Yesterday was Darwin Day (his 205th birthday to be precise), it was also ‘D-Day’ for us in another sense – the official launch of our fundraising appeal for the museum’s redevelopment project.
We have been preparing for this event for some time. Members of the local and national media were invited to come along for an exclusive viewing of some of our most precious artefacts. This would be their last opportunity to do so before the rest of our specimens are wrapped up and stored away for the next two-and-a-half years.
To lure press interest, we promised to display a truly awesome table of natural historical treats, which included – amongst other things – The Great Auk, Darwin’s finches, beetles and fish specimens (brought back from his Beagle voyage) a first edition of On The Origin of Species, and a skin of the now extinct Tasmanian Tiger.
Cambridge News, BBC Look East, Henry Nicholls – science writer for The Guardian, The Cambridge Student, The Naked Scientists and superb local photo diarist, Sir Cam were suitably tempted by the specimens on offer and came along to have a good look.
All agreed, as well as getting to see some marvelous specimens, it was a rare privilege to get inside a closed museum and see all the activity going on behind-the-scenes, to actually witness the mammoth task of a ‘museum on-the-move’. After all, museums don’t usually move.