Dressed in Dippy teeshirts and waving green flags, more than 250 children from Dorchester schools excitedly gathered in Brewery Square to bid farewell to Dippy the Diplodocus.
The crowd paraded through the town, following the dinosaur footprints down South Street to Dorset County Museum, where the Natural History Museum’s iconic cast has amazed more than 140,000 visitors during his record-breaking 12-week stay in Dorset.
Gathering in the museum’s Victorian Hall, the children and their families assembled around the 21-metre-long and 4-metre-wide skeleton to sing a farewell song to the town’s special guest.
Written by Hanna Trevorrow, music coordinator at Dorset Area Schools Partnership, Hanna has since personally taught the song to more than 1,000 school children.
Helping to organise the closing celebrations, Hanna says: “It is so fantastic to give the children from Dorchester the opportunity to say goodbye to Dippy. The song is very catchy and the children love it!”
Dippy has been the heart and soul of Dorchester for the past three months, with the town becoming a hive of activity for locals and tourists alike – the total number of visitors doubled initial predictions.
Phil Gordon from the Dorchester Business Improvement District says: “Dippy’s interest has been phenomenal. A good percentage of families visiting Dippy have taken the opportunity to explore the town, with many businesses reporting a 25% increase in business compared to the same period last year.”