Torquay Museum's trail of tigers for half-term

Torbay Weekly

Barry Chandler, Torquay Museum:

In 2022, the Chinese New Year fell on Tuesday, February 1, and celebrations will culminate with the Lantern Festival on February 15.

With the world’s eyes on Beijing again for the Winter Olympics, Torquay Museum has created a trail to celebrate the transition between Chinese zodiac signs from the Ox to the Tiger.

Like their zodiac animal, people born in years of the tiger are considered vigorous and ambitious, daring and courageous, enthusiastic and generous, self-confident with a sense of justice and a commitment to help others for the greater good.

To create our trail of tigers, the museum has searched its collections, mostly natural history, to find other creatures with tiger in their name.

These animals - and a mineral - tend to share a general colouring and patterning which has linked them in name to the king of big cats.

Our trail starts with one of the museum’s most iconic exhibits, the trophy head of a Bengal tiger which has been displayed in our entrance hall, on and off for over 40 years.

The Bengal tiger ranks among the biggest wild cats alive today, but is threatened by poaching and loss and fragmentation of habitat, and is estimated at comprising fewer than 1,500 wild individuals.

The rarity of this incredible animal makes the museum’s example collected in 1860 all the more special.

The Tiger Trail is new for this half-term but there are plenty of other activities around the museum to occupy young and old alike.

There is a safe cracking game in our Explorers' Gallery along with The Curse of the Mummy’s Hand, an interactive experience based on our ancient Egyptian collections.

There are interactives around the museum and toys and Explorer backpacks for the youngest visitors.

We also have a temporary exhibition Far Side of the World: Torquay’s Fijian Connection showcasing the museum’s internationally important Fijian artefacts from clubs to boat models and pottery to fish hooks.

Linking to this we will be showing a free film - with a valid entry ticket - on our big screen, on Thursday, February 24, with two showings at 11am and 1.30pm.

This is an Oscar-nominated, animated musical adventure based in the Polynesian islands and featuring a very large fish hook.

We are sure you know the one!

The museum will be open Monday to Saturday during half-term week.

We recommend booking online through art tickets on the museum’s website but you can also just turn up.

Remember you can also take advantage of the 30 per cent off ticket prices for local people.