Charities are used to finding weird and wonderful donations at their door – but EACH’s latest ‘gift’ is at a new level altogether.
The charity, which is currently seeking to build a new Norfolk hospice as part of its Nook Appeal, has been presented with a haul of ancient mammal bones.
A generous donor dropped the offering to the Unthank Road shop of EACH in Norwich last summer.
Following painstaking examination, by Norfolk Museum Service, it has now been discovered that the collection is “mostly a mixture of medium-large mammal bones dating from 500,000 years to 5 million years (Pleistocene/Pliocene Epochs). There are also Belemnite guards (extinct squid-like mollusc) and fossilised Echinoids (Sea Urchins) both of which date back 70-100 million years in Norfolk”.
Among the unusual haul are mammoth molars, four specimens of deer antler and bison limb bones.
In order to put the ‘gifts’ to good use, they will be up for auction at the nook friends group’s next fundraiser in Framingham Earl on Saturday, 10 March.
Sally Rix, EACH Shop Manager, explained: “Apparently the lady who dropped them off said they were genuine and hoped we could get some money for them. We were all very excited because we’d never had anything so usual or that ancient before.
“One of my volunteers offered to take them to Norwich Castle Museum. She loaded up her trolley and off she went. She stopped at a bakery on the way, where she was asked about her load – a very excited customer wanted her to stay longer because he was an anthropologist! She then needed help on the bus because of the weight of the load. The driver was amazed at the contents of her trolley.”
Sally, who started life at EACH as a volunteer before becoming Unthank Road Shop Manager in July, added: “We’d like to thank our anonymous donor and the museum for its time.”
Anyone interested in the bones can bid on them at Framingham Earl’s School House next month, when a team of specialists from Aylsham auctioneers Keys will be valuing items.
Visitors between 11am and 3pm will be able to get a maximum of three items valued, at a fee of £5 per item. A box of low-value items kept together will count as one item. All proceeds will go to the nook appeal.
A silent auction will also run, with written bids commencing at 10.30am and ending at 3.30pm. A registration fee of £2 will allow multiple bids to be made on multiple items – no further fees will be payable.
This unique fundraising event is being organised by the nook friends group, that supports East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) and its nook appeal to raise £10 million for a new Norfolk hospice.
For more information and to offer items for auction, contact Judith on 01508 494873 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, contact Jan Motley on 01508 495320 or at email@example.com.