Harry Wearing
By Harry Wearing

Senior Staff Writer

7 October 2019

| | 3 min read

What's On

Dippy the Dinosaur says farewell to Newcastle following record-breaking stay

  • Popular exhibit closes at Great North Museum: Hancock
  • Museum attendance up by 51%
  • Dinosaur now headed for Cardiff, sixth of eight stops on UK tour
Dippy the Dinosaur
Dippy the Dinosaur

Visitors have said farewell to Dippy the Diplodocus following a record-breaking stay at Newcastle University’s Great North Museum: Hancock.

Newcastle flocked to see the Natural History Museum London’s famous dinosaur skeleton cast between 18 May and 6 October. Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure – in partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation – is the most popular temporary exhibition at the Great North Museum since it launched in 2009.

The museum welcomed 304,117 visitors during the period, an increase of 51% on average when compared with the previous decade.

Caroline McDonald, Manager at the Great North Museum: Hancock, said:

“It has been an incredible few months for us. Undoubtedly, Dippy has had an enormously positive effect on the museum, with attendance, donations, retail sales and catering sales all well up on target. We expect the benefit to the local economy to be upwards of £1 million.

“Dippy has thrilled hundreds of thousands of visitors in the North East and been guest of honour at three weddings! We are sad to see him leave but know that his UK tour will continue in style at the National Museum Cardiff.

“A big thank you to the Natural History Museum and Garfield Weston Foundation whose generosity has helped make our 10th anniversary year one of our very best.”

Over 10,000 schoolchildren from 206 schools across the region have enjoyed facilitated trips to see Dippy in Newcastle. Ten schools saw banners they created displayed in the museum-wide exhibition, which focused on the current climate emergency, extinction and local wildlife conservation.

1.4 million people have now seen Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure across five venues.

Director of the Natural History Museum, Sir Michael Dixon, said:

“We are thrilled that Dippy on Tour has brought record visitors to the Great North Museum: Hancock.

“It was our hope that Dippy would help children discover the wonders of natural history and encourage a passion for science and nature so we are particularly delighted to hear that in Newcastle, with Dippy’s help, thousands of schoolchildren have learned about climate change and the problems our planet is facing right now.”

Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said:

“We are absolutely delighted that Newcastle has embraced Dippy so enthusiastically and that his positive impact has been seen across the whole city.

“We wish Dippy the very best at his next stop in Cardiff where we are certain he will continue to inspire the next generation to care for our natural world.”

The 292-bone skeleton cast will now be packed carefully into 16 crates before its transit to the National Museum Cardiff in a special fleet of vehicles. The exhibition in Wales opens on Saturday 19 October.

Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure is brought to visitors across the UK by the Natural History Museum in partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation, and supported by Dell EMC and Williams & Hill.