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Billingshurst Diplodocus

Billingshurst Diplodocus - Credit: Archant

A look at what has been happening out and about in Sussex

Billingshurst has a bone to pick

The first sale of a large dinosaur skeleton at auction in the UK will took place at Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, West Sussex, on 27 November, as part of their Evolution Sale.

The massive 17-metre specimen is a Diplodocus longus, one of the most iconic of dinosaurs and one of the largest animals ever to have walked on earth, some 150 million years ago.

Relatively-complete Diplodocus skeletons are extremely rare and this specimen joins only a handful of other known examples. Indeed such is its rarity that even the famous Diplodocus, Dippy, in the Natural History Museum is a plaster copy taken from an original in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which was itself composed from at least two different fragmentary skeletons.

This female Diplodocus, Misty, as she has been nicknamed, carries an estimate of £400,000-600,000. Misty was found by the children of the celebrated dinosaur hunter Raimund Albersdoerfer near to the famous, privately-owned Dana quarry in Wyoming, and painstakingly prepped at a leading fossil laboratory in Holland before being assembled in the UK.

01403 331331; www.summersplaceauctions.comCanine Partners opens a shop

National assistance dog charity, Canine Partners, is to open its first pop-up shop at a prime location in the centre of Midhurst.

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The shop is a first for the charity, which is based on the outskirts of Midhurst, at Heyshott. The Canine Partners Shop has moved into West Street and is now open for business. It will remain open throughout the festive season until the end of January.

Staff, volunteers and local partnerships from the local charity will run the shop, which will sell luxury Christmas cards and gifts, as well as a range of fabulous pre-loved evening wear and accessories. Jill Green, Head of Regional Fundraising for the charity said: “This will be a fabulous opportunity for us to meet more people who may have an interest in the life-changing work that we do.”

Canine Partners is a national charity that trains assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities, including civilians and members of HM Armed Forces.

The dogs are trained to help with everyday tasks such as opening and closing doors, unloading the washing machine, picking up dropped items, pressing buttons and switches and getting help in an emergency. They also increase independence, confidence and self-esteem and bring companionship, a sense of security and increased social interaction.

Shop opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. For more information about the charity, go to awarded scholarships

Olympians and athletes studying at the University of Chichester have been awarded scholarships to help combine their academic work with their sporting careers. The group, which includes London 2012 competitors and junior world champions, will receive financial support for travel to competitions and free physiotherapy in the event of injuries.

As part of the Gifted Athlete Programme, scholars will also work with experts from the University’s Sport and Exercise Sciences Department, who have previously assisted America’s Cup winner Ben Ainslie and world champion boxer Amir Khan. Athletes are selected each year by the University and its Students’ Union based on future potential or regional, national, or international standard in their sport.

This year’s list includes long-distance runner Ben Evans, the highest-finishing Brit at the Boston Marathon, junior karate world champion Michaela Lamport, wheelchair table tennis junior champion Tyler Paul, Olympic trampolinist Emma Britton, Alex Hammond, the opening batsman for England’s disabled cricket team, Team GB triathlete Alison Milmer, Royal Yachting Association ambassador Noelle Finch, as well as Olympic-class sailor Tom Scott.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dr Sarah Gilroy, a former England hockey coach, said: “By providing comprehensive support to our sports scholars, it helps them to undertake their academic studies while continuing to aim for national and international success.”

To find out more about the University’s scholarship programme visit of approval for Molly

Molly Robson, aged 7, from Horsham, has won a nationwide competition to have her design on the 1st Class Christmas Stamp.

Her design, ‘Santa’, has won her the chance to attend a prize-giving at Clarence House with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Royal Mail Chief Executive Officer, Moya Greene. Prince Charles led the judging panel that chose the winning designs.

Molly’s design was chosen from over 240,000 entries received from children aged 4-11 years across the UK in response to the question: “What does the Christmas season mean to you?”

This is only the third time in Royal Mail’s near 500-year history that children have designed the Christmas Stamps.

The stamps are on sale now and are available online at, by phone 08457 641641 and in 10,000 Post Offices throughout the UK.