On Saturday under the extremely bright,hot Cornish sun (not a sentence you read very often! Were more used to the liquid kind…) a 10.2 metre high puppet visited my little city. It didn’t just randomly stroll on in (well duh it’s a puppet!)
10 years ago the kind people of UNESCO realised how important Cornish mining had been in shaping the uk & much further afield, minerals mined from our insignificant little point had been shipped, freighted all over the place. And so 10 years go the Cornish mining district was awarded world heritage status, along side the great wall of China and the taj mahal. Truro was (I think, I maybe wrong) one of the first places to have the tin stamps. When in Cornwall you are never too far away from a disused mine (honest if most of you had viewed the mining maps you’d all move away! Well just look at Camborne/redruth falling into the ground) it was hard, dirty work and very very dangerous, many a life was lost in this way, either through rock falls, false floors collapsing, being passed or being drowned amongst other things. The holes go many many fathoms down (6 feet = 1 fathom) and the real show of Cornish spirit yesterday was a real bringing together of mining past and present. Recently mining has fallen off schools curriculum, we learn about far flung places but not stuff that went on on our own doorstep. So during the run up to the 2 week crawl starting from tailstock and ending at geevor tin mine the wonderful crew worked with local schools to create stuff related to mining and to tell the kids about it. How great are they?
So anyways we have this massive puppet in Truro. We got there by 12.30 (it didn’t start untill 2) but because I knew there would be hundreds of people I wanted to get a place that midge could see. However this did mean that by 1.30 she was a whingy crying mess on the floor. However when they pulled the cover off she soon perked up.
There was lots of singing and the commentator Will Coleman was captivating and so funny! The stories he told and the way he told them really created a lovely atmosphere with singing and laughter. The man engine itself was all built down here and was the largest mechanical structure built in the uk (I bet the previous winners never got the amazing following this has got!)
Midge loves the man engine & keeps talking about it and singing her own versions of the songs. I loved it too. It was funny, clever, magical and such a wonderful way to spend a sunny afternoon!
I do think at things like this it should be ensured that children have a sectioned off area near the front to save the having to keep a child from having a meltdown because theyve got to wait so long so they make sure they have a good view. Thank you to the lovely people who I was stood near for helping keep midge entertained and for not making me feel like rubbish when she had eventually had enough & had a mini meltdown.
Man engine & crew, we thoroughly enjoyed it!