You may ask, what has Evie Swire got in common with Mary Anning.? Well, Mary Anning is a well known Victorian fossil collector, in fact, she was the first female to collect fossils. Evie is an 11 year old who lives in a small village in Dorset, who also collects fossils and her heroine is Mary Anning, so much so that she was puzzled as to why there was no statue erected in her area at Lyme Regis in honour of Mary. Evie asked her mother this question but she didn’t know either .This gave Evie and her mum Anya the inspiration to make some enquiries A few phone calls and various meetings some time later and Evie and her mum along with others eager to help, began a campaign to raise money for this statue.You can read more about this on the following link http://lyme-online.co.uk/news/lyme-regis-mary-anning-statue–could-cost-up-to-300k/
See also the following link for more about where you can donate if interested, for the Mary Anning statue. http://maryanningrocks.co.uk
Evie Swire The young girl who has inspired many people to help her launch a campaign for a statue to be erected of Mary Anning. She now has many supporting her along with her mother Anya Pearson, Councillor Cheryll Reynolds, Esther Yarnold and many others including Sir David Attenborough.She must be very proud of herself I know everyone else is.
ABOUT MARY ANNING
Mary Anning was a 19th century British fossil collector, who earned her living finding and preparing fossils, in Lyme Regis, Dorset where she lived. She discovered many important finds which included the first Ichthyosaur, as well as some important fish fossils.
Although Mary was well known in geological circles in Britain, Europe and America and made a great deal of money from her best finds, she struggled financially for most of her life. In 1818 Mary Anning came to the attention of Thomas Birch, a rich fossil collector, when she sold him a Ichthyosaur skeleton. A year later, he was so disturbed by the poverty of the Anning family, which was at the point of having to sell their furniture to make ends meet. Thomas Birch arranged for the sale at auction of his own fossil collection, the proceeds ( some 400 pounds) were given to the Annings. Besides providing much needed funds, the public auction raised the profile of the Anning family in the geological community. However, she lost 300 pounds in 1835 on unwise investments, but was saved by a government pension of 25 pounds per year which was organized by one of her friends William Buckland.
MARY’S FOSSIL SHOP
Mary and her brother Joseph Anning set up a table of “curiosities” where they knew visitors to Lyme Regis had become a popular seaside resort in order to sell their wares to tourists. After Joseph made a very important find of an Ichthyosaur skull in 1810 and Mary discovered the associated skeleton one year later, they became known to geologists and amateurs interested in fossils. Their passion for fossils grew to be the main source of income and stock in trade were Invertebrate fossils such as, ammonite and bellamnite shells, and sold for a few shillings. The vertebrate fossils were much rarer and exceptional specimens like an almost complete Ichthyosaur skeleton could sell for much more.
Mary Anning’s fossil shop
Mary Anning’s Plesiosaur – London
The source for these fossils then and still today are the coastal cliffs that surround Lyme, which are a part of a geological formation known as the Blue Lias.