By Mick Jensen
Heather Kaye is mad about owl memorabilia and has an impressive collection of well over 500 items scattered around her Chertsey home.
She has been a “wise owl” collector for over 40 years and has fond memories of visiting her grandparents on their Seafield farm and seeing an impressive owl statue when she was young.
That statue was a wedding present to her grandparents and is now in her possession.
She too received a similar statue as a gift from a family member when she married.
Heather still owns a pair of baby shoes with an owl on them that belonged to one of her children.
Owl memorabilia and souvenirs come in all shapes and forms in her home.
There’s outdoor owl art, a china cabinet crammed with brass and china owls of all colours and shapes and even an owl ashtray.
Owls also feature in jigsaw puzzles, on tea towels, socks, bottle openers and calendars.
Her favourite pieces include an owl carved from a single piece of wood and a cute owl playing a violin.
“My god mother played the violin, so it reminds me of her,” said Heather.
“I’m trying to give up collecting them because ‘m running out of room, but it’s a hard passion to give up.”
Heather receives owl souvenirs as gifts from friends and family and enjoys crafting her own.
Past creations with owls on them include wool rugs and embroidered items.
She has earmarked an owl mosaic as a future project to tackle.
“I saw a real owl once at Willowbank in Christchurch and I was just so excited, it was beautiful.”