‘Man Engine’ mechanical puppet comes to Yorkshire

The largest mechanical puppet ever constructed in Britain is coming to Yorkshire this month.

Man Engine, a 36ft (11m) tall miner powered by Volvo, will visit Barnsley and Rotherham as part of its 2018 Resurrection Tour.

The giant mechanical miner will visit Elsecar Heritage Centre in Barnsley and Wentworth Woodhouse near Rotherham from 23 to 24 June. The events will include theatrical shows, live music, fireworks and storytelling to celebrate the area’s iron and coal industrial heritage.

In 2017 Man Engine won ‘best arts project’ in the National Lottery Awards. The invention was made to mark the tenth anniversary of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape being added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

Yorkshire’s Man Engine festivities will begin at Elsecar Heritage Centre from 7pm on Saturday 23 June for the ‘after darker’ where pyrotechnics will light up the night sky. The celebrations will continue at Wentworth Woodhouse near Rotherham on Sunday 24 June from 12 noon with a 1940s vintage-themed picnic. Entertainment will include live music, street performers, craft activities and food and drink stalls.

The events have been funded by Great Place Wentworth and Elsecar - a three-year partnership between Barnsley Council, Rotherham Council and the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England.

Cllr Roy Miller, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “The arrival of Man Engine celebrates the iron and coal industrial heritage of both Elsecar and Wentworth in a big coming-together event.

“Mining was the backbone of Elsecar and Wentworth and an intrinsic part of their histories. So, it’s fitting that Man Engine should visit both of these great places in what will be a truly unmissable weekend.

“We can’t wait for people from across Yorkshire to see the star of our show and experience some spectacular white-hot pyrotechnics.”

Cllr Sarah Allen, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Cleaner, Greener Communities, said: “It’s a really exciting summer of events in Wentworth, with the Tour de Yorkshire, the Wentworth Music Festival and now the Man Engine!

“With Rotherham’s proud mining history, I hope that many people from across the borough will take this opportunity to come along and enjoy what promises to be an amazing spectacle.”

The arrival of Man Engine at Elsecar Heritage Centre kicks off Experience Barnsley Festival, a week-long celebration of the town’s past, present and future, organised by Barnsley Museums, with events taking place from 23 to 30 June. For more information visit http://www.barnsley-museums.com.

Tickets for the ‘Afterdarker’ at Elsecar Heritage Centre and ‘Afternooner’ at Wentworth Woodhouse can be purchased through Eventbrite.

Video of Man Engine in action: 

 

Dominic Somers from the Great Place Wentworth & Elsecar project is available for interview

Media contact: Charlotte Goldthorpe at Capital B Media on 01226 766900 or at charlotte@capitalbmedia.co.uk

The Great Place project is a three-year partnership between Barnsley Council, Rotherham Council and the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, that will deliver a range of exciting activities inspired by the awe-inspiring Wentworth Woodhouse and the Earl Fitzwilliam’s incredible model industrial village at Elsecar. It is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Arts Council England (ACE).

About Wentworth Woodhouse

Wentworth Woodhouse is a Grade I listed country house, based in the village of Wentworth, Rotherham. One of the largest houses in Europe, it was once the home of the Fitzwilliam family. In 2017, it was bought by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, who are working to renovate the building and restore it to its former glory.

About Elsecar

A bustling industrial village from the 1700s, Elsecar boomed thanks to its ironworks and thriving collieries, which were often visited by aristocrats and royalty.

For 150 years it was the industrial estate village of Wentworth Woodhouse just a mile away and was developed by the Marquis of Rockingham and Earls Fitzwilliam into a model village. The Elsecar Heritage Action Zone project is working closely alongside the Great Place project at Elsecar to research and promote the heritage of the village and surrounding area. Elsecar was named a Heritage Action Zone by Historic England in March 2017 - one of only ten places in the country to gain the special new status.