Sunday, 5 November 2017

Farewell Dippy!

The Natural History Museum, London has always held a special place in my heart, it being one of the first places* where young Master Awdry came face to face with what had previously only be consigned to reference books, I refer of course to the wonders of the prehistoric age and in particular dinosaurs. 
 *The first place being the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.  
This magnificent building, a striking example of Romanesque architecture, is a gem in its own right and never ceases to impress me when I visit.  The picture above, courtesy of the Natural History Museum's website and taken in 1979, is how I first remember the majesty of the building, the iconic specimens standing proud in the Hintze Hall.  It had been a good while since I last resisted the museum, but when I heard the news that the plaster cast of their Diplodocus, affectionately named Dippy** was going to replaced with the skeletal remains of a Blue Whale myself and the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' decided that would we would travel to the mighty metropolis to say our fond farewells.  
**Although I have to confess that I don't ever remember calling her that.

What follows is simply a collection of items that caught my eye during our most recent visit, the summer before last, finally posted here; a somewhat tenuous link to 'Dinovember'.  As in previous years I hope to dedicate this month to all things pulp and prehistoric, but I'm a tad wary of making any bold promises of forthcoming content, particularly given my poor showing during 'Zomtober'.

But what, I hear you cry, has happened to Dippy?  The much loved skeleton is going on tour, all 292 bones!  Full details of her planned itinerary can be found on the museum's website - here.

41 comments:

  1. A wonderful museum and great pictures. I haven't been for 20 years but the kids are getting near to an age where they should appreciate it so maybe a trip next year is in order.

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    1. I am sure they will enjoy it Dan, I was impressed at just how accessible it was to children, but my word it was busy.

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  2. Great report! We've actually visited this museum an odd 10 years ago so I am glad to have seen Dippy in the flesh...erm bone myself.

    Cheers Sander

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    1. Thank you Sander, glad you saw her before she was packed away.

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  3. Marvellous posting, Sir Awdry. I personally will be bitterly disappointed to return to the museum and not be greeted by Dippy - such an iconic fossil and a truly marvellous way to capture the youth of today's imagination just as soon as they walked into the place. I've my doubts Dippy's replacement will have the same impact, but time will tell...

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    1. I know exactly what you mean Simon, such an iconic beast. I was watching 'Paddington' last night and the young bear actually surfs down Dippy's back in his escape - not sure he will be able to do that on the whale!

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    2. I watched that last night too, a thoroughly wholesome film that. I hate that the iconic Dippy is being removed.. whyyyyyyy? :-(

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  4. Love that place too. Been 3 times.

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    1. Certainly one of my favourites Paul.

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  5. Dippy on tour, driven by nannies in a steam lorry ?

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    1. Now funny you should mention that :)

      http://28mmvictorianwarfare.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/one-of-our-dinosaurs-is-missing.html

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  6. Excellent post sir! Thanks for photos :)

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  7. Got to be my favourite museum in London, as growing up in the suburbs, this was first choice for school trips and wet Sunday afternoons. Must have been there at least half a dozen times. I think what you forget from your childhood until you revisit it as an adult, is just how big it is. Lovely posting, Michael and makes me want to revisit it.

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    1. I do any you being able to pop around whenever you wanted. This time, more than any other, I was struck by the amazing details in the architecture.

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  8. What a lovely place, thanks for sharing these pictures Michael!

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  9. It's a great museum. Nice photos

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  10. It has been a while since I went there. Mrs C always attracted by nearby shops.

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  11. Funily enough when my lad was 5 he was dinosaur crazy and we were there every couple of weeks. By the end I spent more time looking at the building itself rather then the exhibits!

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    1. I know what you mean, I seem to have missed all the animal details in the architecture as a child, stunning building.

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  12. Very cool pictures Michael. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. I love museums - but haven't been to any lately. As a kid (and while in the Army), I was lucky to visit many, including the Smithsonian, as well as the Bishop Museum in Hawaii where I grew up.

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    1. I would love to visit the Smithsonian one day Dean.

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  14. I love it too....you simply can’t beat the victorians for architecture.........

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    1. They could certainly sling up a building!

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  15. Was the orangutan in picture #7 the inspiration for Pratchett's Librarian from the Discworld series?

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    1. I'm not sure Stu, but I can certainly see the resemblance.

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  16. Great museum, I can only recall visitng it once, thankfully in my informative years.
    My grandson has visited the "Dippy" in Newcastle already too!

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    1. Great to hear that Dippy is already safely on tour!

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  17. Looks like a fun tripp, great photos!

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  18. It's a shame Dippy is going, but things change, love visiting the Natural History Museum whenever I can, always leave feeling freshly inspired

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  19. As one of Dippy's stopping off places will be Norwich Cathedral [not as odd as it sounds - Sedgwick was a Canon here], I'll be sure to give him your regards.

    I watched a interesting docco earlier this year about the harvesting and placing of the whale at the Museum- if you get a chance do watch it yourself.

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    1. I practically LIVED in Norwich castle as a kid growing up, in and out every wee end for years (the security guys got really on friendly terms with me and used to share their sandwiches lol). The cathedral is awesome too, and I wish I could go visit again when Dippy`s there :( Sadly not to be.

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  20. Oh thank God. When I read the title, I was horrified at the thought they were going to do away with Dippy, not that he was going on tour.

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  21. What an excellent museum you have in London. Our national museum is so embarrassingly pathetic that most areas are just filled with posters rather than actual exhibits. :(

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  22. That looks like a really excellent museum. I'll put it on my list for any future visits in England's green and pleasant land.
    ;-)

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  23. so..basically, if one didn´t see it there one can see it "on tour" so one won´t have "dipped out" on seeing dippy ?

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