South Wales is one of the UK’s most significant mining heritage locations, with iron, copper and coal forming the heart of the Valleys for hundreds of years.
And in 2018, the whole nation is invited to celebrate and commemorate this industrial history with a visit from the now-iconic Man Engine.
The giant miner will visit eight of south Wales’s most important industrial heritage locations for a week of celebrations from 08 – 12 April 2018.
The colossal feat of engineering will visit Big Pit, Blaenavon Ironworks, Ebbw Vale Steelworks, 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”.
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), National Museums Wales, five local authorities (Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr, Rhondda and Swansea), Head 4 Arts and Golden Tree Productions.
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 mining heritage sites, including locations in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Yorkshire, Shropshire and Derbyshire.
Animated by a team of more than a dozen ‘miners’, the giant puppet will begin his grand tour of Wales on 08 April with an opening ceremony at Big Pit and a parade down to Blaenavon Ironworks.
Next stop will be the Ebbw Vale Steelworks on 09 April — a gem of Welsh industry and the first site in Britain to integrate iron and steel production.
On 10 April, the Man Engine will visit Cyfarthfa Park and Castle – the former home of Ironmaster William Crawshay II and his family – offering a poignant reminder of the Ironmaster’s dominance over Merthyr and the wealth of the iron industry in the Valleys.
Meanwhile, visitors can watch the monumental machine steam into Ynysangharad War Memorial Park on 11 April.
The tour will culminate on 12 April, with nostalgic displays at the National Waterfront Museum Swansea, a city parade and an evening finale at the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks.
Further information and tickets to witness the week of spectacles will be released via the Man Engine website in January.
To find out more about the “Man Engine Cymru: forging a nation” tour or to discover the story behind the magnificent Man Engine visit www.themanengine.co.uk.