Hundreds of pupils gathered in Dorchester on Friday to sing a final farewell to their favourite dinosaur.

It was a tight squeeze in the Victorian Hall at Dorset County Museum as more than 250 schoolchildren – and their parents – gathered as part of the goodbye celebrations for Dippy the Diplodocus.

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Dippy is a plaster cast replica of the fossilised bones of the type specimen of Diplodocus carnegii which lived between 145 million and 156 million years ago.

It has been at the Natural History Museum since 1905 but has embarked on a UK tour with Dorchester being its first stop.

Dippy arrived in February and proved to be a huge attraction.

With the weather holding out, the children had a practice run at Brewery Square before marching through the town, waving their Dippy flags and hats, to Dorset County Museum.

They then performed a special Dippy song that was written by Dorchester Area Schools Partnership (DASP) music coordinator, Hanna Trevorrow.

The song was originally performed at the opening celebration of Dippy on Tour back in February by Skylarks Choir and the museum thought there was no better way to wave Dippy off, than with how it all began.

It was such a success and in Hanna's words, so "annoyingly catchy" that she went from school to school teaching the children the song.

Speaking at the event, Dr Jon Murden, director of Dorset County Museum, thanked everyone for their support in what he described as the "most amazing three months of having Dippy in Dorchester".

He said: "By closing time on Monday we expected that over 150,000 people have come to see Dippy in his time here.

"I want to say a special thank you to Hanna for her amazing work. The aim of having Dippy was to help inspire the next generation of children in natural history and science, and I think we have most definitely done that."

The event was also attended by the Mayor of Dorchester, Cllr Susie Hosford.

She said: "How lucky am I that in the year that Dippy comes to Dorchester I am Mayor? I am absolutely delighted to have had the opportunity to come to tonight's celebrations and thank everyone, especially all the wonderful children.

"Dippy has been the most extraordinary thing for Dorchester. The town has been buzzing for months and we have seen a huge economical benefit, it's really put Dorchester on the map. I want to thank everyone involved for making this happen.

Dippy will remain at Dorset County Museum until 5pm today (7). He will then be dismantled, packed up and transported up to Birmingham for the next part of his journey.