Tullie House are working in partnership with Prism Arts after receiving National Lottery Heritage Funding for an exciting new project working with 150 Early Years and Key Stage 1 pupils on the West Coast.

‘Whale Tales’ is an eighteen-month long project celebrating Driggsby, a 12m long Fin Whale which was found on the Cumbrian coast in 2014 and has been on display in Tullie House since January 2018. The project will see pupils from six primary schools explore life in our oceans, how Driggsby might have journeyed to Cumbria and how whales have been the inspiration for myths and legends. The pupils will also investigate the impact of pollution on our seas, particularly from plastics, which was the probable cause of Driggsby’s death. This will include a series of beach cleans led by Workington Nature Partnership stretching along the West Coast in June.

The pupils, teachers and family volunteers will work with artists and staff from Prism Arts and Tullie House to tell Driggsby’s story which will be brought together this summer in an illustrated book featuring the pupils’ artwork.

The team will then work with the partner schools to create a major interactive exhibition showcasing Driggsby’s journey and celebrating her life. This will be on display in Tullie House’s Art Gallery in May 2020 and will be accompanied by an exciting engagement programme for schools, families and visitors.

The project will finish with a community celebration event on Drigg Beach for all of the participating pupils, teachers and families.

Anna Smalley, Head of Collections & Engagement at Tullie House says: “We are thrilled to be able to deliver such a major engagement project with such a huge number of pupils, due to National Lottery Heritage Funding support. We are so excited to be able to use Driggsby’s story to inspire children across Cumbria and are looking forward to sharing the amazing creativity and hard work of our partner schools with museum visitors.”

Ali McCaw, Artistic Director of Prism Arts adds: “We are delighted to be able to work with Tullie House on this project thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It is wonderful working with the children and families from the West Coast on such an exciting project.”

Angela Quirk, Headteacher at Distington Community School says: “This project is really exciting, it specifically targets our Early Years children where they will be supported to grow and develop skills which will benefit them in the future. The project will not just benefit the children but will impact upon our whole school community, staff, parents, grandparents, carers and other community groups.”

Participating schools are: Ashfield Infant & Nursery School, Distington Community School, Holme St. Cuthbert School, Mayfield School, Seascale Primary School and St Michael’s Nursery & Infant School.