Dippy on Tour launches at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Dippy on Tour has arrived in Birmingham for the second stop on his three-year tour of the UK.
Dippy, the Museum's iconic Diplodocus cast, which prior to this tour has never been seen outside of London, has taken up residency in the Gas Hall at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. He will be in Birmingham from 26 May until 9 September, before sailing across the Irish Sea to Belfast.
More than 90,000 free tickets have already been booked to see him. To guarantee entry, these free tickets must be booked on the Birmingham Museums website.
Dippy’s unveiling in Birmingham follows his immensely popular stay at Dorset Country Museum, the tour's first stop. The venue's visitor numbers exceeded 150,000 people, more than trebling their annual figures in less than three months. The Jurassic Coast Trust jointly hosted Dippy in Dorset. They worked in collaboration with other local organisations and helped more than 25,000 people hit the outdoors to enjoy their own Dippy-themed natural history adventures.
Director of the Natural History Museum, Sir Michael Dixon says: “Dippy’s success in Dorset was beyond all our expectations. His residency saw record-breaking visitor numbers for Dorset County Museum which also benefitted the surrounding community in Dorchester. Dippy on Tour looks set to make a similar impact in Birmingham and we hope our iconic dinosaur cast will help open children’s eyes to the joys of nature on their doorstep and encourage them to explore, discover and protect the world around them.”
Never before on public display outside of the Natural History Museum, Dippy has delighted visitors since he arrived in London in 1905. The full 292-bone skeleton in its displayed pose is an impressive 21.3 metres long, 4.3 metres wide and 4.17 metres high.
Arts, Heritage and Tourism Minister Michael Ellis MP visited Dippy in Birmingham last night and spoke at the launch event. He said: "Dippy the Diplodocus is the UK’s most famous dinosaur and this tour will bring huge benefits to Birmingham. Not only will it boost visitor numbers to the city, but I hope it will inspire future generations to learn more about science and the natural world.
“We are committed to making our national collections as accessible as possible, and this tour will ensure Dippy can be seen by millions of people across the country.”
Dippy on Tour: Natural History Adventure has been brought about by the Natural History Museum, in partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation and supported by Dell EMC and Williams & Hill. Made possible by close collaboration with a wide range of institutions and organisations across the UK, this three-year tour aims to introduce 1.5 million people to this awe-inspiring exhibit. In Birmingham, the exhibition has been supported by Paradise Birmingham.
Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, says: “In our 60th year of working in partnership with inspiring causes across the United Kingdom we are delighted to see Dippy arrive in the Midlands after his hugely successful stay in Dorchester. We hope that he continues to inspire visitors to think about and explore the wonders of our natural world during his stay in Birmingham.”
Dippy in Birmingham
Dippy is part of a wider exhibition on display throughout the Gas Hall which explains how Dippy might have been the end of the line for herbivorous dinosaurs but the meat-eating dinosaurs continued to evolve – birds are dinosaurs. Bringing Birmingham’s colourful bird collection back to BMAG for the first time in nearly 20 years, the exhibition will show the amazing diversity of modern birds and how they evolved to become one of the most successful groups of animals inhabiting almost every part of the world from the oceans of Antarctica to tropical rainforests.
Visitors, old and young, will be astounded by the comparison of Dippy’s vast size to one of the smallest birds in the exhibition, a hummingbird.
To make sure Dippy is ready to greet visitors in Birmingham, his final toe bone was put carefully in place by a pupil from Mansfield Green E-ACT Academy in Aston, Birmingham. The school works in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust across many areas and the Year 4 pupils were extremely excited to get a preview of the exhibition before it opened to the public.
Gurminder Kenth, Museum Manager at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, says: “Dippy is finally here and we can’t wait for visitors to see him!
“We are delighted to be the second venue outside of London to be hosting the famous dinosaur cast and we hope after seeing Dippy that visitors are inspired to find out more about the amazing nature on their doorstep. Dippy starts a vital conversation about the importance of caring for our natural world and it’s great to be making the connection to the city’s vibrant bird collection.”
Throughout the exhibition Dippy’s presence will be felt throughout the museum, with lots of fun related activities to enjoy. There’s the Dippy family room, Dino Dig, curator’s tour, crafts and trails throughout the school holidays, and there will even be a Dino Children’s Menu in the Edwardian Tearooms.
Janine Eason, Director of Engagement at Birmingham Museums, says: “Dippy inspired me as a child on visits to the Natural History Museum and we are thrilled that visitors to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery will get to have that same exciting experience while he is with us until September.
“We are delighted that the Natural History Museum chose Birmingham Museum Trust to host Dippy as part of the tour, reflecting our commitment to learning, our highly skilled team, and our track record in attracting high numbers of visitors.”
Natural History Adventures
The exhibition aims to encourage people in the region to go on their own natural history adventures and explore the incredible natural history collections and amazing biodiversity right on their doorstep. Venues across the Midlands, from Wolverhampton to Coventry and Shropshire to Warwickshire, will be hosting their very own events and activities.
In Warwick, locals can visit the Market Hall Museum to learn all about Jurassic Warwickshire, see evidence of the county's dinosaurs and encounter some real dinosaur bones and fossils.
Over in Shropshire, at Ludlow Library & Resource Centre, visitors can hear Jurassic tales and discover natural and prehistoric secrets. And in Coventry, families can see the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum's ichthyosaur skull, feel the curves of a seashell and listen to birdsong in their multi-sensory gallery.
Two free-to-attend Dippy Mini-BioBlitzes will take place at Weoley Castle and Sarehole Mill in Birmingham. At Weoley Castle, join scientists to search for and identify wildlife in the remains of a 750 year old manor house - spotting local birds, butterflies and bees. At Sarehole Mill, investigate the mill pond, searching for and identifying dragonflies and water beetles, pond snails, frogs and newts, and water plants.
Birmingham Museums Trust venues will also be gearing up for dino-sized fun. Explore the fossils room at Soho House, make dinosaur headgear ranging from Triceratops horns to Stegosaurus spikes at Blakesley Hall, join the Operation Earth team at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter to learn about natural history and help artists make dinosaur willow sculptures for display at Sarehole Mill.
The Natural History Museum, in partnership with Dell EMC and in association with Intel and Microsoft, has just launched Dippy’s Naturenauts, an entertaining and educational web app for children. Downloadable for free from the Natural History Museum’s website, this mobile app provides an in interactive digitial experience which encourages children to venture outdoors and interact with the natural world wherever they live - in countryside or urban environments.
Designed for children aged four and above, characters’ Dippy and Fern the fox lead the user through a series of fun exploratory games created to encourage them to interact with the natural world around them. The activities include making virtual bark rubbings, identifying different flowers and learn to identify birds from their feathers and their calls.
During May half term, see the incredible Cadbury World chocolate dinosaur egg on display at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. Created especially for Dippy’s arrival in the city, the egg weighs 60kg, which is 1,333 bars of standard Cadbury Dairy Milk, and measures 3 foot high.
For further information about the exhibition visit: birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag/whats-on/dippy-on-tour-a-natural-history-adventure. Due to popular demand, a limited number of walk up slots will be available every day but as the exhibition is expected to be busy, visitors are advised that there may be queues if they do not arrive with a ticket.
The tour takes in the following venues, in chronological order:
- Dorset County Museum, 10 February - 7 May 2018
- Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 26 May - 9 September 2018
- Ulster Museum, 28 September 2018 - 6 January 2019
- Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, 22 January - 5 May 2019
- Great North Museum, Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne, 18 May - 6 October 2019
- National Museum Cardiff, 19 October 2019 - 26 January 2020
- Number One Riverside, Rochdale, 10 February - 28 June 2020
- Norwich Cathedral, 11 July - 31 October 2020
Notes for editors
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery contact: Zoe Turton, PR Officer on 0121 348 8281/ 07868204711 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Natural History Media contact: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5654/ (0)779 969 0151 Email: email@example.com
The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum exists to inspire a love of the natural world and unlock answers to the big issues facing humanity and the planet. It is a world-leading science research centre, and through its unique collection and unrivalled expertise it is tackling issues such as food security, eradicating diseases and managing resource scarcity.
The Natural History Museum is the most visited natural history museum in Europe and the top science attraction in the UK; we welcome more than 4.5 million visitors each year and our website receives over 500,000 unique visitors a month. People come from around the world to enjoy our galleries and events and engage both in-person and online with our science and educational activities through innovative programmes and citizen science projects.
In partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation
Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018, the Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded charitable grant-making foundation which supports causes across the UK with grants totalling over £60million each year. 2018 also marks its £1billionth donation since it was established. One of the largest and most respected charitable institutions in the UK, the Weston Family Trustees are descendants of the founder and they take a highly active and hands-on approach. The Foundation’s funding comes from an endowment of shares in the family business which includes Twinings, Primark, Kingsmill (all part of Associated British Foods Plc) and Fortnum & Mason amongst others - a successful model that still endures today; as the businesses have grown so too have the charitable donations. From small community organisations to large national institutions, the Foundation supports a broad range of charities and activities that make a positive impact in the communities in which they work. Over 1,500 charities across the UK benefit each year from the Foundation’s grants.
Dell EMC, a part of Dell Technologies, enables organizations to modernize, automate and transform their data center using industry-leading converged infrastructure, servers, storage and data protection technologies. This provides a trusted foundation for businesses to transform IT, through the creation of a hybrid cloud, and transform their business through the creation of cloud-native applications and big data solutions. As a supplier of the Natural History Museum, Dell EMC technology has supported the work of its scientists for many years. Through Dippy on Tour, Dell EMC and the Natural History Museum have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of scientists and encourage them to engage with the natural world. The digital world has a huge role to play in this, and the web app Dippy’s Naturenauts created as part of this partnership, demonstrates the role online and mobile technology can play in encouraging people to explore the outside world.
Williams & Hill
Williams & Hill have built up a reputation for excellence by firmly establishing themselves as the leading ‘Specialised Transporter of Fine Art, Antiques, Design Furniture and Decorative Objects’. With a highly experienced team working for the world’s major galleries and exhibition venues – they have a true understanding of the requirements for methodical care, consideration and appreciation of whatever may be in their care. No two days are the same, and the excitement of working in their own ever changing art gallery never fades. williamsandhill.com
Tour venues and partners
- Dorset County Museum is one of the leading independent, charitable, heritage organisations in the Southwest of England. It has a learned Society with 2000 members and receives over 47,000 visitors a year. Its diverse collections contain over 4 million objects including internationally significant geology, archaeology and literary collections. The Museum is a registered charity and operates independently with financial support from Dorset County Council and West Dorset District Council. In May 2015 the Museum was awarded £11.3million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable an ambitious redevelopment project. dorsetcountymuseum.org
- The Jurassic Coast was designated England’s only natural World Heritage Site in 2001. Day to day site Management of the Jurassic Coast is the work of the Jurassic Coast Trust, a small independent charity with a huge remit. The Trust works to inspire people to love, understand and value the Jurassic Coast, and was instrumental in bringing Dippy down to Dorset in collaboration with the County Museum. jurassiccoast.org
- Birmingham Museums Trust is an independent charity that manages the city’s museum collection and venues on behalf of Birmingham City Council. It uses the collection of around 800,000 objects to provide a wide range of arts, cultural and historical experiences, events and activities that deliver accessible learning, creativity and enjoyment for citizens and visitors to the city. Attracting over one million visits a year, the Trust’s venues include Aston Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Blakesley Hall, Museum Collections Centre, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Sarehole Mill, Soho House, Thinktank and Weoley Castle. birminghammuseums.org.uk
- Come face to face with dinosaurs, meet an Ancient Egyptian Mummy and see modern masterpieces with a visit to the Ulster Museum. As Northern Ireland’s treasure house of the past and present, the museum is home to a rich collection of art, history and natural sciences and free to all visitors. The Ulster Museum, part of National Museums Northern Ireland, welcomes nearly half a million visitors annually. nmni.com/um
- Glasgow Life is the charity which runs services and facilities on behalf of Glasgow City Council. We work in every area of the city and with every community to try and inspire Glasgow’s citizens and visitors to lead richer and more active lives through culture, sport and learning. More than 18 million attendances were recorded to the facilities that we run across the city between 2015 and 2016. Glasgow Museums is the largest museum service in the UK outside London and operates nine easy to reach, accessible and family friendly venues across the city. We are open year-round and entry is free. Glasgow Museums house an extraordinary permanent collection of fine art, historic objects and natural history exhibited in some of Glasgow’s most stunning public buildings. glasgowlife.org.uk
- Great North Museum: Hancock is managed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums on behalf of Newcastle University. The Museum brings together the North East’s premier collections of archaeology, natural history, geology and world cultures under one roof. It incorporates collections from the original Hancock Museum, Newcastle University’s former Museum of Antiquities and the Shefton Museum. The Great North Museum is a partnership between Newcastle University, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Newcastle City Council, the Natural History Society of Northumbria (NHSN) and the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne (SANT). greatnorthmuseum.org.uk
- Situated in the heart of Cardiff’s elegant civic centre, National Museum Cardiff houses Wales’s national art, geology and natural history collections as well as major touring and temporary exhibitions. On the ground floor of the museum, take an amazing journey in The Evolution of Wales from the very beginnings of time to the present day. The story begins in space with the Big Bang and takes you on a 4,600 million-year journey, bringing you face to face with dinosaurs and woolly mammoths along the way. Witness Wales's diverse natural history on an expedition that begins at the seashore and ends in the mountains. Experience some of the unique environments that make Wales home to over 900 Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The art collection at National Museum Cardiff is one of Europe's finest and includes five hundred years of magnificent paintings, drawings, sculpture, silver and ceramics from Wales and across the world, including one of Europe's best collections of Impressionist art.
- Rochdale Borough Council is a local authority in the North West of England which serves more than 200,000 residents. Sitting in the foothills of the Pennines and close to the major cities of Manchester and Leeds, the council is playing a key role in the Northern Powerhouse, and its priorities are people, place and prosperity. Link4Life is the Rochdale Boroughwide Cultural Trust, delivering leisure and cultural provision across the Rochdale borough, including the award-winning arts and heritage centre, Touchstones Rochdale. rochdale.gov.uk
- Norwich Cathedral is a Christian presence in the heart of Norfolk and the Diocese of Norwich. It began, over 900 years ago, as the Cathedral church of a Benedictine Monastery, built to inspire by its sheer size and magnificence. The Cathedral continues to fill today’s visitors with a sense of awe and wonder. The primary purpose of a Cathedral is to be a place of Christian worship. It was at the centre of the monastery and the focus of the monks’ most important work, the worship of God. Norwich Cathedral is also the focus of both city and county life. As well as playing host to special civic and legal services, it is also a venue for concerts, talks, exhibitions, degree ceremonies and other community events. cathedral.org.uk