telephone : 01285 582998
Ruthin Gaol, in North Wales, was recently restored as a Visitors Attraction. It was originally built in 1775 as a model prison. One of the cells shows a tableaux of the last man hanged in the prison. In 1903, Ruthin's last execution took place. William Hughes, a Wrexham miner originally from Denbigh, was found guilty of shooting his wife and was hanged at the prison at 8:00 a.m. on 17 February 1903.
The concept was designed and the equipment was installed by MICE Cymru, which is part of the MICE Group plc. Xor Systems’s Puppeteer was used to control the lighting and sound effects in the cell. There are two figures in the cell, models of the condemned man and the priest saying the last rites. The arrival of a visitor triggers the scene; the priest's voice can be heard, reciting the Lord's Prayer in Welsh. Lighting effects are used to bring drama to the scene.
On the day of the execution, the cell had a hole knocked through the outer wall. The gallows were built right outside the cell, the prisoner only had to walk a few final steps. It was reported the last thing Hughes did before he left his cell was look at a photograph of his family. For this reason, the tableaux shows Hughes looking at the photograph.
Other character models are used throughout the exhibition. with each cell providing a different experience of life in the gaol.
Xor Systems’s ‘Puppeteer’ is ideal for this kind of work. It is a simple computer designed to respond to signals from the real world – pressure, touch, light, movement etc.. It adds interest, life and drama to games, through the judicious use of sound and other sensory stimulants such as light, smell and smoke. Puppeteer has the added advantage of being easily reprogrammed (from a distance) to change the effects on a daily basis if needed!
‘Puppeteer‘ is programmed in Java and is capable of storing complex affects as standard WAV files as used on a Windows PC. The combination of the exhibition design skills of MICE Cymru and the computing and electronic skills of Xor Systems resulted in an unusually effective display.
Xor Systems 01285 582998
Ruthin Gaol 01824 708281 or visit their web site at http://www.ruthingaol.co.uk