Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Homecoming for Lady Godiva puppet

A 20ft puppet of Lady Godiva makes its return to Coventry
A 20ft puppet of Lady Godiva makes its return to Coventry
A 20ft puppet of Lady Godiva
A 20ft puppet of Lady Godiva

An eye-catching 20ft puppet which helped wow the crowds at the London 2012 Olympics had to overcome a slight technical hitch as it was welcomed home.

The Lady Godiva marionette has returned to Coventry in Warwickshire, where much of it was built, propelled by its cyclopedia of 100 cyclists.

The mechanical effigy is styled on the legendary Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who rode naked on horseback through the city.

Billed as The Homecoming, the puppet completed a circuit of the ring road escorted by hundreds of cyclists, however the wheels nearly came off the procession when it encountered a tight bend.

The cyclopedia members had to quickly disconnect themselves as Godiva was man-handled around the corner, before the parade was able to get back on its way to the delight of watching crowds.

It was created as one of several specially-commissioned pieces of public art marking the Olympics.

Jane Hytch, the chief executive officer of Imagineer Productions, the company which brought the concept to life explained Godiva had had something of a make-over following "her trip to London".

"She's had her nails done, her feet done and her hair and neck done too," she said.

"She's had a bit of a make-over because when she was on the journey last year she got whiplash from tree branches, she got rained on and all sorts of weather things and when she'd finished her nine-day tour to London she did look a little bit scratched. She looked like she'd had the best night out, but she's always smiling."

Godiva is also the "figurehead" for a £7 million city scheme called Cycle Coventry, aiming to get more people out of their cars and into the saddle over three years.

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