A DORCHESTER museum is celebrating its 30th birthday.

The county town’s Dinosaur Museum opened its doors for the first time in June 1984 and has been celebrating the prehistoric creatures ever since.

Museum curator Tim Batty said: “In 1984 the museum was an instant success when it opened.

“People were really excited, and the hands on displays and family friendly approach struck a chord with the museum’s visitors.

“We tried to be user friendly, incorporating entertaining methods of communication, which made discovering facts about dinosaurs fun.”

The Dinosaur Museum was nominated for the European Museum of the Year Award in 1985 and since then has won a number of other accolades including Family Attraction of the Year and was described by the Daily Telegraph as one of Britain’s Top Ten Hands On Museums.

Most recently it was chosen as one of Britain’s Ten Best Family Museums.

It was the first museum in Britain to use computers for display exhibits with specially written programs and also invented the ‘Feely Box’.

The museum has also worked with representatives from other museums and other professionals on a range of projects over the years. It has appeared on a range of television programmes including Blue Peter, the Really Wild Show, Tikkabilla and the Tweenies.

The museum supports local and national causes including Children in Need and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature.

One of its dinosaurs also claimed the record for wearing the biggest red nose in its effort to raise money for Red Nose Day.

Mr Batty said as well as celebrating the last 30 years, the museum could look forward to a bright future.

He said: “The museum is an interpretative museum.

“We continue to add new innovative ideas and displays, to introduce dinosaurs to new generations.”