A 10 metre high, steam-powered giant, reminiscent of Cornwall’s tin mining past, has completed its journey across the entire length of the Cornish Mining Landscape in celebration of the region’s Tinth (or tenth) anniversary as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The largest mechanical puppet ever made in Britain, the ‘miner’ is the same height as a double-decker bus when in its ‘crawling’ mode, but will ‘transform’ to almost three times that height when stood up.
The Man Engine was the star attraction of a fortnight of cultural and community projects held in honour of the region’s tenth year as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The idea for the epic Man Engine came out of a challenge that the Cornwall Mining World Heritage team put out to the local community to celebrate the region’s mining past. The most compelling of the ideas submitted was the creation of a giant puppet of a Cornish miner constructed in a way that is completely inspired by the equipment that you would find in a Cornish tin mine.
Deborah Boden, World Heritage Site Coordinator said to the BBC:
“The reason that we are a World Heritage Site is in recognition of the techniques and equipment that were developed in Cornwall to extract raw materials from the ground. These techniques and equipment were transmitted across the world and are a product of Cornish ingenuity and creativity; skills that are still present in Cornwall today as shown by the construction of this puppet”.
Watch The Man Engine as it is revealed in Tavistock, Devon here.
Listen to the BBC Radio 4 documentary on the Man Engine Project here.