Man Engine Cymru
The huge mechanical puppet, which resembles a giant miner, is set to visit seven of south Wales’s most important industrial heritage locations for a week of celebrations from 08 – 12 April 2018.
The colossal engineering miracle will visit Big Pit, Blaenavon Ironworks, Cyfarthfa Park and Castle, Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, the National Waterfront Museum Swansea, Swansea City Centre and the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks as part of his journey across Wales, entitled: “Man Engine Cymru: forging a nation”.
Designed to celebrate the rich mining heritage of south Wales, each stop on the Man Engine’s tour of Wales will offer bespoke spectacles, from gripping theatrics and nostalgic choral renditions, to traditional Welsh storytelling and even an awe inspiring after-dark fire show.
Tickets for the events at Blaenavon Ironworks, Cyfarthfa Park and Castle and Hafod-Morfa Copperworks are now available via the Man Engine website. Free tickets are also available for the event at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park.
Meanwhile, free, un-ticketed entry will be granted to visitors at Big Pit and the Gilchrist Industrial Estate in Blaenavon, the National Waterfront Museum Swansea and Swansea City Centre.
The Welsh tour is a collaboration among the cultural sector in Wales, with Swansea University working in partnership with the Welsh Government’s historic environment service (Cadw), Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales, four local authorities (Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Swansea), Head 4 Arts and Golden Tree Productions.
Animated by a team of more than a dozen ‘miners’, the giant puppet will begin its grand tour of Wales on 08 April
The tour will culminate on 12 April with nostalgic displays outside the National Waterfront Museum Swansea, a City Centre parade to celebrate the city’s 300-year copper-smelting tradition and an evening finale at the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks, which will come to life with a dramatic fire and light show.
The Man Engine was named the nation’s favourite arts project at the 2017 National Lottery Awards — an honour bestowed upon the giant miner following his iconic journey across the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site in the summer of 2016.
The Welsh tour is expected to echo this sense of pride and is anticipated to attract large crowds of visitors on his journey from Blaenavon to the shores of Swansea Bay during Wales’s 2018 Year of the Sea.
The Welsh visit forms part of the Man Engine’s 2018 Resurrection Tour, which will see the 11.2m tall puppet steam across some of the UK’s most significant industrial heritage sites, including locations in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Yorkshire, Shropshire and Derbyshire.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas said: “Life in the Valleys, as in many other industrial communities across the UK, revolved around iron, copper and coal for hundreds of years. The arrival of the Man Engine in south Wales marks a unique chance for the people of Wales to reflect on and remember their industrial heritage.
“The south Wales Valleys is an ideal location for the mechanical giant to visit and I urge everyone to come and see this culturally significant reminder of our mining heritage in Wales.”
Will Coleman, the creator of the Man Engine said: “Our big boy is setting off in the footsteps of the Cornish Cousin Jacks, and we’re delighted that we’re bringing him to south Wales where mines, collieries, trams and trains once dominated the landscape.
“We have a global ambition to take the Man Engine to all the significant mining and industrial heritage sites across the world, so bringing him to south Wales with its major industrial heritage status, is an ideal stop on his UK-wide journey.
“We can’t wait to meet all the people of the Valleys and have the Man Engine share the stories and the significance of the area’s rich mining heritage.”
Visitors to see the Man Engine in Wales are being encouraged to share their epic experiences on social media by using the hashtag #ManEngineCymru.