Ipswich: Sara Cox and Radio Two listeners help find new name for Ipswich museum’s wooly mammoth - early favouite is Wool-I-Am
In life they roamed Suffolk 210,000 years ago – but now Ipswich’s mammoth display has attracted a new nationwide fan base.
And this is set to bring the replica mammoth on show at the town’s museum in High Street a new lease of life – and a new name.
Ipswich Museum caught the eye of producers of Sara Cox’s Radio Two programme after a listener contacted the station to point out that it had a full-sized mammoth taking pride of place as visitors go into the building.
Museum boss Gordon Mole went on the programme to talk about it, and to challenge listeners to come up with a name.
Interest took off with hundreds of thousands of people reading tweets about the museum and tens of thousands e-mailing suggestions for a name – the early favourite is “Wool I Am.”
Mr Mole was delighted that the museum – and the mammoth – had attracted the nation’s attention.
He said: “We are very proud of what we have on show here. The mammoth is, of course, a life-size model. But we also have fossils of the real thing found in the area.
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“It all came about because Sara asked what people could do in Yorkshire after the Tour de France had been through and they were talking about museums.
“Someone called in and said ‘In Ipswich we’ve got a mammoth in our museum’ and Sara’s producer is an Ipswich fan who remembered seeing the mammoth during a school trip and they followed it up.”
Mr Mole was not sure about the name of the mammoth at this stage: “We’re going to look at all the suggestions and it will be up to the young members of our Mini Mammoth club to decide during the summer.”
The publicity should stir up more interest in the museum, which should help to persuade the Heritage Lottery Fund that it’s application for a substantial grant is worthwhile.
He said: “It is great that there was so much interest, it shows that the museum is very important to many people.”