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See the colossal engineering miracle ‘Man Engine’ at Blists Hill Victorian Town on Saturday 14th April

By Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, 22 March 2018, 15:30PM

Excitement is building at the Ironbridge Gorge Museums in Shropshire as they await the arrival of Man Engine for two spectacular events at Blists Hill Victorian Town on Saturday, 14th April.

Back in summer 2016, a remarkable phenomenon captured hearts and souls across Cornwall, as the massive mechanical puppet steamed the length of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. And now its Shropshire turn to be captivated by Man Engine as he visits Ironbridge, Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, as part of a UK tour of industrial heritage sites.<span ">

This is your once in a lifetime opportunity to see the largest mechanical puppet ever constructed in Britain at Ironbridge and be a part of the amazing Awakening Ceremony. He weighs nearly 40 tonnes, crawls at 4.5m high, ‘transforms’ to stand at nearly 12m and will be the star of a daytime event packed with family friendly activities and a new spectacular evening event.

The creator of the Man Engine, Will Coleman, explains; “Our ‘Afternooner’ will give families and big kids the chance to really get to know their favourite giant miner: there will be an industrial-scale feast of fun and frolics. The ‘Afterdarker’ promises an edgier explosive experience including white-hot pyrotechnics - sparks will fly. Suffice to say, we are cranking up the experience that held everyone spellbound last year and we can’t wait for people across Shropshire and the West Midlands to witness Man Engine’s new incarnation!”

During the day visitors will join the Miners’ Parade led by the Wellington Marching Band that will take them to meet Man Engine and be a part of the amazing Awakening Ceremony of the mind boggling mechanical marvel at 2.00pm. Families can also have a go at printing, candle dipping, building a mini-steam engine and many other hands-on activities that bring alive our industrial past. There will also be plenty of time to meet the Blists Hill townsfolk in their shops, cottages and places of work and enjoy everything else that the Town has to offer.

During the evening the atmosphere changes as the air is filled with the sound of rhythmic drums performed by Rick Wilson and his team. Around the Town Shropshire’s Hotbuckle Productions will be performing street theatre, celebrating the area’s world famous industrial heritage. As the pace of the drums speeds up, the crowds will be called to The Green for the Man Engine ceremony at 8.30pm. Here you will help Man Engine awake from his slumber with chanting, singing, sparks, steam and smoke, not to mention lots of audience participation.

Phil Smith, Chief Operating Officer at Ironbridge Gorge Museum said: “We are very proud to be able to welcome Man Engine to Blists Hill Victorian Town and we know that visitors are really excited about this once in a lifetime opportunity. We are recommending that everyone buys their tickets early as we know demand will be high.”

One of the ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums, on 14th April Blists Hill will be open from 10am to 4.30pm by day and 6.30pm to 10pm in the evening.

Tickets should be purchased in advance at www.ironbridge.org.uk. Day tickets are priced at £17.95 for adults, £12.70 for 60 plus, £10.90 for children 5 - 16 years. Evening tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £8 concessions. Annual Passports are not valid for either event but current Passport holders will receive a 25% discount off daytime admission. <span ">

For further information, call the Ironbridge Tourist Information Centre on 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk.