Dino display a roaring success for Preston

Jessica Luckiewicz poses with a Masiakasaurus
Jessica Luckiewicz poses with a Masiakasaurus

A step back in time to the Jurassic period courtesy of an ever popular children’s toy has proved to be one of Preston’s most successful events.

Unfortunately for those who missed out, the Brick Dinos exhibition at the Harris Museum is now extinct but not before it attracted around 40,000 visitors.

Cultural bosses at the town hall are hoping it is a sign of things to come in terms of a golden period at the iconic venue

Coun Peter Kelly, cabinet member for culture and leisure, said: “Brick Dinos has been our most successful exhibition yet in terms of visitors, attracting almost 40,000 people – that works out at more than 600 per day. The feedback from families was absolutely fantastic.

“They really enjoyed the different elements and range of hands-on activities on offer.”

The exhibition, which ran from July, taking in the school holidays, featured both life-size and miniature dinosaurs made from toy blocks.

All were created with pain-staking detail by palaeontologist and artist Warren Elsmore and his team who have taken the models all over the country in recent years.

It proved to be a hit both with youngsters and adults alike with a whole host of models on display complimented by an interactive room where visitors could take part in a mock archaeological dig.

Visitors immediately came face-to-face with a life-size Masiakasaurus and those brave enough to venture close enough were greeted with a load roar from the scary creature.

Families also had the chance to see whether they could all fit inside a huge dinosaur footprint along with handy guides to learn about dinosaur life.

The Harris recently secured a five-year funding plan boost from the Arts Council but missed out on a once in a generation handout of £10m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Coun Kelly and colleagues from the Re-Imagining Harris project at the museum have previously said successful exhibitions and increasing visitor footfall will help in future bids for HLF funding.

He added: “Attracting new audiences into the Harris is very important for us, which is why a variety of exhibitions are on offer throughout the building. We also held two autism-friendly sessions for the first time which went down very well.”