Britain’s largest mechanical puppet to begin 2018 tour at the Blaenavon World Heritage Site
The largest mechanical puppet ever constructed in Britain will start its tour of Wales with an opening ceremony in Blaenavon on Sunday 8 April 2018.
The colossal Man Engine will begin his journey at Big Pit National Coal Museum before parading down to Blaenavon Ironworks accompanied by choirs, brass bands and theatrics as part of his journey across Wales, entitled: Man Engine Cymru: Forging a Nation.
From Blaenavon it will visit Parc Bryn Bach, Cyfarthfa Park and Castle, Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, the National Waterfront Museum Swansea, Swansea City Centre and the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks.
The Welsh tour is a collaboration of 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, five local authorities (Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Swansea), Head 4 Arts and Golden Tree Productions.
The team behind the Man Engine, Golden Tree Productions, are creating a bespoke visual and aural experience for the Welsh expedition set to include theatrical shows, live music and storytelling to highlight the rich industrial heritage of south Wales.
Visitors will be able to view the event outside the Big Pit Museum and parade through the Gilchrist Thomas Industrial estate. Tickets to view the main event at the Ironworks can be booked via www.ticketsource.co.uk or through the Blaenavon Box Office 01495 742333.
World Heritage UK’s latest workshop, ‘Commercial Best Practice in World Heritage’ took place last week in the magnificent setting of the Kew Gardens UNESCO World Heritage Site. Beating the inclement weather the week before, the participants enjoyed a bright couple of days (with the occasional shower) exploring some of the treasures this remarkable place holds. Travelling on the explorer bus through budding narcissi and spring crocus, the party of thirty delegates were transported to The Pagoda, Queen Charlotte’s Cottage and the Temperate House so see behind-the-scenes restoration work and special privilege access to areas not open to the public. Climbing three hundred steps to the top of the pagoda to meet the restoration experts and the first of the ornamental dragons being mounted there was a memorable experience. Particularly impressive was the amount of research that has taken place in order to match the original design of the architect William Chambers back in 1761, including paint analysis to achieve an accurate representation of the eighteenth century colour scheme. The group were told that this monument is the most important garden ornament in the world – quite fitting to be found in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On to Queen Charlotte’s Cottage (like The Pagoda, managed by Historic Royal Palaces) this hidden gem is an early example of a cottage orné, a rustic thatched cottage built as a country retreat, not as a residence, and used for taking tea during walks in the gardens. A favourite place of King George III, it houses many Hogarth prints and once had a menagerie which included the first kangaroos from the colonies. Then the magnificent Temperate House which is undergoing major restoration and the works are now nearing completion with just a few weeks to go. This is a major investment into World Heritage, costing £41m and the newly painted (four coats) and glazed building is already receiving some of the 10,000 plants of 1500 species while the finishing touches to the structure are being undertaken. After a warm welcome speech from the Director at Kew Gardens, Richard Deverell, the workshop participants received expert wisdom in stimulating presentations from two of Kew’s senior staff, setting the scene for them getting engaged in three workshop groups which enabled a willing exchange of knowledge and experience between those taking part. The notes from the plenary feedback session are currently being distilled and will be available shortly. If this was not enough to fill the one and a half days spent together, everyone enjoyed the evening dinner at the nearby London Museum of Water and Steam, where the heritage engines were fired up in a magnificent demonstration of 19th century mechanical engineering. Thanks go to John Porter for setting up this arrangement. Thanks are also due to the sponsors of the event, Historic England and Lichfields, without whom this workshop would not have been realised. Cheers!
World Heritage UK is a charity and the only organisation solely focused on the business of managing the UK’s World Heritage Sites. World Heritage UK works to secure the sustainable future of UK World Heritage Sites by advocating for support and resources, and promoting the importance of the value of the Sites.
Its membership is made up of organisations that have the responsibility of taking care of the UK’s most important heritage sites. We also welcome individual membership from people who have an interest in World Heritage. Our individual members are students, professionals working in the heritage sector or just people who want to show their support for World Heritage in the UK.
We hold 3 meetings a year including our annual conference which grows in popularity each year. We keep our members updated on matters related to World Heritage and provide networking and training opportunities.
We have a special limited offer for our new membership year. The first 30 people to join by the end of April 2018 will receive one of our stunning World Heritage in the UK maps. This map includes information on all 31 of the UKs sites.
There are 3 ways to join:
Using our PayPal facility
Direct transfer to our account using your online banking facility
Send a cheque to our Finance Manager
Then just complete a whuk-individual-membership-form18-19 and send it to email@example.com and we’ll send you a shiny new map in the post!