As I’m back in Norwich, I thought I’d take the opportunity to go and see Dippy at Norwich Cathedral before he (or she) departs on the end of its tour of the provinces. The cathedral has clearly put a huge amount of effort into this whole arrangement and there are what seemed like endless amounts of volunteers, who all seemed happy, engaged and content. Rather like Rochester Cathedral and its golf course, I think it’s a clever way of getting families in to see the building as well as Dippy.
The usual entrance to the cathedral has been closed for the moment, from its rather decadent entry near the front of the building to a slightly hard to find (well, for someone who isn’t local) entrance around the side. There is signage, but I was slightly puzzled why they had moved away from their recently professionally constructed entrance to guide people through the cloisters.
After navigating around a bit, here we are in the aisle of the cathedral. The whole thing is just a copy of the original which is located at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, which was annoyingly shut when I went to the city. I’ll go back one day as I liked Pittsburgh.
To the side…..
The number of volunteers on site helped give a friendly atmosphere to the arrangement, there were a number of families with excited children (well, and some less excited, but let’s dwell on the positives) and other interested spectators. I read some reviews and most people are positive, although there are a few sneering about the presence of a dinosaur and its presence in the nave. Personally, I thought some of the complaints were a little ridiculous, it’s not as though the cathedral has got its head sticking out of the roof or something. Engagement with new audiences is perhaps far more important.
It’s apparent just how big the cathedral nave is here as Dippy looked quite small when standing back a little. I’m impressed at how well the cathedral authorities have handled this, also providing another visitor route for those who really just wanted to see the building and not the dinosaur. Everything co-exists in harmony, which is just what I’m sure the cathedral hoped would happen.