Dippy the Dino is going on tour from the NHM

Do you all know Dippy the dino?

You do, phew great! He’s such a memorable part of a visit to the Natural History Museum dontcha think?

You don’t? Noooooo. Actually, that was an overreaction. No need to worry because he’s more than likely coming to a town near you soon.

He’s the star attraction at the Natural History Museum in London. Or at least he has been, for an unbelievable, incredible, dino-tastic 111 years. Man he looks good!

The big guy

Dippy is a replica cast of the original findings from the U S of A in 1898. King George the seventh saw a sketch of the big guy and requested one for the Natural History Museum. And he got it. Well if you don’t ask you don’t get. He’s a pretty special dino, being one of only 10 commissioned and displayed around the world.

He is the skeletal remains (292 bones to be exact) of a dinosaur called the Diplodocus. Hence the nickname that is soaring off the cute charts. They lived on Earth between 156 and 145 millions years ago, which from a quick Google search, is the late Jurassic period. I’m not sure how much this has to do with Jurassic Park, but that just makes me love him even more.

Dippy is a part of a group called Sauropod. Now, my favourite dinosaur as a child was a Brachiosaurus. And one of my favourite animations has to be The Land Before Time, of which the best character was Little foot, an Apatosaurus. This may all sound like gobbledygook, but bare with me. They are all part of the Sauropod family, which explains why I love them all! Just look at him. Look at him. Aww.

Dino education

Dippy has long been an important discovery for scientists and now he will have a chance to inspire children around the UK thanks to this first ever tour. Yes, I know he has been doing that since his grand unveiling over a century ago, but I am talking about all of those families who simply cannot afford a trip to the big smoke.

I’m really pleased to see him featuring in my hometown, Rochdale. This isn’t the most affluencial of areas… to be honest that is an absolute understatement. I remember life being tough in my large family in that rough town. Our parents did their best but ultimately I missed out on most cultural experiences, other than one or two free school trips to the theatre. This was mainly down to money but also because it was so far out of my parents comfort zone. In their own words, it was simply ‘not for them’.

That’s when I want to scream ‘Argh, but it is. Museums, theatre, anything cultural is for everyone!’ Grr.

I believe that is the honest and overwhelming truth for a lot of deprived families, which we need to tackle across the sector. And I think this touring dino is one huge step towards closing that gap. All children have the right to exciting, educational and memorable opportunities and experiences. It should not be exclusive.

Nickname the new replacement

Oh and you might be thinking who will take Dippy’s place? Well a Blue Whale (nickname-less for now) will be taking over his patch, and has pretty big boots to fill. Nostalgia is one mighty thing to replace…

Did you have a lot of opportunities growing up?

What nickname could we give the Blue Whale?

Find out where this gentle giant is heading here:

Look at all of the ‘good-bye’ special events NHM are running before he goes!


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