Our Mammoth Journey is over!
Hannah Chowdhry with Former Headteacher Mrs Johnson of SS Peters and Paul's School
Today at 6pm Hannah Chowdhry, now eleven years of age, will speak at the launch of the Ilford Ice Age Exhibition. She will share how her love for Ilford's proud pre-history led to the donation of a Mammoth Skull replica worth an estimated £50,000 from the Natural History Museum to the East Ilford Betterment Partnership (EIBP).
Hannah was inspired after seeing the real mammoth skull on a trip to the Natural History Museum when she was seven. So fascinated by the huge relic she asked her father to bring it back to Ilford - its home! Thus began the five year campaign to bring the skull (or replica) to our borough, where our heritage could be presented to local people in a comprehensible way.
Her father, Wilson Chowdhry Chairman of the EIBP, has been working with the Redbridge Museum to include the skull in their permanent display and to introduce an exhibition about the ice age and its effect on Ilford around 200,000 years ago - literally a story centuries in the making (click here).
Hannah Chowdhry said:
"When I first heard about our local mammoth I was keen to learn more about one of the oldest known inhabitants of Ilford. I was surprised that there was not much known or written about such a majestic beast. There had been a plaque to the mammoth on Ilford Methodist Church which got stolen, so my dad replaced it through the British Pakistani Christian Association. Apart from humorous books about mammoths children have nothing interesting to make them think more about our ancient past. I hope the replica skull and the ice age exhibition will catch the imagination of children and young people and encourage them to learn more about this wonderful period of Ilford's history".
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the EIBP said:
"The installation of the replica mammoth skull at a centre point for education in the borough is an inspiring achievement. The Ilford Mammoth will no doubt create an interest in Earth Sciences, History and will inspire writers and artists too. Bringing this project to fruition has been a gargantuan challenge in many ways, and is a huge step to a deeper sense of identity amongst the young people of our borough, who have so much to be proud of."
The EIBP would like to thank the following groups and individuals for their help towards making this project come to fruition:
- Yellow Advertiser
- SS Peters and Paul's Primary School
- Fullwood Primary School
- The Department of Business Innovation and Skills
- London Community Foundation
- Terry Quirke (Ilford Mammoth Project)
- Geo Essex
- Essex Field Club
- Adrian Lister and the Natural History Museum of London
- Redbridge Museum
- The Geological Society
- Fairlop Heritage Group
- Ilford Historical Society
- Ilford Methodist Church