The opening of (a) Parliament

Pop quiz! What's the oldest continually running parliament in the world? Hint - it's not the UK but it is nearby....

The oldest parliament in the world is in fact the 'High Court of Tynwald' - the parliament of the Isle of Man. In case you don't know, the Isle of Man is a small island nestled between the UK and Ireland. It's not part of either country but is instead a Crown Dependancy with Queen Elizabeth as head of state.

Anyway, back to the LEGO! The oldest parliament in the world, called the Tynwald, is opened each year on Tynwald Day at, appropriately enough, Tynwald Hill. It's a huge celebration for the island and a visitor centre has just been opened right across from the hill. Tynwald Day only occurs once a year though, so what better way to show what the area looks like for the other 364 days than a LEGO model?

Having been approached by the local cultural office, we started work on this model almost 6 months ago now. Working in secrecy as the model would be part of the new visitor centre opening, we had to design not only a hill (actually, pretty easy that part!), but also the local church, walkway and of course all of the people present. In fact, the people turned out to be one of the hardest parts. With not only clergy, but members of the parliament and well known local figures - we'd better get this one right!

In the end, the model was ready and Teresa and I hand delivered the model to the new visitor centre to install it in place. Tynwald TV caught up with us just as we were finishing;

A big thanks to everyone at Culture Vannin and if you're ever on the Isle of Man - why not take a visit?

Warren Elsmore