Dippy the Diplodocus has gone on tour in The UK.
The 26-metre replica of a dinosaur fossil found in 1898 and has been on show at The Natural History Museum in London since 1905.
Diplodocus and similar species would have lived between 145 and 156 million years ago.
This giant cast was presented to the Natural History Museum by Andrew Carnegie, a famous 19th-century industrialist and philanthropist.
One very lucky boy was competition winner, Harry Swift (11) from Eastleigh, Hampshire. He had the honour to placed the very last piece of the Dippy’s cast in position the day before it is open to the public.
The UK tour will go on for three-years and it started in the small market town of Dorchester in Dorset. It then travels on to museums and cathedrals in Birmingham, Glasgow, Belfast, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cardiff, Norwich and Rochdale.
In order to see the Dippy on Tour exhibition in the county museum tickets are to be allocated on a first come first served basis and are available from the museums website www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or from the museum’s reception.
Lorraine Cornish from the Natural History Museum in London explained that Dippy only just fitted into the exhibition space at Dorchester in order to get the huge skeleton into place two balustrades had to be removed and it then only just made it.
DIPPY ON TOUR OF UK
In all Dippy is made up of 292 bones and 13 crates were used to move Dippy the 120 miles from London to Dorchester. Once at the new display site a brand new display base was constructed so that the multiple moves that will be needed in the coming three years will make it easy to break down the exhibition and move it to the next venue.
The Curator of the Dorset County Museum Jon Murden said “That with other plans now scheduled for the expansion of the museum having Dippy on show is a turning point for it as the museum”.
Dorset is also the birthplace of palaeontology with the likes of Mary Anning from Lyme Regis who in Victorian times had started to collect fossils off the beaches and cliffs around her home in the town.
One enterprising local business a café called ‘The Horse with The Red Umbrella’ has started to produce Dippy shortbread biscuits and they had sold out on the day I called except this sample which was the last one!