Some people might be wondering, who is Mary Anning? Well don’t worry, you are not alone. Most of the time when I ask anyone about her, they don’t know who she is and they don’t know what I’m talking about.
My name is Evie Swire, I am eleven years old and live in a small village in Dorset near the sea, along the Jurassic Coast. When I was eight years old we learnt all about Mary in my school class. We did a whole project, and I thought because I did it at school everyone in the whole world would be learning about her too. Then I found out that they weren’t, and it made me feel like I had to do something about it
My mummy also said that schools were very good at teaching about the amazing things men have discovered and invented– like Issac Newton, Albert Einstien and Charles Darwin– but not so good at talking about women in history and what they have discovered and done.
If it weren’t for Mary’s discoveries of fossilised creatures, Charles Darwin would probably have not been able to start his own discoveries, so she is a very important.
I asked my mummy why Mary wasn’t talked about in schools and she said Mary had been forgotten. She said Mary was uneducated, and in Victorian times working class people did not have many rights and were very poor. Mary was also a woman, and this meant she could not do things that the men in science could do, like write things for the newspaper and join the big London clubs.
Mary wasn’t allowed to join in and that is why she has been forgotten. If I had a time machine I would go back and tell them that they are all wrong, and they should listen to Mary because she was amazing and had important things to say.
(I would also like to punch them because they make me so angry but I would get arrested and mummy said the Victorians put kids into prisons).
I decided then that I would do something for Mary. One day we were coming off the beach at Lyme Regis and bought some ice creams from the shop near the bus stop, when I looked around for a statue of Mary. I thought that there would be one, since she was born and lived in Lyme Regis. So I asked my mummy if we could go and see her statue and my mummy said she didn’t have one. And that is when it all began.
So we started a campaign called Mary Anning Rocks and I spoke to a Councillor called Cheryl Reynolds and she was really nice to me and said she would help. I really liked her because she listens to me. We now have amazing people who support us and are what are called patrons: Professor Alice Roberts from the TV, Tracy Chevalier who wrote a book about Mary that my mummy loves, the guy form the Jurassic park films called Jack Horner, and I have been writing to Sir David Attenborough who said it was a great idea and that he would be one of our supporters too. (He only writes letters and does not do email or the Internet like granddad. Mummy said that’s good because we need to learn how to do snail mail too).
Mummy and her friends have been doing a lot of Twitter and Instagram and we have about 2,000 people who love Mary too, and that is a lot of people, but I think we need more help. There is a thing called crowdfunding and it means lots of people can put small amounts together to make a big amount, and we need a big amount to pay a really good artist to make the statue for Mary. So, please help us and join in when we crowdfund in spring 2019.
And as well as the statue, the Bank of England wants everyone to make suggestions for a scientist to go on the new £50. We’ve got until Friday 14 December 2018, then they will tell everyone who they have chosen in the New Year. This will be when we crowdfund, and if we can get Mary on the new £50 that would be amazing as well because lots of people will be talking about her at last and will want to help build her a statue.
Also my mummy did this mash-up of Mary on the back of an old £50 note, and I think she looks like she should be there with her ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs all be swimming around her (and Tray her dog who died under a mudslide should be there too).
This is the link to vote (I have found a trick, if you vote you can then click the return to previous page button and you can write Mary Anning in again. I have voted like a trillion times)
I hope you like my blog, it’s my first, and I hope you love Mary too because she really really does ROCK!!! And I really want the statue to happen and thank you for reading.
Written by Evie Swire aged 11½ and her Mother, Anya Pearson
Edited by Megan and Becky