consequently it soon died. His body presented it to the Natural History Museum at Wollaton. He was stuffed by their taxidermist, Leonard Wilde and it had remained in the collection ever since.


This page was added by R B Parish on 13/11/2013.
Comments about this page

Is Tussy really still around after all these years? I remember him well!

By Rod Brister
On 30/11/2014

Thanks for you Comment, Rod.  We are informed that Tussy is still on show at the Wollaton Hall natural history museum in Nottingham

By Website Administrator
On 05/12/2014

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