Recently i was absolutely delighted to be asked by the people upstairs at The Natural History Museum to be involved in celebrating a little piece of history in itself. 2017 marks the end of a ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN year stay in the museum for the cast of the Diplodocus, otherwise known as ‘Dippy’. If you, or your parents, or your parents parents, or even your parents parents parents (depending on how old you are) have visited the Natural History Museum during a sightseeing trip to our capital at one time or another, then you will have no doubt been looked down upon by the towering cast of Dippy, which has stood in it’s current spot in the main hall as you arrive since 1979. Before that, it has been positioned in different areas of the museum since it’s arrival in 1905 and has been on show to the general public for the duration of the 111 years, other than when it was partially dismantled in 1940 to protect it from potential damage during World War II.
The cast’s journey began when a fragment of a Diplodocus was discovered in 1898 in Wyoming, by a fossil hunter named William Harlow Reed. A team of palaeontologists, including Reed, were then hired by an American philanthropist called Andrew Carnegie and began the task of finding a complete specimen. Eventually this resulted in the finding of a big toe, which then lead the team to much more!
At the beginning of the 1900’s, Carnegie agreed to have the cast shipped over and set up in London’s iconic Natural History Museum. The cast arrived in 36 separate cases and once it was built, it was then presented to over 200 guests including members of the military, parliament and the House of Lords. This week saw the beginning of the removal of the cast which was also witnessed and celebrated by a similar amount of people, which is where i came in… To help celebrate this extraordinary landmark, i was delighted to be asked to create a cake featuring an edible version of the iconic structure, as well as 2 separate cakes depicting the famous architecture within the current hall that Dippy has sat for the last 35 years. All in all, there was enough cake to go around all of the lucky attendees and ensure everyone gave Dippy the send off he deserves after wow-ing the public for so many years! His next journey will involve being dismantled and heading out on tour, visiting 8 venues across the U.K. Be sure to see if he pop’s in to one near you.