Friday, May 29, 2009


I have a morbid fascination for the Manx kayakers who now have a spiffy new website: There is nothing on God's green earth that would get me to kayak through the Sound -- in fact I'd rather stay on God's green earth than paddle pretty much anywhere round the island. I tried it in my youth and was quickly impressed by the strength of the rip currents and the offshore winds. But these people thrive on the challenge of the cauldron of rips and races through the Sound. And BTW, the "Pepperpot" is called "the Thusla" by real locals. It once had a cross but this has been relocated to the Sound.

Newquay - Ronaldsway Cheap airfares

A new route has opened to the IoM from Newquay in Cornwall in the southwest of England. Cornwall is another Celtic nation so this is interesting if you're planning a road trip or an island hop. No-frills carrier Flybe has launched a new flight from Newquay Airport to the Isle of Man. The twice-weekly service forms part of the airline’s continued roll-out of its new 2009 summer schedule.

Fares for the flight start at £34.99 one way, including taxes and charges, with flights operating on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Nicole Watch: More about Nicole here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Nicole Stott

The first in a regular series of updates about NASA's STS-128 launch, currently scheduled for August 6th and featuring the next best thing to a Manx astronaut - Nicole Stott - wife of Manx Space Ambassador, Chris Stott. Nicole is going to be up there for a few months as a Mission Specialist.

The STS-128 patch symbolizes the 17A mission and represents the hardware, people and partner nations that contribute to the flight. The Space Shuttle Atlantis is shown in the orbit configuration with the Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) Leonardo in the payload bay. This will be the first time that Atlantis has carried an MPLM to orbit. Earth and the International Space Station wrap around the Astronaut Office symbol reminding us of the continuous human presence in space. The names of the STS-128 crew members border the patch in an unfurled manner. Included in the names is the expedition crew member who will launch on STS-128 and remain on board ISS, replacing another Expedition crew member who will return home with STS-128. The banner also completes the Astronaut Office symbol and contains the U.S. and Swedish flags representing the countries of the STS-128 crew. The NASA insignia design for Space Shuttle flights is reserved for use by the astronauts and for other official use as the NASA Administrator may authorize.

From the Tynwald website

This account of the Tynwald ceremony of 1691, at which the 9th Earl of Derby presided as Lord of Mann, was found amongst the papers of the Kenyon family of Gredington Hall in Lancashire. Roger Kenyon was Governor of the Isle of Man from 1690 - 1693.

About seven of the clock in the morning, all persons who are to attend his Lordshipp from Castle Rushen to the Tinwall, to wit, the Governour, with his staffe of authority, all the officers and Lords Council (except such as are military and except the Deemsters and twenty fower Keys, who are to go before to the Tinwall and attend there the Lord of Man's coming), all knights, gentlemen of quality, strangers and natives.

At half an hour past seven of the clock, the bell rings for half a quarter of an hour; which done, the Constable of that Castle, with the other officers of that Castle, go forth of the Hall to the gates there, to order the ground, and to doe their obeysance at his Lordshipp's passing by.

When the Governour hath notice that the guards are so sett, and his Lordship's horses and all things in readiness, he acquaints his Lordshipp therewith, who thereupon arises and commands the Governour, with his staffe, to goe, which he doth, walking barehead before him.

Then follows my Lord, and after him all the best gentlemen of quality that are strangers, and alsoe his Lordship's chief servants, etc.

When his Lordship is come out of the gate, the groomes stand ready with their horses, and whilst the Lord, the Governour, the persons of quality, etc. are mounting, the Constable of the Castle, with his guards, march forwards with his Lordship's musick playing before them; and when all are on horseback, then the Comptroller on the right hand, and the Steward of the Household on his left hand, rideing bare before the Governour. Then comes the Governour, allsoe riding bare before his Lordship, thorrow the towne, with his staff in his hand. Then the guards march, the musick playeing before them, thorrow the towne, all the best gentlemen of quality that are strangers, two by two, following next after his Lordship and, in like manner, his Lordship's chiefe servants and after them the meaner persons accordingly.

When his Lordship is about the middle of the town, the great guns from the Castle goe off, five at the least; and haveing marched thorrow the town, those footguards and musick take horse and attend his Lordship, with the rest, to the Tinwall. When in this order they have passed the town the Governour, etc. ride covered till they come to the Tinwall field, where his Lordship's guards, consisting of a thousand firelocks, are posted in great ordre.

His Lordship, after he hath taken a view of them, passeth thorrow them on horseback, and in that passage is decently saluted by all the military officers commanding those guards.

And thus his Lordship, the Governour, and persons of quality etc., with him, ride on till they meet the Bishop and clergy, the Deemsters and the twenty fower Keys of the Island; the Clergy on the right hand, the others on the left.

Then his Lordship alighteth, the Bishop, or in his absence the Archdeacon, or in his absence the Vicar-General, holding the right styrrup, accordeing to the ancient custome. When his Lordship hath saluted them all, they march; that is to say, the fower and twenty, in decent coates, and the Deemsters after them, in gownes, the Clergy in their habitts, and the Bishop after them.

Then the Governour, my Lord, and after him all the gentry, passing thorrow a guard, to witt, of Peel garrison, on one hand, and the garrison of Castle Rushen on the other hand, which make a lane to the church door. My Lord, being thus conducted, goes up into a chaire provided for that day, and then hears a sermon.

The sermon ended, all goe forth of the church but my Lord, the Governour, the Lower Council, the Deemsters and twenty fower Keys, the Secretarys, Clerke of the Rolls, and such as the Lord will comand to stay.

If his Lordshipp have anything to propound to the country, he moves it to the Deemster and fower and twenty, who debateing the matter, do agree therewith, or give his Lordshipp satisfaction, by their sufficient reasons to the contrary.

And if the Deemsters and fower and twenty have any request with his Lordshipp, they move it themselves, in an humble manner. If my Lord approve thereof, he commands it to be inserted in the Statute Book, where it is mentioned as an humble request of the Deemsters and the fower and twenty, on behalf of the country, setting all their names unto the same, as also the Governour and all the Lord's Council subscribe; then my Lord confirms the same with his own subscription, under these words "Be it enacted as it is desired"; but if his Lordshipp like not the motion, then he tells them that he will take it into consideration against another time.

Note - that when his Lordshipp intends to propound something that day, which he conceives may probably find some opposition, or require some long debate, to prevent an inconveniency, his Lordshipp appoints a meeting some day the week before, where all things are well weighed and considered, to the contentment of all parties.

When there is no more for his Lordship and the rest to doe of themselves, his Lordship sends one of the Deemsters forth of the Church into the field, where the said Deemster comands the cryer to proclaim that if anyone have complaint to make, thoe it be against any of the officers, or any request by petition, or difference between party and party, he, or they, whoever they be, may come into the Church and be heard, and his Lordship will take order that right shall be done, according to justice and the lawes of the land.

Then such as have any business, present themselves before the table humbly, on their knees, and deliver their petition to the Comptroller, who is there ready to receive the same and to read, when the Lord commands him; which being done, the Lord heares the matter, if he please, or appoints another day.

All this being done, one goeth forth to cause the drums to beat; then the people gather together expecting his Lordshipp's coming forth; the soldiers stand to their arms, and then the Bishop and clergy come into the church; then the fower and twenty march, two in a brest, thorrow the guards up to the Tinwald hill, the Deemsters following them, then the Clergy, Bishop, etc., as before, two and two.

The officers follow his Lordshipp, soe doe the gentlemen strangers and others, the Bishop and clergy on the right hand, the Deemsters and fower and twenty, on the left, standing bare, make a lane for his Lordshipp to goe betwixt them up the degrees to the top of the hill where, when his Lordshipp is arrived, he sits in a chair of state, with his face towards the East, the Governour standing or sitting on my Lord's right and the Bishop on the left, the sword of state holden before his Lordshipp with the point upward, by whom his Lordshipp thinks fit to honour therewith. The gentlemen strangers stand or sit behind his Lordshipp, the Deemsters and officers stand one degree below the Governour; the guards (to witt of the two garrisons) stand at the foot of the hill, with matches lighted, bullets in their mouths, etc. Then the people draw nigh to understand what is said unto them.

The first business on the hill is that the six Coroners or Sheriffs present themselves before his Lordshipp, with white rods in their hands, which were given to them at the late Tinwall, as markes of their office, to continue from that time for one year. They are to come one after another, on their knees before his Lordshipp, presenting their staves, which he receives and (haveing been but lately elected and sworn, and recommended unto him as able and honest men) he returns them their staves, being satisfyed that they are fitt persons for such a place of creditt, advantage and trust. My lord, haveing a note of their names, and haveing commanded the Deemster to call them in order, he restores them their white rods, and each Coroner, as he receives the same on his knees, bowes towards his Lordship's feet, riseth, maketh his reverence as he retires to one side, his face still towards my Lord; and, in like manner, all the rest.

After this, if any new law be made, or old altered, it is proclaimed by the cryer, in Manckes, being read and dictated to him by the eldest Deemster.

In conclusion, the Lord commands the cryer to let the people know (in Manckes) that his Lordshipp continues his love unto them and his care for them, and prayes God to bless them.

So commonly they crye aloud "God bless his Lordshipp and all his", and with a great huzzah and shout, concludes the business of that day.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Changes to Departmental Memberships

I'm not sure if any of you are interested in this -- but here goes:

CHIEF Minister Tony Brown MHK has announced changes to the political memberships of Government Departments, effective from Friday May 22, 2009.
The appointments, listed below, are a Governor in Council function – i.e. agreed by the Lieutenant Governor on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers. Also, the mid-term appointments of the Statutory Boards and Authorities chairmen and vice chairmen are proposed by the Council of Ministers with Council proposing some changes to the their political memberships, subject to approval at the June sitting of Tynwald.
It is proposed that Peel MHK Tim Crookall is appointed as chairman of the Water Authority, with Mrs Clare Christian MLC as vice chairman, and Onchan MHK David Quirk as vice chairman of the Office of Fair Trading. The Council of Ministers has also appointed Rushen MHK Juan Watterson to the position of chairman of the Planning Committee (this is a Council of Ministers appointment).

The new and former Departmental memberships are set out below. New appointments are marked * in the New Membership column. Members who have moved are indicated by brackets () under Previous Membership.

Treasury Minister Hon A R Bell MHK. Membership – no change. Members Mr A F Downie MLC Mr R P Braidwood MHK

Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry Minister Hon P A Gawne MHK. New membership Mr D M W Butt MLC * Mr D Q Cannan MHK* Mrs B J Cannell MHK. Previous membership (Mr D A Callister MLC ) Mrs B J Cannell MHK (Mr D J Quirk MHK )

Transport Minister Hon D M Anderson MHK. New membership Mr D A Callister MLC * Mr C G Corkish MHK* Mr D J Quirk MHK Mr J R Turner MLC. Previous membership Mr J R Turner MLC Mr D J Quirk MHK (Mr T M Crookall MHK)

Local Government and the Environment Minister Hon J P Shimmin MHK. New membership Mr T M Crookall MHK* Mr Q Gill MHK* Mr J P Watterson MHK. Previous membership (Mrs C M Christian MLC) (Mr D M W Butt MLC ) Mr J P Watterson MHK

Health and Social Security Minister Hon W E Teare MHK. New membership Mr E A Crowe MLC Mr W M Malarkey MHK * Mr R W Henderson MHK *. Previous membership Mr E A Crowe MLC (Mr D M W Butt MLC ) (Mr J P Watterson MHK)

Tourism and Leisure Minister Hon G M Quayle MHK. New membership Mr J R Turner MLC * Mr C G Corkish MHK Mr G D Cregeen MHK. Previous membership Mr C G Corkish MHK (Mr Q Gill MHK) Mr G D Cregeen MHK

Home Affairs Minister Hon A J Earnshaw MHK. New membership Mr G H Waft MLC Mr W M Malarkey MHK. Previous membership Mr G H Waft MLC (Mr T M Crookall MHK) Mr W M Malarkey MHK

Education Minister Hon A V Craine MHK. New membership Mr E G Lowey MLC Mr G D Cregeen MHK Mr D M W Butt MLC *. Previous membership Mr E G Lowey MLC (Mr R W Henderson MHK) Mr G D Cregeen MHK

Trade and Industry Minister Hon D C Cretney MHK. New membership Mr D J Quirk MHK * Mrs C M Christian MLC*. Previous membership (Mr D A Callister MLC ) (Mr J R Turner MLC)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New headteacher for St. Ninian's

Domestic news -- but as some of you may have gone to St/ Ninian's I thought it worthy of blogging:

The Department of Education is pleased to announce that Andrew Fox has been appointed Headteacher of St Ninian’s High School in Douglas with effect from 1st September. Mr Fox will move from being Deputy Head Teacher responsible for the Lower School at St Ninian’s, a post he has held for eight years. He succeeds George Quayle, who retires this July after 15 years as Headteacher of St Ninian’s.

Andy trained at the City of Liverpool College of Higher Education, gaining a joint Honours Degree in History and Geography followed by a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. He has taught at St Ninian’s High School for 24 years, having had varied experience ranging from classroom teacher to Head of Year and Department, Curriculum Manager and more recently Deputy Head Teacher. As such, he has a very wide and detailed experience of education at secondary level.

Andy’s wife, Jan, is Manx born and this is the reason the family moved to the Isle of Man in 1985. She teaches Maths and Science. Both of their children studied at St Ninian’s. The eldest, Beth, graduated last summer from Chichester University with a Master of Arts and is presently working in theatre production in London. Younger daughter Andrea is studying History at Sheffield Hallam University.

Andy is a keen sportsman, having represented the Isle of Man in many Island Games as a distance runner. He is a European Championship medalist in the veteran age groups and coaches both younger and older distance runners on the Island. He has a keen interest in History and Archaeology.

St Ninian’s High School is the Island’s second largest school, with 1,318 pupils on the register.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I want this bike!!!!!!!

Next month, the Isle of Man hosts the world's first zero carbon clean emission Superbike race. Known as the TTXGP, the event is part motorbike race, part showcase for next-generation motorsports. Check out the full story here.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cav wins again

Trash-talkin' Cav, hero of the circuit won his third leg of the Italia d'Italia. Telegraph story here. Apparently Cav is moving to Florence (alright for some..) to train there in the hills and mountains of Tuscany and Umbria. Now recognised as the best sprinter in the world the telegraph now refers to him as "Manx rider" so he really is a sports ambassador for the island. Go Cav!!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Norton are coming back

I know, I reported on this a while ago, but it's for real.
Works Norton team returns to world famous TT races for the first time since 1993, demonstrating the new owners commitment to the brand's racing pedigree!

Norton Motorcycles will make its long awaited return to the legendary Isle of Man TT races in May 2009 after an absence of 16 years! In an historic deal, the brand was recently brought back to the UK after 15 years stateside by UK businessman, Stuart Garner.

Michael Dunlop, 20, son of the late motorcycle legend Robert Dunlop, will pilot the Norton NRV 588 Rotary Bike on its TT debut in the seniors race over the notorious 37¾ mile circuit. Michael says: “This is a fantastic opportunity to make history with Norton's return to one of the world's most famous races - a real highlight of the racing calendar. It means a lot to me as I will be following in my father's bike tracks as he finished third on his JPS Norton when he competed in 1990.”

50 Years of Honda at the TT

Nice story for motorcycle enthusiasts here as a new temporary exhibition opens at the Manx Museum on Saturday 30th May, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Honda’s arrival at the TT in 1959.
Entitled ‘Honda The Golden Age’, it celebrates the phenomenal rise of Honda on the world motorcycle racing stage from their first entry into top flight competition through to their decision to leave the TT – having won all that there was to win in solo racing – after 1967.
The exhibition includes the memories of Honda mechanics and riders including legends like Mike Hailwood, Tommy Robb, and Jim Redman. With some classic Honda motorcycles on display, together with archive film footage of Honda machines in action, this is one exhibition not to be missed by any fan of classic TT racing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

From Major Charles Wilson, Douglas, IOM

For the Poppy appeal this year, I want to excite your imagination................
You are a WWII allied prisoner or civilian who has escaped cross-country from your prison or homeland and now you are faced with the last great barrier to freedom – The Pyrenees.
Each year the route taken by these wartime brave men and women guided courageously through occupied country by local guides is re-created by people who follow - ‘The Freedom Trail’ – ‘Chemin de la Liberté’ 7-14 July 2009

Starting in Girons, France the route ascends the mountains up to a height of 8300 feet, over the snow clad passes, down into what was then neutral Spain and hopefully to freedom. The crossing takes four days. I am seeking your sponsorship for doing this in aid of the Poppy Appeal. The Royal British Legion directly supports increasing numbers of our Service personnel and their families.
Please help us to help them.
Many thanks,
Charles Wilson

The Royal British Legion does sterling work for ex-military folk and is very big on the island. Please consider this appeal. Please make checks payable to THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION and send to: Major Charles Wilson, Cleveland House, Kensington Avenue, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 3ET
OR go to

Charles wrote: "Many US Service Personnel took this route over the Pyrenees during WWII.
I would like to secure support in the US through the North American Manx Association. I intend to carry the Manx flag thoughout and to plant one atop the mountains."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Horse Trams

It's horsetram season! Go to this great article on the IOM Today site where Jackie Turley got the chance to ride up front with the driver and enjoy a tour of the stables in Queens Promenade.

There are 31 tram horses to look after – big Shire horses and Clydesdales, some reaching more than 17 hands – although they are not all stabled in Queen's Promenade at the same time.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cavendish and Cannes

Yesterday's Giro d'Italia was a bit weird. The peleton (as the collected riders are known) decided to ride a go-slow in protest of the dire road safety afforded to them by the Italian authorities. The race only picked up in the third from last lap and Cav won. More in the Daily Telegraph.

There is some debate going on about the amount of money being spent on a flash yacht that Isle of Man film has hired for the Cannes movie festival. Here At the festival, which ended on Sunday, Me and Orson Welles, a production starring Zac Efron filmed in the Isle of Man last year, was screened. Three filmswere also promoted to distributors – Heartless, directed by Philip Radley, and Wild Target, a hitman caper starring Bill Nighy and Helena Bonham Carter – which were both filmed last year. They have also taken thriller Disappearance of Alice Creed, which is currently in post-production after being filmed at the start of this year.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Twayblade found

This rare orchid has been found on the IoM after 128 years. Thought to have been extinct, the Lesser Twayblade (Neottia cordata) has been found growing on land owned by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in the southern hills. It grows in bogs where the conditions are acidic and wet. The discovery was made by volunteers of a new project to identify and record plants in the Island with the aim of publishing an update to the Flora of the Isle of Man, produced by botanist, David Allen, in 1984.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Steam Packet vessel

Sorry - I was at Monticello on a schooltrip yesterday -- boy, I love Thomas Jefferson.

The IoM is getting a new 314ft catamaran, Manannan, she looks very fast. She was previously known as Incat, was bought in Tasmania and undertook a month-long 11,868 mile trip to Britain last July. This is from the Australia website:
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has announced the new name for Incat 050, the 96 metre
Wave Piercing Catamaran recently purchased for its Irish Sea fleet. Manannan is a happy choice,
reflecting on the company’s desire to focus on its Manx heritage while sharing in the mystique of
the God of the Sea and protector of the Isle of Man.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Biomass Heating Proposed for new Sheltered Housing in Port St. Mary

The Department of Local Government and the Environment (the DLGE) has submitted a planning application for the development of a site at Four Roads between Port St Mary and Port Erin. Most of the site was acquired several years ago from the Water Authority but more recently the Department purchased two adjacent bungalows to improve the development potential of the site. These properties along with the two ex-Water Authority houses and the old depot buildings are programmed to be demolished within the next few weeks.

The DLGE is working in partnership with the Marashen Crescent Sheltered Housing Committee to develop a Sheltered Housing Project. The proposal includes thirty-four one and two-bedroom self contained apartments for local residents who are of a retirement age and can live mainly independent lives. The Scheme will include an emergency call system and a Warden will provide a good neighbor and support service. The development will also provide additional communal facilities such as a meeting room, guest bedroom and improved parking which will all be shared with the adjacent, Reayrt Y Chrink sheltered apartments. More here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Tynwald Honour

This year's highest Manx Award is being bestowed on Ian Qualtrough, a Castletown man whose family have owned the wood mill there. [The Tywald website is not being very switched on over this - the news has broken in the papers but there's nothing on their own website at It's still a good place to visit though.]

Mr Qualtrough, 83, has a busy life outside his role of managing the family business: building suppliers and timber yard J. Qualtrough and Co. Limited.

He is a prolific entertainer at the heart of many local events. He is a Friend of the Gaiety Theatre, a mainstay of Castletown Methodist church, a lifetime chorister, a member of the Lhon Dhoo Male Voice Choir, a former member of the Meadowside Choral Society and former president of the Isle of Man Beekeepers' Federation. But what he really loves is the Eisteddfod of which he is a master. I have seen him many times in action and he is a terrific raconteur, Emcee, and leg-puller. Well done Tynwald, the man is a national treasure.

[And as a teenager I remember being very taken with his handsome sons and would even volunteer to accompany my dad to the timber yard in case I caught a glimpse! There, they say confession is good for the soul but now I feel all the embarrassment of adolescence again.]

Story on IOM Today.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Woman attacked by cows

Much as I sympathize with the poor lady trampled by cows in a Colby field I feel I have to cover it in the blog as it such a Manx story with a new nanny-state spin to it. Cows -- especially black and white ones -- are curious and cows are not the smartest creatures God put breath in. They will trample you in a heartbeat if they get freaked out. Apparently the lady went out to walk her two dogs on the morning of May 1 and ended up in intensive care with six broken ribs, a punctured lung and extensive bruising. And that was after the horrible drive across several fields in 4x4 to get to a road. It's thought her dogs barked and spooked the cows.

As usual, the poor farmer is getting blamed for not posting signs that walking a dog through cows with calves might present some risk to life and limb. As if this is anything new. It's not just bulls that will come after you, so do cows. How anyone can live in the countryside and not know that beggers belief but just in case you are one of those people -- TAKE CARE IN COW FIELDS. DO NOT TAKE BARKY DOGS. Most cows are friendly to humans so don't be afraid, just be careful.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cav still in the lead of Giro d'Italia

Stage two: Jesolo-Trieste, 156km
1 - Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes in 3-43-07
2 - Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-Highroad - same time
3 - Ben Swift (GB) Katusha - same time

General classification after stage two:
1 - Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-Highroad
2 - Mark Renshaw (Aus) Columbia-Highroad at 14secs
3 - Michael Rogers (Aus) Columbia-Highroad at 14 secs

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Martin Clunes and Valentino Rossi

This guy below on the left is a well known comic actor in Britain -- and he is doing a new TV program about British islands. He liked the IOM. Here. "he portrays the Island in a very positive light – with his criticisms directed not at the Manx people or the Island's countryside but at 'smug' newcomers who brag about paying no tax."

The dude on the right is Valentino Rossi, the Italian MotoGP star and he is set to attend the Isle of Man TT Races to complete a lap of the course with TT legend Giacomo Agostini. (swoon).

The Italian duo will ride a lap of the mountain course before the Dainese Superbike TT Race. "I'm fascinated by all motor sport and the Isle of Man is a destination and a race I have wanted to experience for a long time," said Rossi. The pair will ride behind the course car on 2009 Yamaha R1s.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Stabbed man in road sign...

...well that's what it looks like! And what's with it being in the middle of the road? This was on the B19 on the road to Ramsey -- I say was -- apparently it has been moved somewhere more logical. More here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Formation of The Luxembourg Manx Society

A LUX-MANX CONNECTION: Monday 27th April, Luxembourg-Ville.

The Luxembourg Manx Society, (LMS), A.S.B.L., has established itself as the first official business, cultural and social interchange between Luxembourg and the Isle of Man.

Its mission ? Through a variety of regular events and meetings, the LMS seeks to develop mutual awareness and knowledge between Luxembourg and the Isle of Man.
The LMS is affiliated to the World Manx Association which was founded in 1911.

Who Are We ? The members of the LMS are currently individuals from, or with connections to, the Isle of Man. The LMS is keen to broaden its membership and welcomes anyone with an interested in the culture, heritage and business environment of the Isle of Man.

Coming Soon: Our website is currently under construction and will provide further information on the Society, its activities and membership.

Interested? Join Chairman Henry Kelly and his crew of Manx enthusiasts, at their next meeting on Monday 13th May at 18.30. For details on directions for the meeting, or for general information, please contact Julie or Louise at or, or alternatively by telephone on (+352) 621 598 854.

Note: Yes, everyone in the Isle of Man is connected -- Henry is my cousin!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

TT Nazi-link book

"The Nazi TT: Hitler's 1939 Propaganda Victory on the Isle of Man" – sets out to discover if the victorious team really was fuelled by the Nazi propagandists or whether it was, as claimed at the time, 'just motorcycle sport'.
Book previews from the publisher say: 'In The Nazi TT, veteran motorcycling journalist Roger Willis has blended a unique cocktail of politics, history and balls-out bike racing. His book explains how Hitler's henchmen turned German motorcycle sport into a paramilitarised adjunct to the Nazi Party's evil ideology during the 1930s and tested their might on the TT Mountain Course. 'It reveals who the racers and their Nazi puppet-masters on the Island in 1939 actually were, what they achieved and what happened to them afterwards. You just couldn't make this stuff up . . .'
The 104-page hardback book is published on May 18 and will cost £10.99. More here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Corn -- the transatlantic confusion

I was interested to see that in the Manx Folk Dancing that was so expertly performed for us at the Convention that the props included maize. It struck me that perhaps in the mid-west there is only one type of "corn" so it was a natural assumption to use corn hobs from the maize plant. In the Celtic lands we don't grow your sort of corn as it is too wet, cold and sunless and anyway, we only learned about maize when we got to America. What we call corn is corn as in the Bible: the ears of corn usually being from wheat and the straw that comes when wheat ripens.

A Corn Dolly is made from flattened straw and can be very intricate. It is a fun activity for a group meeting as it can be replicated with flattened drinking or art straws. She represents the spirit of the harvest and is a big feature at Harvest Festivals. There are some links below which will tell you more, and show you how to make them. If you Google 'corn dollies' and click on "images" you will see a wide variety of corn dollies. It is considered a great skill and art form in the Isle of Man.

It is a pretty easy craft and can be done with craft straws -- maybe an idea for the next Convention?

Whoops! My bad? I have inadvertently ticked off the good folk at the Guild of Straw Craftsmen who sent me the email below. Mea culpa. I generally try to link or credit photos and someone messed up on this one. I think I must have picked this one up from Google images as it's the first time I've seen the Guild's website, and I can highly recommend it. I have removed the image as requested, a shame as it's terrific.

Whilst doing some research on Manx straw work, I ‘Googled’ Manx corn dollies and was astonished to see my picture of four Countryman’s Favours come up on your blog site This image has been used without my knowledge or consent. The items were made and photographed specially for our projects page and the Copyright notice is quite clearly displayed at the bottom of every page on our website:
Copyright 2000-2011, The Guild of Straw Craftsmen All Rights Reserved
This material on these pages (text and graphics) is owned, held or licensed by The Guild of Straw Craftsmen. Copyright of photographs on these pages is retained by the owner where acknowledged. It is being provided solely for the purpose of presentation or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of The Guild of Straw Craftsmen.
Had you wished to use the image, you could at least have had the courtesy to ask.
Please remove the image immediately.
Thank you.

Gillian Nott
Guild of Straw Craftsmen

Friday, May 1, 2009

The 2009 TIME Top 100

We're going to be hearing a lot about Mr. Ephron. Here is another swoony article about his myriad charms and his experience in the Isle of Man shooting Me and Orson Wells. This time it's in TIME and talks a lot about his effect on the local teenage girls. Mr. Ephron is sandwiched between The View and Tina Fey at position 55.

Meanwhile, in the Isle of Man, the latest teenage newsmaker is that a 100 of the dumber High School kids signed up to a Facebook Group called: “Keep the Isle of Man White & Free from Foreigners” which has drawn a great deal of negative interest from the UK papers including The Sun.