The Natural Museum’s famous dinosaur, Dippy, opened in Rochdale today, as his record-breaking tour finally reaches the north west.
The superstar dino has already visited major destinations, including Glasgow, Belfast and Cardiff – clocking up more than 1.5m visitors to date.
But Rochdale will be his only north west stop off on this tour.
The affectionately named Dippy is a plaster cast replica of the fossilised bones of a Diplodocus found by railroad workers in Wyoming, USA in 1898.
One of just 10 replicas of the original Diplodocus carnegii, he was commissioned by King Edward VII.
After being unveiled in 1905 he was on display at the Natural History Museum for over 100 years, first leaving his London home in 2018 to embark on a national tour.
Now it’s Rochdale’s turn to host him – and the town will be holding more than 20 dinosaur and natural world inspired events to mark Dippy’s stay.
These will include a dinosaur-themed Halle orchestra performance, a Diplodocus brick build with an official LEGO artist and a multi-sensory theatre experience for younger visitors.
Children with SEND will also be able to meet Dippy and visit the Dippy exhibition during special quiet sessions.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that Dippy is a national treasure and we’re honoured to be hosting him here in Rochdale on behalf of the north west,” said Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, Community and Culture at Rochdale Borough Council.
“Bringing a world class exhibit like this into an everyday environment like a council building will open it up to thousands of children who wouldn’t ordinarily get the chance to see something like this and I think it will be a once in a lifetime experience for them.
“I want them to remember their visit to Dippy in Rochdale for many years to come.”
Dippy will be in Rochdale from 10th February to 28th June, taking pride of place in the council’s customer service centre, office, and library building, Number One Riverside. From there, he will visit Norwich Cathedral, his final stop.
An accompanying Dippy exhibition at the local museum and art gallery, Touchstones Rochdale, also supports the tour.
“It has been a joy to see the enthusiasm with which Dippy has been welcomed to Rochdale,” said director of the Natural History Museum London, Sir Michael Dixon.
“Dippy will take pride of place in the council’s energy efficient offices, Number One Riverside, which incorporate renewable and low carbon technology. This is a fitting venue for Dippy who has become an ambassador for the natural world, engaging audiences of all ages in conversations about our crucial role in the future of the planet.
“We hope that visitors will be inspired and leave with an increased awareness of the steps we can take to help protect the natural world.
“As with every venue that Dippy has visited so far, we are sure he will prove a huge hit for Number One Riverside and we wish them the best of luck with Dippy on Tour’s penultimate stop.”