Palaeontology International Rescue (well Wigan anyway) – Part 1

Last week, David Green (Curator of rock and minerals) and I went to Wigan & Leigh College Museum to have a look at the collection. Unfortunately, this small museum is closing down at the end of the month and is trying to find a home for its collections.

Wigan & Leigh College Geology Museum

The museum was formed in 1883 and was set us as a teaching museum for the college, which was at the centre of the north-west coal mining industry. The collapse of the coal industry in Britain means there is no demand for these courses anymore.

David and I went to see what we would like to acquire for the museum in Manchester. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was really impressed by the quality of some of the specimens from Solnhofen Limestone fossils, to amber and trilobites.

Solnhofen Limestone fossils

Gastrioceras from Upholland

Unfortunately, we don’t have enough room in our stores to acquire the whole collection, but along with the World Museum, Liverpool we will make sure we save the most valuable and important specimens.

We are planning to go across next week on our rescue mission. I’ll keep you posted.


One Response

  1. It’s a real shame that we’re losing it. It’s so obviously a labour of love, both for the early founders of the collection and for the current curator, Steve Hewitt.

    In an ideal world, it would have been kept together. But ensuring the specimens are not lost is the most important thing, and it’s great that Manchester and Liverpool can take this kind of regional role and step in.

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