About us

We (Martin and Steve Goss) have been keeping arachnids and insects for the best part of 40 years on and off. We were introduced to the fascinating world of insects at an early age by our late father Harry and his friend Bill Coster who were both keen entomologists. As children we would love being taken out into the country, or just to pieces of waste ground around East London and spending hours hunting for insects, or staying up late while the grown ups set up portable light traps and sugared trees etc. Harry and Bill were involved in The Rothamsted Insect Survey, and we had one of their light traps in our garden for many years which produced an endless stream of insects into our lives. It was back then that we were taken to our 1st Amateur Entomological Society (A.E.S) exhibition (1972) and were introduced to the most amazing world of keeping invertebrates. Much of what was available was either dead insects or a few live caterpillars but a few people were selling mantis and spiders. Here we got our first spider, a Brachypelma vagans which was followed a few years later by a Brachypelma smithi and some Mantis. There we met Ronald Baxter, one of the biggest spider breeders of that time and who, fortunately for us, lived quite near and therefore provided us with many of our spiders. After several years we found the address of a small group of spider enthusiasts who had set up a society called the British Tarantula Fellowship, which shortly after became the British Tarantula Society. The first meeting we went to was in a garage at the rear of some houses with a massive turn out of about 20 people. A far cry from the shows held now where it is closer to 5000. As well as keeping and breeding several species of silk moths and stick insects, our collection of spiders grew and my room was soon full of cages and pots. After one too many escapes our father decided that, for the sake of our mothers sanity, we should move our collection outside. He built an extension to the garage for us to use as an animal house, and over the coming years we took over the remainder of the garage as our collection grew to several hundred adult spiders. Over time, as our interests changed this space has been used to house many different types of animals, including ant colonies, exotic birds, reptiles, snakes, amphibians and small mammals as can be seen in our pictures gallery. Since returning to our original love of arachnids and insects several years ago we have managed to refill this space and are now looking to extend the animal house even more...