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Mnh Wins National Heritage Accolade 11 December 2006

Manx National Heritage has won a major award for the outstanding way it informs and involves the public at the Laxey Wheel.

AHI AwardsThe Interpret Britain and Ireland Commendation was presented to Manx National Heritage Curator of Social History Matthew Richardson by TV personality and heritage campaigner Loyd Grossman in Bristol on 30th November 2006.

The awards recognise the very best examples of interpretation – the art of sharing the stories and significance of natural and cultural heritage. Winners had to score high marks against a range of rigorous criteria including imagination and innovation, good interpretive planning and a clear commitment to accessibility, training and maintenance.

Lyod Grossman said:

“It is extremely gratifying to see such excellent interpretive practice being put in place by organisations large and small. It is also exciting that so many people are working to encourage diversity by making their sites and interpretation accessible to everyone”.

The awards scheme, now in its 22nd year, is run by the Association for Heritage Interpretation (AHI), with support from English Heritage, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Countryside Council for Wales.

The award related specifically to Manx National Heritage’s work in the 150th anniversary year of Laxey Wheel, 2004 which included the temporary exhibition ‘Industry, Ingenuity and Endeavour’, a major overhaul of the graphic panels around the wheel, both of which gave greater insight into the lives of the miners who toiled there, and the anniversary celebration events including the re-enactment of the opening ceremony in 1854.

Matthew Richardson commented:

“I am very pleased to have received this commendation on behalf of Manx National Heritage. It is great to see our efforts to put the Laxey Wheel into context by portraying the lives of ordinary Laxey people who were involved with the mines, recognised by a body whose remit covers the whole of the British Isles. So much hard work went into the events of 2004, from so many people, and I am pleased that the judges have chosen to give this work recognition”.

The Laxey Wheel is part of the award-winning Story of Mann and will re-open for the summer season on Friday 6th April 2007.

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