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Dippy the Diplodocus


The streets of Dorchester are being lined with green as the much-anticipated arrival of Dippy is just around the corner.

With just days to go until the big unveiling of 'Dippy the Diplodocus' at Dorset County Museum (DCM), High West Street is being flanked by 80 flags to add to the buzz about the town.

Head of development at DCM, Gabriella Crouch said: "With all the flags up, that drive passed the museum will be really lively. It will make sure people visiting the town are really excited."

The 'Dppy green' flags are designed in line with the Natural History Museum branding and will take several days to get up.

"The race is on now, who will be up first - Dippy or the flags," Museum director Jon Murden joked.

The flags are supplied to DCM as part of a Dorchester Business Improvement District (BID) generous £5,000 donation to make the arrival of Dorchester's biggest visitor possible.

"We were asked by DCM if we could help and we were only too glad to lend our support. It's a fantastic opportunity for Dorchester," said BID chairman John Fiori.

Mr Murden said he hoped Dippy would not only be a great asset for the museum but drive economic growth across the town.

"We are anticipating 70,000 visitors over the next three month period and those visitors will go out in the town and it will be great for businesses. We will al benefit from Dippy," he said.

Visitors who come to see Dippy will be given a shopping guide and vouchers which can be redeemed in shops throughout Dorchester displaying a Dippy stickers in the window.

As well as the flags, visitors should keep their eyes peeled for lifesize footprints which will be popping up in the town this week.

The scientifically accurate - although 'Dippy green' - footprints will guide visitors from the station to the museum.

Mr Murden said the museum team was now working round the clock with the Natural History Museum team to get Dippy ready on time.

"There's been a lot of late nights but he's filling up the room nicely and is more than half way done. I think it will be a very different experience here as the exhibition hall in London is vast. Visitors will get a more realistic sense of scale in the Victorian Hall at DCM and will be able to get up close and see Dippy eye to eye from our balcony," he said.

But it's not just Dorchester that's gone Dippy mad as dinosaur fever sweeps the county. 

Bridport Library is currently home to a replica skull of the dinosaur.

The replica model was made using a 3D printer, and visitors to the library are in for an interactive experience as it is free to touch.

The skull will be on display in Bridport until Friday. It will then tour several locations before returning on February 14-16.

Purbeck will join in Dippy-mania as Swanage Library will house the replica between March 10- 15.

Dippy the Diplodocus will be making a home for himself at Dorset County Museum from Saturday, February 10 until Monday, May 7.

For more information visit dorsetcountymuseum.org