Big surprise for Cornish icon, as comedian David Baddiel helps them celebrate Lottery Award success
The Man Engine, the UK’s largest mechanical puppet built to celebrate Cornish mining heritage has walked away with a National Lottery Award.
Comedian David Baddiel met the team who brought the giant 10m high tin miner to life, at King Edward Mine, Camborne, Cornwall. He broke the news that they had been voted the UK’s Best Arts Project in the annual search for the UK’s favourite National Lottery-funded Good Causes
The project won with 7,974 public votes, winning a £5,000 cash prize, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and an appearance on The National Lottery Awards show on 27 September.
Last summer The Man Engine, a giant mechanical miner, the height of two and a half double decker buses, steamed from the Tamar to the tip of Cornwall to celebrate the ‘Tinth’ (tenth) anniversary of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. At the end of the two-week creative extravaganza, the Man Engine’s creator Will Coleman pledged to take the colossal puppet around the world.
The Man Engine unearthed a vein of pride and resilience during the tour to celebrate Cornwall and West Devon’s mining heritage. National Lottery funding helped fund the tour, which brought Cornish towns to a near standstill, with almost a third of the local population coming out to greet him. The project helped people share memories of those who worked and died in Cornish mines.
The Man Engine team have been out campaigning for public votes this summer, revisited the sites of last year’s tour. Next Spring the story continues when the Man Engine will say goodbye to Cornwall to tour Wales and England.
After presenting the Man Engine team with their award, David Baddiel said:
“The Man Engine is extraordinary. As well as being a mechanical wonder which people have flocked to see, it’s become a symbol of Cornwall’s pride and heritage.
“They fully deserve this award - National Lottery players should be very proud to have helped fund The Man Engine.”
Will Coleman, Director of Golden Tree Productions, the team behind the Man Engine, added: “We are delighted to have won a National Lottery Award and to be recognised in this way by the public, not just in Cornwall but throughout the UK. I’d like to thank everyone who voted for us and everyone who plays the National Lottery for enabling us to awaken the Man Engine and share him with so many. National Lottery funding will also help us wake The Man Engine next Spring and share him with mining communities in England and Wales, so watch this space for more news!”
The winners of the National Lottery Awards are decided by public votes. The project had already beaten stiff competition from 1,300 entries to be shortlisted.
You can see more about The Man Engine on a The National Lottery Awards on BBC One on Wednesday 27 September, which will profile the seven winners of this year's National Lottery Awards.