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of the more unusual events on the Manx calendar is the annual Praying the
Keeills Week, which incorporates visits to a number of ancient, holy sites
across the Island with other events during the week.
in its tenth year, their chosen theme for 2015 is Saints and their Keeills,
which begins and finishes with a challenging full day walk, taking in some of
the Island's beautiful scenery.
historical keeill (Manx Gaelic: church, kirk) is a Christian chapel built
during the 8th - 12th century, some rarely larger than three metres by five
the earliest examples were built of earth sods, others were more substantial,
both in size and substance, being made of stone. It's thought there may have
been approximately two hundred keeills throughout the Island, of which only
about thirty five survive; albeit just their remains.
Lag ny Keeilley
served a number of functions, incorporating family chapels, wayside shrines,
places of retreat and hermitage,with a
walled graveyard sometimes surrounding the building and a well nearby.
selection of memorial crosses and other decorated stones discovered during
excavations of the keeills are on display at some of the Island's parish
the Keeills Week has adopted the idea of prayer and meditation, which were
important to those who historically worshipped at these sites; describing them
as 'thin places' where they could draw closer to God.
the Keeills Week is organised by a number of local churches and offers an
opportunity to step aside from the busyness of life and perhaps rediscover lost
Lag ny Keeilley
first event will be a Service of Welcome at Glen Maye Chapel before heading
towards the now deserted mining community of Glen Rushen, with other visits to
keeill sites at Union Mills, Jurby, Scarlett to Balladoole in the south of the
Island and Lonan in the east.
outings scheduled for the week include an illustrated talk about Manx Saints, a
'saints-themed' coach trip and an opportunity to visit both the old and new St
are welcome at any of the scheduled events (see their website for details)
although the coach trip will need to be booked in advance.
Consort's recent spring concerts, held at St Paul's Church, Ramsey, and St
Mary's Church in Douglas, were dedicated to the memory of former MHK Charles
Cain, one of the founding members of the early music group and until recent
times its Musical Director.
first half included a selection of choral music from many composers living
between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, including William Byrd, J. S.
Bach and the group's eponymous inspiration Thomas Tallis.
a short interval, their varied programme continued but with compositions
interlinked with more modern choices from the nineteenth to the late twentieth
centuries; including Edmund Rubbra, Ralph Vaughan Williams and contemporary
British composer James MacMillan.
evening concerts were designed to incorporate both a sacred and secular
content, moving from the period of Lent and Easter to Madrigals and folk songs,
using compositions from the Tudor period up to modern times.
two concerts marked a series of changes for Tallis Consort, with the death of
Charles Cain and the retirement of Brian Head as current Musical Director.
successor will be Dr Peter Litman, the Director of Music at St German's
Cathedral in Peel.
Philip Gillespie of St Mary's Church in Douglas, who has generously supported
Tallis Consort over a number of years, will also soon be leaving these shores
to continue his ministry in Rome.
were presented to Brian and his wife by members of Tallis Consort and Canon
from the concerts will be donated to the Nepalese Disaster Fund.
groups on the Manx traditional music scene continuing to strengthen their ties
with other countries, five-piece collective Nish as Rish has recently returned
from a successful trip to Norway.
as Rish was formed during 2009 whilst members of the group were busy studying
at the University of York, including two musicians from the Isle of Man; Ruth
Keggin (voice, flute and whistles) and Karl Kramer (mandolin, guitar and
Manx and other Celtic traditional music and song form a large part of their
repertoire, together with a selection of wider ranging personal compositions.
group has performed in a variety of venues and festivals throughout the UK and
Europe, winning the coveted Trophée Loic Raison at the Festival Interceltique
de Lorient in 2011.
in April Nish as Rish toured the picturesque Lofoten Islands for two weeks at
the invitation of DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken - the cultural schoolbag) to
perform in concert for sixth form students across the archipelago.
tour was arranged as part of a national initiative by the Norwegian government,
with a view to bringing professional musicians and visual artists into schools.
as Rish also performed in a number of public concerts in conjunction with their
educational tour, which were warmly received.
initially a question mark hung over their first performance when Ruth's luggage
(including warm clothing and her whistles) was lost on their journey to the
Arctic Circle, and the neck of Vanessa's double bass snapped clean off in the
hold of the airplane!
SAS Airlines and a local instrument maker saved the day on both counts, with
their first gig, in the port of Stamsund, earning them a standing ovation.
can see photos of the group's Arctic adventures (as well as up and coming plans
for recording and gigs) on their social media sites.
(Western Open Studio Art Trail) 2015 brightened up a wet bank holiday weekend,
with its focus set firmly on the creative abilities of some of the many
talented individuals who live and work the length and breadth of the Isle of
in its fourth year, the affectionately named WOSAT lies solely in the west of
the Island, capitalising on locations throughout the area, including some of
the outlying villages and assorted venues in Peel.
opened by the Minister for Education and Children and representative for Peel,
Tim Crookall MHK, at the House of Manannan, visitors were able to wander at
their leisure, sampling a host of artists with individual tastes and new ideas.
studios and exhibitions were opened to the public, and together with
demonstrations and workshops, there was an opportunity to buy a selection of
Manx work at a number of outlets associated with the festival, including a
craft market at the Corrin Hall.
a departure from its usual format, the long weekend included a night of music,
song and dance in a marquee on the old swimming pool site at Marine Parade, and
an evening with Hartes Ease.
early music group, Hartes Ease, performed a selection of music and song for a
May evening, in a production entitled All In a Garden Green at the Corrin Hall in
Peel, interspersed with verse from members of the Isle of Man Poetry Society
and a guest appearance by talented local harpist Mera Royle.
Mills Weekend is an annual festival organised to celebrate the UK's milling
heritage, but there's also a great opportunity to experience the fascination of
a working mill here on the Isle of Man.
open to the public, Kentraugh Mill is owned by Canon John Sheen and his wife
Elizabeth, who inherited the building from her father, Mr R. M. Nuttall. The
miller's house was bought by Mr Nuttall in 1965, but he was astonished to discover
that the now derelict mill (which he thought was a garage) was part of the
three storey building was lovingly restored over the course of the next five
years, as Mr Nuttall pieced together its fascinating history.
by a now dilapidated waterwheel, Kentraugh Mill was owned by the Qualtrough
family for many years, and is thought to have been in use since the early
believed that the mill was largely rebuilt about 1832 (or earlier) when the
current machinery was installed, replacing a largely wooden construction.
Mill left the hands of the Qualtrough family in 1904, when the building was
sold to a nearby miller, John Woods of Ballabeg. The mill continued to function
until 1943 when the door was locked for the final time, remaining untouched for
over twenty years.
can avail themselves of the opportunity to join an extensive tour of the mill
and see the machinery in action before heading across to the remains of the
miller's store room; which was once the site of the first Primitive Methodist
Chapel on the Island in 1825. It's now known as the Chapel Garden.
weekend of unashamed nostalgia, the annual Open Days are co-ordinated by the
Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, who will
once again be organising the successful Mills in Art Competition; with prizes
on offer for both art and photography.
Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings was founded by William Morris
in 1877, followed by the Mills Section, designed specifically to protect and
promote windmills and watermills in 1931. The National Mills Weekend was first
organised in 1984, and is recognised as part of a European festival of milling
heritage during the month of May.
to Kentraugh Mill is free, but donations are invited for the United Society -
Anglicans in World Mission, whose Chief Executive, Janette O'Neill, will be on
the Island that weekend.
are reminded that they tour the mill at their own risk.
Mill (just up the road at the side of the Shore Hotel) will be open 10.00am -
5.00pm on the 9 May and 11.00am - 5.00pm on the 10 May.
Manx National Heritage has launched a new Isle of Man TT Races pin badge for visiting bike fans. The limited edition collectors badge, an official TT Races product, has been produced by Isle of Man based Motorsport Merchandise who manage many of the TT’s licenced products.
The enamel badge, which costs £10, will allow visitors free admission to all the Manx National Heritage sites including the House of Manannan, Castle Rushen, Laxey Wheel and Peel Castle. It features the official TT logo as well as Manx National Heritage’s logo and the words Manx National Heritage in English and Manx, ‘Eiraght Ashoonagh Vannin’, around the circumference.
The pass can be used for the duration of both the TT Races, which runs from Saturday 30th May to Friday 12th June and the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling, which includes the Classic TT, from Saturday 22nd August to Friday 4th September. It can be purchased online atwww.manxnationalheritage.im and will be available from selected Manx National Heritage retail outlets and the TT Grandstand.
This year’s TT themed activities from Manx National Heritage includes the ‘Ulster’s TT Heroes’ exhibition at the House of Manannan in Peel, celebrating Northern Ireland’s greatest TT riders. The Manx Museum in Douglas will be featuring a visual exhibition, entitled ‘Fast Women’, celebrating women in Manx Motorsport and will also have a number of TT items on display including John McGuinness’s TT winning Honda Superbike from 2009 to 2013 and Carl Fogarty’s Yamaha OW01 that he raced in the 1992 Senior TT. The museum will also be hosting talks by David Hailwood, Mike Hailwood’s son, who will provide commentary to footage of his father’s racing career.
Edmund Southworth, Director, Manx National Heritage, commented:
“The TT is inextricably linked to the Isle of Man’s heritage and culture and we have a number of TT themed events, activities and displays along with our comprehensive selection of sites and venues. We want our visitors to not only enjoy the spectacular racing on offer but also to go home with a greater understanding of the history and culture of the Island as a whole.”
“We hope that this initiative gives people a taster of the broader appeal of the Island and, as well as making a contribution to its ongoing conservation, encourages them to return and enjoy everything that the Island has to offer outside of the established motorsport events.”
100 years ago today, 1200 people were murdered by the German Navy when a U-boat sank the RMS Lusitania, a civilian cruise liner just off southern Ireland. Today's Chicago Tribune ran the article above which mentions Henry Harrison, a Manxman in Chicago, who was headed back to the island to attend his parents' deathbeds. The quote below is from a post on the Facebook page, 'Manx Nostalgia.'
Peel fishing vessel the 'Wanderer' and its crew did something very special this day 100 years ago. It was the first rescue boat to reach the Lusitania, torpedoed off the Old Head of Kinsale by a U-boat on 7 May 1915. The Manchester Manx Society had a special medal struck for each member of the crew - this was one awarded to Thomas Woods: http://www.imuseum.im/Collections/View.mth?EntryID=2896147 Here's the start also of an article from the 'Peel City Guardian' of 15 May 1915.