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Laxey Wheel keeps turning! – Thanks to the dream catcher appeal 11 May 2010

Dream Catcher Appeal - Laxey WheelOn Saturday 1st May 2010 Manx National Heritage was joined by Peel resident Joan Caine who became one of only a handful of people to have the honour of turning on the Laxey Wheel - an opportunity which Mrs Caine enjoyed courtesy of her family’s generosity in placing the winning bid in the Manx Radio Dream Catcher auction in October last year.

Bidding spiralled for this unique opportunity and whilst the amount of the winning bid is a closely guarded secret, all proceeds went directly to the Dream Catcher appeal to provide ‘gifts’ to deserving causes across the Isle of Man.

Roger Clare, Supervisor at the Laxey Wheel commented: “The prize could not have gone to a more fitting person, as Mrs Caine was recently given the award of "Reih Bleeaney Vanannan" from the Manx Heritage Foundation for her services in promoting Manx culture.”

The Reih Bleeaney Vanannan is an annual award given to a person or group who has made an outstanding contribution to Manx culture. The trophy is held by the recipient for a year. Mrs Caine who also received a medal as part of the award wore it with pride as she turned on the water to the Laxey Wheel and commented: “there are few opportunities to wear such a prestigious medal, but on this occasion it seems most fitting.”

The Laxey Wheel was designed by Robert Casement to drive pumps to keep the Great Laxey mine free of water. The wheel draws the water which powers it from surrounding hillsides by a system of channels called lades. The water is delivered to the Wheel cistern and an underground pipe takes the water to the base of the wheel tower. Gravity forces the water up the tower, under the viewing platform and then powers the wheel from the top. The wheel is believed to be the largest working waterwheel of its kind in the world and is one of the Isle of Man’s most popular visitor attractions.

Mrs Caine was presented with a certificate to mark the day along with a copy of the Laxey Wheel book written by local historian and Laxey resident Andrew Scarffe.

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