Ron McLachlan, of Ballina, reflects on his 21-year hobby of collecting crabs, preserving them and placing them in his house ? w
Ron McLachlan, of Ballina, reflects on his 21-year hobby of collecting crabs, preserving them and placing them in his house ? w

Ron?s crabby and his house guests love it

By BREE PRICE

RON McLachlan admits most people who walk into his Ballina home wear a look of surprise.

The first thing you see is a 3kg mudcrab sitting on the kitchen table.

Behind it, the walls of his living room are covered with more than 25 dead lobsters and crabs, with shells and fish woven into blue netting.

The largest crab has tiny red lights where its eyes once were, and a movement sensor blinks the lights at you as you walk past.

For more than 20 years, Mr McLachlan, 80, has collected and preserved all types of crustaceans before attaching them to wooden boards and hanging them in his home.

Mr McLachlan said he injected the meat of the crab with preserving chemicals on a regular basis for several weeks.

He then cleaned the shell with metho and gave it a coat of varnish.

His collection includes a swimmer crab, spanner crab, coral crab, a Moreton Bay bug, yabbies and seahorses.

"People get a hell of a surprise. The real estate agent was more interested in my wall than taking photos of the house," he said.

"I've got it down to a fine art. It keeps me out of trouble."



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