Sir David Attenborough visits Lyme Regis Museum
- Credit: Archant
Legendary naturalist officially opens the new Mary Anning Wing
Lyme Regis Museum welcomed its most famous patron, Sir David Attenborough, to lead a special inauguration ceremony for the Mary Anning Wing, the new extension which opened in July.
In a speech to more than 200 museum supporters and funders, Sir David emphasised the importance of town to the development of the science of geology, and paid special reference to Lyme’s Mary Anning, the world’s first and greatest fossil hunter.
Sir David then unveiled the new sponsors’ plaque in the entrance to the museum, before enjoying a tour of the new fossil gallery led by noted geologist and museum trustee Tom Sharpe.
Whilst at the museum, Sir David met with children from Lyme’s schools, and together they investigated local fossils in the museum’s new Fine Foundation Learning Centre.
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David Tucker, Director of Lyme Regis Museum said, “It has been wonderful to have Sir David visit us. We take our educational role very seriously, and I hope the children who met Sir David will go away inspired. Who knows, there might be another great budding scientist in their midst.”
He added, “It was splendid that Sir David was able to help us thank the Heritage Lottery Fund, Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership and other institutions who have funded the Mary Anning Wing. We are immensely grateful for their support and will continue to do all we can to protect Lyme’s heritage and contribute to the local economy.”
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Present at the event was Stephen Boyce, chairman of the HLF South West Committee.
He said: “Home of geological and charitable ‘firsts’, the inspiration of literary greats and the place to go for generations of people fascinated by fossils, Lyme Regis has an extraordinarily rich heritage. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the new Mary Anning Wing provides an incredible gateway into that heritage and into the inspiring story of its namesake and the museum’s fascinating collections. “Congratulations to all who have made this grand opening possible and we look forward to celebrating Lyme Regis Museum’s bright future.”
Chairman of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Gordon Page, said: “Dorset LEP is pleased to have secured local growth funding from the Government to support this worthy project to benefit the local area and economy.
“Tourism is a key sector for Dorset and this impressive addition to one of Dorset’s much-loved museums will help to contribute to the wider economic well-being of the region through the creation of jobs, and increased visitor numbers and local spend.”