Lifetime of engineering marvels transform Lincoln Cathedral

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Lincoln Cathedral has undergone an industrial transformation in time for the Spark Engineering Festival this weekend (April 17-19).

An 80ft pendulum that demonstrates the rotation of the Earth has been hung from the roof of Lincoln Cathedral and a 50ft long timeline of engineering in the city is available to enjoy from today.

Among numerous other attractions is a BMW i8 (a plug-in hybrid sports car with an interior made of recyclable materials) 3D printer demonstrations, laser marking systems creating customised key rings, racing cars and a robot.

Visitors to the festival can also discover fascinating facts about Lincoln’s engineering heritage in the surrounds of Lincoln Cathedral – itself a great feat of medieval engineering.

From Formula One cars to jumbo jets, products made in Lincoln and Lincolnshire are used in planes, trains and automobiles around the world, with companies including Siemens, Dynex and Micrometric choosing to base their operations in the city.

The BMW i8 is taking pride of place in the nave of the cathedral.

The BMW i8 is taking pride of place in the nave of the cathedral. Photo: Stuart Wilde

Hands-on activities will include a scaletrix challenge, building wind turbines using K’Nex and testing propellers in a wind tunnel.

The three-day event, which is free to enter, has been organised by local engineering firms with the University of Lincoln, University Technical College, Lincoln College and supported by City of Lincoln Council, to celebrate Lincoln’s proud engineering past, present and future.

To mark the launch day of the event, more than 400 pupils from across the county visited the cathedral to learn about Lincoln’s engineering past, present and future.

Neil Main, Managing Director of Micrometric, which created the Foucault pendulum hanging from the cathedral roof, said: “We think that engineering needs to be promoted. Lincoln’s heritage is built on engineering and we’ve moved on from steam engines and we now do some very advanced work.

“The Foucault pendulum, which was built in the city, acts as a dramatic centrepiece to this. It is a simple way to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth – by measuring the time it takes for the swing of the pendulum to rotate through 360 degrees, the pendulum’s latitude on the Earth can also be calculated.”

The festival runs from 10am until 4pm each day, finishing at 3pm on Sunday. Find out more here.

Lincoln Cathedral opening time are:

Friday April 17: 10am – 4pm
Saturday April 18: 10am – 4pm
Sunday April 19: 12pm – 3pm

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