Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The Victoria Road prison opened in 1891 - last week it closed and the guided tours offered to curious Manxies sold out in minutes. Apparently the weirdest thing is that the gates are all now open! And yes, there's even a Death Row.
You may have heard about how bad the weather was in Britain this summer. The Isle of Man was no exception and now there are some big problems with the harvest. Crop yield is well down, especially for barley, and everything is suffering from the knock-on effect, milk yield is down, the crop rotation system is being disrupted.
Monday, September 29, 2008
They have another company - Isle of Man Hampers. Products include cheeses from Isle of Man Creameries, kippers from Moore’s Traditional Kippers, Roly’s handmade chocolates, smoked salmon from Island Seafare, Manx honey, teas and coffees from Manx Pack and beers from Okells and Bushy’s breweries. Yum yum!!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I can't copy the photos from this site as they are protected but they are very, very good. On Friday she had a great shot of Ramsey bridge at sunset. Today she's taking about black cats so I'll show you a photo that I took myself of former Chief Minister, Donald Gelling's Manx cat, before you go and check out her lovely photos.
Friday, September 26, 2008
In my community we have a lot of places to visit, like the world famous Lady Isabella, the largest working waterwheel in Europe, Peel Castle, the TT races and of course beautiful countryside and glens.
Name: Nathan Spellman
School: Ballakermeen High School
Region: North West
At Google, we like to reflect the ever changing world of our users through the logo designs on our homepage. The 'Doodle 4 Google' competition asks young people across the UK to design their own 'Google Doodle' and the winning entry will be used on the Google homepage in the UK on 1st October.
For this year's contest, which has been held in association with the Daily Mirror's 'Pride of Britain' awards, 70k doodles were created across the UK. Our judging panel have selected their top 48, and you can vote for your favourite below.
Go to this page. Simply click on a doodle to start selecting favourites.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
There's something for everyone on this blog! How about this freak lobster? It's been called Blue and has been saved from the chef's cauldron because of its extreme rarity. Here's Bev Cregeen from Port St. Mary in the UK's Daily Mail newspaper.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Remember KIRSTY PENDLEBURY? She's the Manx girl attending the University of Idaho on a special Manx scholarship? Well the third part of her blog is now on the iomtoday website.
And she's finding America to be a very interesting place indeed.
This really interesting article in the papers brings us up to date with the work being carried out in the waters off the Isle of Man. New tagging work has shown that the basking sharks around Britain do in fact travel over to the North American coast. Previously they thought them to be different. This article is packed with facts.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The Lord Mayor isn't the same as the Mayor of London. This one is responsible for the City within a city, the Square Mile, which encompasses the heart of the financial world. The current Lord Mayor is the Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor, Alderman David Lewis.
The Manx Grace goes like this: Shoh slaynt as shee, as eash dy vea, as manynrys son dy bragh. (Here's health and peace, a long life, and happiness forever.)
A metal detecting enthusiast found two Bronze Age axeheads on David Anderson MHK's land. Being savvy, he didn't clean them or remove the dirt and experts are now considering the fact that this incredibly rare find is from the Chalcolithic Era, around c.2500 – 2150 BC, when metal was beginning to replace flint. In another, related discovery, the mines at Bradda are showing indications that they had copper deposits -- so these artifacts may be Manx-made.
Here he is donating the find to Manx National Heritage.
Chairman of the Trustees of MNH, Mr Martin Moore (left), receives the axeheads from Mr Rob Middleton (centre) and Mr David Anderson MHK (right).
Friday, September 19, 2008
The Chronicles of Mann are the property of the British Museum (or so they say) and they're hanging on to the book in the same way they clutch the Elgin Marbles. A polite request from the IOM has been turned down and now there's hell to pay. The Manx people are taking it personally. They're mad at the Manx Government for "rolling over" and they're mad at the UK for being high-handed. Where do you stand?
Click on the photo or here and it should take you through to one of the IOM webcams. This one is in Douglas -- note the palm trees -- you've gotta love the Gulf Stream! We're on roughly the same latitude as Denmark but the water coming up from around the US keeps us temperate enough to keep these trees alive.
This webcam is looking down on the Promenade, from the Sea Terminal -- commonly known as the Lemon Squeezer because of its distinctive shape. There are others accessible from this great website at www.visitisleofman.com
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Oh, And while we're on YouTube -- check out the "Freedom to Flourish" video. (Not the space one.)
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
There is a move afoot to move the Manx Ancestry Centre from Peel to Douglas. The Director of Manx National Heritage, Stephen Harrison, is in the middle of putting together a promotional brochure for the project,and needs, very quickly, a few supportive quotes from people around the world saying that they think such a project would be a great stimulus to encourage Manx related people to come to "explore their roots" in the Isle of Man.
He is also asking for any figures with regard to Manx-related people in the U.S. -and any other countries - if you know of anyone that might have these figures.
Leave a message here if you have any thoughts on the subject.
As a child growing up on the IOM everything was rather decayed and defunct. Remnants of the war were everywhere, from the ration books (still going in the 50s) to the Nissen hut we had our Girl Guides meetings in. The only factory I'd ever seen was Martin Bakers at Ronaldsway and the scallop cleaning "fish factory" on the breakwater in Port St. Mary. Lawyers handled conveyancing and wills, and accountants -- well, who knows what they did. How times have changed. Now the IOM hosts some of the world's most sophisticated businesses, including a significant aerospace industry, a top ranked shipping register, aircraft register (and soon to be spacecraft register). Our lawyers, bankers and accountants oversee one of the world's most dynamic (and sound) financial centers. Our infrastructure has had a "Root & Branch" overall, our schools are leaders in the UK rankings and our heritage has been preserved in a way that brings worldwide kudos.
For people who are interested in such things I am going to start including links that relate to the Modern Mann so you can see for yourselves how far we have come in the last 40 years. As nostalgic exiles we may not always approve of the changes but no one can argue that the Manx ecomony today is better than it was in my childhood when working men had to travel to pick beets in Lancashire to feed their families back home. Today's example of a net contributor to the Island's wealth is AvioTech who got in the news this week for landing a contract with Virgin Nigeria.
Oh, and Martin Bakers is still there. And the fish factory, too, although I understand that there are two years worth of scallops in the freezer due to a lack of international demand.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I don't know how many of you are familiar with Peter Killey's website Manxscenes.com but you should give it a visit if you want to have a trip down memory lane or just look for cool places to visit. These are two of his recent photos (he gave me permission to use them). Go and check them out. And to the Billman's who are considering Christmas in the IOM, we seldom get snow but I think you'll agree it sure makes the place look pretty. By the way, Peter is a fireman as well as a photographer.
I confess it. I have never heard of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country races but apparently there's a guy from the Isle of Man who is incredibly good at it. His name is David Knight and apparently he had a hard time of it this weekend. However, he won the event after being sick and getting on with it! The Racer Press website has more details. I think it may be on the TV but I can't find out where.
To celebrate their Society’s centenary they held an event at the Scandinavian Centre in Burnaby on Tynwald Day, July 5th. It was a great success.
Among their 153 guests were Margaret and Ray Gairns whose Gregor family, way back, were among the founder members of our Society. They had folks visiting from Ottawa,Quesnel, Kamloops, Kelowna and Nanaimo. Greetings were sent to Mona Belfie – our most senior member.
Presentations were made to retiring committee members Angus Gillon, Mona Widsten and Terry McCaffrey.
The singing of “Ellan Vannin”closed a memorable evening.
Vice Pres. Angus Gillon and Judith Gillon under Manx Flag
Mona Witsten (Treas.)
Terry McCaffery (Pres.) and Fenella Deakin (Chair of Centennial Comm.)
1. Mark Cavendish got the Green Jersey (whatever that is) at the Tour of Missouri and Team Columbia came in first.
2. The Irish minister for for community, rural and Gaeltacht affairs, Eamon O'Cuiv, visited recently (as noted earlier in this blog) to check out our preservation methods for the Ould Language. Mr O'Cuiv was in for a surprise during his trip when he met a direct descendant of the British soldier who arrested his grandfather, Eamon de Valera following the Easter Uprising in Dublin in 1916. Anne Hearsey's great-uncle Captain Edo Hitzen was captain of a platoon sent over to Dublin to quell the uprising and it was he who arrested de Valera and 117 other Irish insurgents. Over the years this proved to have some interesting consequences, especially his honorary appointment to the IRA!
Th Liverpool band "Coral" has released a new double CD including two songs recorded in the IOM, a cover of the Everley Brothers "Bye Bye Love", and The Beautiful South’s "Everybody’s At Me."
Monday, September 15, 2008
The Vancouver Manx must be be getting excited. No, not about their 100 years celebration - they had that back in the summer. I mean for the Winter Olympics in 2010.
I wonder if they will invite some of us to be their guests? It would be a friendly thing to do. And friend is the the theme of these games. Just look at their logo.
For centuries, the Inuit people of Canada’s Arctic stacked rocks in human form to create the inukshuk, a guidepost that provided direction across the vast horizons of the North. Over time, the inukshuk has become a symbol of hope and friendship, an eternal expression of the hospitality of a nation that warmly welcomes the people of the world with open arms every day.
The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games emblem is a contemporary interpretation of the inukshuk. It is called Ilanaaq which is the Inuktitut word for friend.
And the other Manx connection? Zoe Gilling from Arbory. She's a snowboarder (amazing if you know Arbory parish - there's no snow and few hills) who is ranked 7th in the world and has beaten every other Olympic contender at some time in the last season. She was a silver medalist in Korea -- let's hope she can go for gold come 2010.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
It's a nice time of year to be staying on the Calf of Man - the little island to the south which is a nature and bird sanctuary. Yesterday, a party of six, including three MHKs (Members of the House of Keys) were staying there and alerted the emergency authorities when they saw what they suspected to be red distress flares. Out went the lifeboat. But it was a false alarm - probably planes stacking to land over Dublin.
To find out more about the Port St. Mary Life Boat, visit their website (it could do with updating, the new boat is AWESOME). http://www.portstmarylifeboat.org.im/history.htm
Saturday, September 13, 2008
An exhibition of watercolours by a Manx Victorian artist begins at the Manx Museum this week. It features the works of Robert Evans Creer of Ramsey who was born in 1838 and painted Manx landscapes, so capturing the Victorian IOM and many of its rural ways for ever. More than 100 of his works – including a variety of rural and coastal scenes - were recently bequeathed to Manx National Heritage and these will be on show until January next year.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Please allow me to introduce myself and give you some background into why I am writing to you as Manx descendants far from home. My name is David William Moore and I am striving to become the first Manxman to win two medals on behalf of the island at Commonwealth Games level.
In 1998, I represented the island at the Commonwealth Games held in Malaysia. I compete in the small-bore rifle event known as 50 metre men’s prone. At these games following intensive training and backing from the island, I won a silver medal in the individual event, the first ever silver medal won by the island.
Following this, in 1999 in Stockholm and in 2001 in Indianapolis, USA I competed in the World Police & Fire Games on behalf of the Isle of Man Constabulary were I have been a serving officer since 1992. At these two games I won two separate gold medals for the island which resulted in me being inducted into the Isle of Man Hall of Sporting Fame currently housed at the National Sports Centre in Douglas.
At this point I was looking forward to competing at the 2002 Commonwealth Games to be held in Manchester, England. Unfortunately I was injured whilst at work, when I was struck by a motor cycle whilst on duty. This resulted in some spinal damage. Fortunately, I have been able to continue with my work, and following a number of years of non frontline duties, and physiotherapy. I have now returned to full health and again taken up my chosen sport in an effort to do what no other Manx competitor has ever done, and take a second medal on behalf of the Isle of Man.
You will appreciate that whilst the island is large in heart and culture, there are limited opportunities to obtain backing from interested parties in the form of sponsorship. For me to try and complete my task will take a great deal of time and finance. I self funded my Silver medal preparations in 1998, using all my leave and spare time in training and qualifying. My family bore the brunt of this, in that I was working, training or competing full time.
I have a very supportive family with my wife Fiona and my two boys Ethan (17) and Rhys (14) backing me fully. This being said, I will have to again start the qualifying procedure during the next 18 month’s that will give me the place on the team to try and full fill my dream. The requirements for being selected are stringent as with most world class events. During the next 18 month’s I will have to travel off the island at least 20 times to attend various UK and International events to allow me to complete the qualifying scores set down.
On the island, our sports men and women strive constantly to be the best, to this end our local governing body has set our qualifying scores to reflect this. The governing body for shooting sports, the ISSF, sets the international qualifying scores for member countries to obtain places at the Olympic Games at 585 ex 600. Here on the Isle of Man, we have set our score even higher than this to prove that we can compete with the best in the world. On the island the minimum qualifying score for my event is set at 590 ex 600, 5 points higher than qualifying for Olympic Games.
During the last 4 months I have met and passed this score on four different occasions, with scores of 591 x 2, 595 and 598 which equals the Manx record. In September this year I have been picked to represent the Island at the Commonwealth Shooting Federation (European Division) Championships in Gibraltar between the 23rd to the 30th September 2008.
You may well ask how you could assist me in my goal, but I know from experience, that Manx is something in the blood. I had a great uncle who emigrated to New Zealand in the 1920’s and two great aunt’s who moved to Canada and the USA after WWII, one became a Nurse, the other a Doctor. But they never lost their Manx roots, and returned to the island on a regular basis right through into the old age. I on a number of occasions when younger travelled to see them and all my cousins around the world. I am seeking backers, not corporate sponsors, but Manx backers who have an interest in seeing another Manx person perform on the world stage and beat the best the rest of the world has to offer.
I would be grateful to hear from you or those members of your organisation, who may be able to assist me with some backing. If you are at this time unable to help me in this, then even a short note or letter of encouragement would be gratefully received with the knowledge that Manx descendants everywhere are wishing me well.
I have also included a small photograph of me in full dress uniform, taken after I won my silver medal in 1998.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Gura mie ayd. (Thank you)
David W Moore.
E-mail – Rifelmandave@aol.com Web Site – www.isleofmanshooting.com
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
The Isle of Man Newspapers website and local editions will carry the story of the NAMA Youth Facebook group and the NAMA Youth Award this week. Featured here is Mim Blower, the rest of the photo, which is on the website includes Back Door Slam and her brother, Matthew. Also on the site is a picture of Becky Billman, this year's winner with Eddie Lowie. MLC.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
The eight-strong team from the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service scooped an impressive haul of eight gold, five silver and three bronze medals at the prestigious event.
Clay pigeon shooter Neil Parsons made a significant personal contribution to that total as he secured no fewer than 10 medals in three different disciplines – including seven golds. The retained Laxey firefighter, who has represented the Isle of Man at the Commonwealth Games, was on target in the trap (three gold, one silver), skeet (three gold) and sporting competitions (one gold, one silver, one bronze).
Shooting team-mate Jason Wright, also from the Laxey station, bagged a silver medal in the skeet event and a silver and bronze in the sporting. Jason underlined his sporting versatility by then picking up a pool cue to pot his way to silver in the nine-ball doubles and bronze in the eight-ball doubles competitions. The other member of the Island team to hit the gold trail was full-time officer Floyd Askin who defeated all-comers to land the top honours in the judo arena. The World Firefighter Games, which raise thousands of pounds for charity, saw 3,500 officers from around the world compete in a series of fiercely contested sporting events over 10 days.
Friday, September 5, 2008
"In By Any Means", which is on BBC2 in the British Isles, Charley Boorman is trying to travel from his childhood home in Wicklow, Ireland, to Sydney, Australia. I'm not sure if a US TV network, cable or satellite channel will pick it up but look out for it.
Charley, his close friend Russ Malkin and cameraman Mungo will attempt to travel more than 20,000 miles through 25 countries, across three continents.
They will make their journey ‘by any means’, using whatever mode of local transport they can get their hands on to drive, ride and sail to Sydney by dinghy, helicopter, train and even elephant.
In the first episode of the six-part series, Charley and Russ visit the Isle of Man, take to motorcycles and ride the famous 37¾ mile Mountain Circuit.
The footage, shot in April, sees 14-times TT winner John McGuinness, the first person to lap the course at an average speed of more than 130mph, take them on a tour of the course.
They also spoke to TT legend and multiple World Champion Geoff Duke and TT winner Richard ‘Milky’ Quayle during the visit.
The Isle of Man is expected to feature in a 10-minute segment of the first episode. The Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) Race is a motorcycle racing event held on the Isle of Man since 1907. The race is run in a time-trial format on public roads closed for racing with the first race held on Tuesday 28 May 1907 and was called the International Auto-Cycle Tourist Trophy. The event was organized by the Auto-Cycle Club over 10 laps of the St. John's Short Course of 15 miles 1,470 yards for road-legal touring motor-cycles with exhaust silencers, saddles, pedals and mud-guards.
The Red Cross building in Douglas will not be de-registered from the Register of Buildings of Special Architectural and Historic Interest and will not be demolished as it has been viewed an important architectural site. Plans had been presented to knock it down and replace it with apartments and parking spaces.
The building is a former Methodist church.
Photo: John Maddrell
Thursday, September 4, 2008
The Centre for Manx Studies was founded in 1992 to provide a focal point for research in a wide range of areas relating to the Isle of Man, from earliest times to the present day. Located close to the Manx Museum and Manx National Heritage Library in Douglas, the Centre is able to offer a number of services and facilities to researchers at all levels, drawing on the expertise and experience of its parent bodies - Manx National Heritage, the University of Liverpool and the Isle of Man Department of Education.
The Centre is part of the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology in the University of Liverpool, managed by a committee with representatives from the three partner organisations Manx National Heritage, the University of Liverpool and the Isle of Man Department of Education.
Its primary functions are to teach students, to carry out research in Manx archaeological, cultural, environmental and historical studies and to further the international recognition of the Isle of Man in these areas.
One of the places they have been busy on this year is the Nunnery, a splendid home that now houses the Isle of Man's Business School and Institute of International Space Commerce. The photo shows levels of trash incorporated into the grounds.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
These recordings helped to save the Manx from total loss when our last native speakers passed away. They were commissioned by the Prime Minister of Eire, Eamon De Valera and are a vital source of information for our Gaelic scholars.
IOM Today has a fabulous resource for people interested in the "Ould language" which you can access through this link: