Oxford University Museum of Natural History 

Outback Rigging are proud to have been on hand to assist the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in the delicate operation of moving a number of large whale and dolphin skeletons to new safe locations.

The killer whale, bottle-nosed whale, lesser fin whale, white whale and dolphin skeletons were moved as part of a year long restoration project to restore the museums famous vaulted roof back to its former glory. The restoration work will continue throughout 2013 with the museum re-opening to the public in early 2014.

The team from Outback rigging used 2 of the latest Kinesys K3 automated winches, more often than not used in the entertainment industry, to move the precious skeletons dating back over 150 years. With the revolutionary ultra slow and soft stop start Kinesys K3 technology, the team could lower the delicate skeletons from a height of six meters to two meter working height to allow for the cleaning and conservation of the specimens. The process took 4 days to complete and the teams worked to overcome challenges including being unable to use the existing suspension wires due to uncertainty of their age and load bearing capacity and a limited work space flanked by two meter historic glass cases.

Allen and Foxworthy worked with Beard Construction Ltd to build onsite protective support cradle scaffolding. The scaffolding was partially built prior to Outback Rigging beginning the movement of the skeletons. Then during the lowering process the scaffolders worked with the Outback Rigging team to secure the skeletons to their final destination.
Once the restoration work on the roof has been completed the Outback Rigging team will be back on site to provide new rigging solutions and inspection and certification services to securely suspend the six skeletons from ceiling and back to their former glory.

Stuart Cooper from Outback Rigging said ‘We are proud to be a part of this important project and though our knowledge and experience adapted the use of the Kinesys K3 automated winches usually used within the entertainment industry, to successfully manoeuvre these priceless skeletons which have formed part of the museums key attractions for many years. I am proud of the hard work and ingenuity of the team here at Outback and look forward to working with the staff at the Oxford University of Natural History again.’

For further information on specialist automotive projects please contact a member of the Outback Rigging team on 0208 993 0066 or email enquiries@outbackrigging.com