East Ilford Betterment Partnership

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Children of Fullwood Primary School join clamour for return of Monty Mammoth!

Children of Fullwood Primary School join clamour for return of Monty Mammoth!

Terry Quirke described the link between elephants and mammoths who hail from the same family.

Children of Fullwood Primary School in Barkingside cheerily soaked up a lesson on the pre-historic relics found in the borough, that have contributed so much to international studies in the world's development.

During an assembly on 15th January 2014, the East Ilford Betterment Partnership shared details of their five year campaign, to install a replica of the Mammoth skull found locally, in Ilford Town Centre.  Guest Speaker Hannah Chowdhry (10yrs), described how a trip to Redbridge Museum led to her passion for history that has since resulted in her finding a 125 million year old fossil from a holiday in the Isle of Wight and a 65 million year old fossil from Romford.  Moreover, she explained that a further trip to the National History Museum led to her challenging her father Wilson Chowdhry, to bring the mammoth skull to Ilford, and the development of this project.  She Said;

"Installing a replica in our town centre, will attract visitors and inspire young local people to learn more about the area.  I feel proud that my home town has such heritage and I share this important news with everyone."

The famed Ilford Mammoth is one of the most prized assets in the world famous Natural History Museum, of London.  On entering the main foyer the most visible relic is the diplodocus, but just to the right in a glittering glass case is the famous mammoth skull, that was until 2003 the only complete mammoth skull ever found in Britain.  

EIBP held the first ever celebration of our oldest citizen during the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the skull and many other bones, during September 2014.  Prior to this they also installed a historically correct plaque at Ilford Methodist Church, Ilford Lane, after the original plaque installed during the great exhibition of London in 1950, was stolen.

Wilson Chowdhry project manager for the "Bring Monty Home" campaign, said;

"This ancient relic is one of the most fascinating yet unknown facts about the borough.  Our borough has failed to recognise the potential to raise the profile of our small and much deprived town through embracing our earliest known resident."

The group now need to raise in the region of £15,000 for the installation of the replica in our town centre, which they are working towards in conjunction with the National History Museum.  Children of Fullwood school committed themselves to helping the cause, by organising and getting involved in fundraising activities at school.

Children at Fullwood School will now enter a mammoth quiz competition, for which the prize for four winners, will be a trip to the Natural History Museum to view  the private collection of bones found in Ilford.    The quiz questions were set by Terry Quirke an established local artist and mammoth enthusiast. He entertained the children by throwing some of his large collection of toy mammoths amongst them, for them to hug and develop a more acute sense of what they might have looked like.

Terry Quirke said;

"Mammoth remains have been discovered all around Redbridge and hundreds of bones still exist under our homes, schools, places of worship and all over the local area.  It is sad that so few people understand the huge historical importance of Ilford, and I hope the installation of the replica skull ends the paucity of knowledge."

Head Teacher of Fullwood School, Mr Danvir Visvanathan, said;

"When I heard about this project to restore our lost heritage, I wanted our school to be involved.  The installation of the mammoth skull will awaken an interest in history amongst local people and will be a great educational aid.  Moreover. I am sure it will encourage the development of young people into careers such as palaeontology and archaeology broadening the local employment landscape."


A whole school assembly with a difference - learning about mammoth bones below the foundations of their school excited Fullwood pupils.


Hannah Chowdhry spoke of her challenge that led to the development of this project.