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Treasure Hunt at Wheel 30 April 2004

The Department of Tourism and Leisure is launching the Great Laxey Wheel Treasure Hunt on May 1 to mark the attraction's 150th anniversary.

The competition has been generously sponsored by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company which is providing 150 prizes worth around £6,000.

All residents and visitors are invited to tour the wheel and Laxey village to complete eight easy clues and discover the key to the 'treasure'. Then, on the Laxey Wheel's 150th anniversary on September 27, all 150 winners will be drawn from the correct entries. The first prize winner will receive a first class ferry crossing on any Steam Packet Company route to or from the Isle of Man for a car plus four people and 149 runners-up will receive a voucher for a free foot passenger return journey.

Tourism Minister David Cretney said:

"Everyone at my Department is thrilled that the Steam Packet has so generously supported this initiative to mark the Laxey Wheel's birthday. It couldn't have happened without that support, plus practical advice we received from Laxey and Lonan Heritage Trust. I hope that the treasure trail will see many people exploring the village over the summer months and enhance the experience of visiting the wheel."

Entry forms for the treasure hunt will be available at the Laxey Wheel and various other places in the village plus at the Tourist Information Centre in the Sea Terminal, Douglas. Alternatively, people can print off copies from the Department's website - www.visitisleofman.com.

Steam Packet Company Communications Manager Geoff Corkish said:

"We are very pleased to be associated with the Laxey Wheel Treasure Hunt in this landmark year. The wheel has attracted many thousands of visitors, the majority of whom travelled to the Island by Steam Packet, which itself will be celebrating the landmark anniversary of 175 years in 2005."

Manx National Heritage has undertaken extensive refurbishment of Laxey Wheel through the winter months, and admission to the attraction is £3 for adults and £1.50 for children.

Howard Parkin, MNH Public Services Manager, added:

"Works undertaken at the site have included complete re-painting of the wheel and stonework, and essential repairs to keep the Lady Isabella turning well beyond her 150th birthday. There's even a brand new viewing platform for people to climb up to and new graphic panels detailing the work of the miners all those years ago."

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