Introducing Drigg The Whale......

Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery Trust has embarked on an ambitious project to create an iconic landmark piece for the City of Carlisle reflecting Cumbria’s rich coastal heritage. We have launched a £50,000 fundraising campaign to display the fourteen metre skeleton from the ceiling of the museum’s main entrance atrium. Not only will this create a ‘wow’ factor within the museum and a must see for visitors to the region but also provide a fantastic educational resource for all ages. Our aim is to have the whale on permanent display in the museum for February 2017.

The young whale was tragically stranded on a beach near Drigg, West Cumbria (2014) and was recovered by an expedition for the Museum some six months later. The skeleton has been identified as a Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) (pronounced ‘Say’) which is one of the baleen group of whales which the Blue Whale also belongs to. Sei whales can grow up to eighteen metres in length and can weigh up to thirty tons. Baleen whales have no teeth and instead have special combs in their mouths called baleen plates. They take huge mouthfuls of food and water, the water is then filtered through the plates leaving the whale’s diet of krill, plankton, small fish and squid. We are now working to find out more about this wonderful specimen and prepare the skeleton for display.

We started with Name the Whale campaign in Spring 2016 and the most popular names were those linked to where the whale was found hence the name ‘Drigg The Whale’ although some of our younger visitors have affectionately been referring to him as ‘Driggsby’. A big ‘Thank You’ for all those who donated and voted on the name of the whale, your continued support is much appreciated. Throughout 2016 we will be undertaking a number of fundraising activities so keep up to date with all news on Drigg and the fundraising campaign, including how you can be involved via our Blog.

As part of the development of how we will display the whale and the engagement around it we are looking at some exciting new technolgies for us which includes 3D modelling. An taster can be found below where we are working with local firm roowalters. Let us know what you think!