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Country's largest mechanical puppet to travel across Cornwall

It's the largest mechanical puppet ever made in Britain Photo:

Final touches are being made to the largest mechanical puppet ever made in our country. The Man Engine is due to be unveiled tomorrow and marks the 10th anniversary of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape being added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

The man Engine is three times the height of a double decker bus Credit: Man Engine

Standing at 11 meters high when crawling the Man Engine is three times the height of a double decker bus when standing. No-one other than its makers have seen the puppet in full, but all will be revealed tomorrow.

"It's legs will pivot on these big axils and the shoulders will pivot on big axils and the head will be alive, and blink and there'll be buckets of steam and noise. In the transit position we will have five puppeteers on top operating the controls. The puppeteers will all be orange high-vis miners."

– Hal Sylvester, Lead designer & puppet master
The Man Engine will start in Tavistock on Monday

Starting in Tavistock over the next 2 weeks the puppet will travel 130 miles ending at the western tip of Cornwall on 6th August. Events along the way have been planned including musical and fancy dress parades as people's stories are brought to life.

"We have endeavored to embed into this single huge object the meaning and the feeling of the stories of real people and real lives stretching over 4 thousand years of Cornish mining history."

– Will Coleman, Founder & artistic director
Cornwall had 400 mines working in 19th century

The Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape were made World Heritage Sites in 2006 because of how it helped to shape the way we live today. At the height of Cornwall's mining success there were 400 working mines.

"Places that get World Heritage status either teach us something really important about how we as a human species have developed or how the planet that we live on has evolved to support our life. And because of that they belong morally to the whole of humanity, they have something to offer to all of us."

– Deborah Boden, The Cornish Mining World Heritage Site

As the final touches are made to the man machine it'll no doubt be sparking a lot of interest as it makes it's way across the county.