One of the country’s most famous attractions will stomp into Newcastle University’s Great North Museum: Hancock later this year as part of a popular UK tour.
The Natural History Museum’s iconic Diplodocus skeleton cast Dippy will be in Newcastle from 18 May – 6 October 2019, following visits to Dorchester, Birmingham, Belfast and Glasgow.
The four-metre-tall, 21-metre-long dinosaur is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the region to Newcastle during the 20-week exhibition. Dippy’s UK tour aims to encourage people to explore nature and ultimately inspire the next generation of scientists.
It is announced today that free tickets to see Dippy in Newcastle will be available via greatnorthmuseum.org.uk from 9am on Friday 1 February.
However, those subscribed to the museum’s free membership scheme will be able to secure tickets two days earlier. They will receive a priority booking code by email on Wednesday 30 January.
Anyone wishing to receive this benefit should join Must-see Museums before 30 January at greatnorthmuseum.org.uk/member/register.
Visitors are strongly advised to book online in advance to guarantee entry at their preferred time. A limited number of walk-in tickets will also be available at the museum each day of the exhibition.
Relaxed sessions will be available every Sunday (11.15am) and on the first Wednesday of the month (4.15pm). These timeslots will have a reduced capacity and quieter atmosphere, making them particularly suitable for visitors with autistic spectrum conditions.
Schools wishing to organise a visit should contact the Great North Museum learning team via greatnorthmuseum.org.uk/learning. Other large groups, including coach parties, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance with enquiries.
Professor Vee Pollock, Dean of Culture and the Creative Arts at Newcastle University, said:
“We are very much looking forward to welcoming the Natural History Museum’s iconic dinosaur to the North East. The Great North Museum team are working hard with a range of experts to develop an inspiring programme so that visitors of all ages can not only enjoy encountering Dippy, but also see him as a catalyst for exploring important issues facing us today, like extinction, biodiversity and climate change.
“Dippy’s time in the North East promises to be an exciting part of his UK-wide adventure.”
Dippy the Diplodocus was the star of the Natural History Museum for over 100 years and a familiar sight in the main hall. Now, he is on a tour of eight UK venues and an imposing Blue Whale skeleton is displayed at London in his place.
Museum experts spent most of 2017 dismantling and conserving the skeleton cast with the tour finally beginning at the Dorset County Museum in February 2018. It has proven to be a huge success so far, with Dorset, Birmingham and Ulster museums reporting huge uplifts in visitor numbers and income.
Thursday 23 May 2019 marks 10 years since the Great North Museum: Hancock opened its doors following a £26 million redevelopment of the old Hancock Museum.
The new venture saw three museums merge into one and Dippy’s arrival will be a fitting focal point of anniversary celebrations in Newcastle.
Further details of the Great North Museum: Hancock’s Dippy exhibition and events programme will follow in the coming months.
Image: Children with the Diplodocus exhibit at the Natural History Museum, London © Trustees of the Natural History Museum
Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure has been supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation.
Philippa Charles, Director of the foundation, said:
“We are delighted that Dippy will be making his way to the North East later this year. Generations of children have been awestruck by Dippy’s spectacular presence at the heart of the Natural History Museum and we hope he continues to inspire the nation to rediscover nature as he works his way round the UK.”