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24 February 2015
Neolithic skeleton returned to its home in Wales

In 1891 a civil engineer from Bacup, Lancashire (England) was excavating in the Little Orme: one of two promontories which flank the town beach at Llandudno, on the coast of North Wales. What he discovered was a Neolithic female skeleton, dated at approximately 3,500 BCE.
     For whatever reason, the skeleton returned with the engineer to Bacup and it has remained there ever since. Affectionately titled 'Blodwen', paying respect to her native Wales, research of her bones suggests she died between the age of 54 and 63 - which was remarkable for its time -  was about 5ft (1.52m), of robust build, and probably from a farming community. She had arthritis in both her spine and knees and at the time of her death she was also suffering from secondary cancer.
     For several years a Welsh historian, Frank Dibble, campaigned for the return of the ancient remains but sadly he passed away before he could achieve his ambition. Now the Stone Age skeleton is returning home after spending 120 years in England.
     Although the return is a permanent donation from the Bacup Natural History Society, there is still quite a cost involved in housing the exhibition. Fortunately the funds needed have been raised from a variety of sources and it is expected that a permanent exhibition will be opened to the public in April 2015, and will depict Llandudno in Neolithic times, with the skeleton as a centrepiece.
     The Chair of the Trust, which runs the Llandudno Museum, the home of the exhibition, is quoted as saying "We are delighted with the response that we have received for the Blodwen appeal. It demonstrates just how much our community values Blodwen and the story she can tell about our local heritage. Frank Dibble worked tirelessly to bring Blodwen home and his family have been most supportivde of the appeal. We hope that the exhibition will be a fitting tribute and legacy to Mr Dibble's hard work".

Edited from Daily Post (16 February 2015)

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