Friday, July 31, 2009

Isle of Man author's crime comedy out in paperback

Chris Ewan has a book: The Good Thief's Guide to Paris coming out in paperback next Thursday (August 6). It is the second book in Chris's Good Thief series and is published by Simon and Schuster, priced £6.99.
Publisher's Weekly said about The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam, the first book in the series: 'This impressive debut owes much of its charm and success to its compelling anti-hero, Charlie Howard...the detection is first rate and Howard is a fresh, irreverent creation who will make readers eager for his next exploit.'

'Amsterdam', was a huge success, having been included on The Times Christmas Books 2008: Thrillers list and shortlisted for the Last Laugh Award for the best humorous crime novel published in the British Isles.
The next one is set in Las Vegas, from whence I have just returned which is why the blog has been sporadic.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lezayre man- Trafalgar bound

MIKE Bathgate, of Lezayre, is one of the 2,400 people selected to make an exhibition of himself on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.
He is one of the participants for celebrated artist Antony Gormley's One & Other project where ordinary people have been selected at random from thousands of applicants across the UK to occupy the empty fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Go Cav!

Mark Cavendish was delighted to win the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris but is targeting the green jersey next year.

The Isle of Man-born star collected his sixth stage win on the final day and his tenth overall - a record for any British rider - but just missed out on wining the green jersey, which went to Norwegian Thor Hushovd.

Southern Show News:
THE Southern Agricultural Show opened at Great Meadow, Castletown, in brilliant sunshine and ideal conditions for people and animals. It brought huge crowds, many heeding the weather forecast and opting for a visit on Saturday rather than in the rain promised for Sunday and proving correct.

History was made on Sunday when Duggie and Belinda Coole and their daughter Kayleigh paraded a Dairy Shorthorn cow, the first of the breed to win the supreme award at any Manx show since 1972.

Dairy Shorthorn cattle were once the most numerous in the Island and scored successes at shows but 1972 was the last, when John Cooil, of Ballacreggan, Port St Mary, exhibited the supreme at the Royal Manx with a Shorthorn bull.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Regular readers know how much I love this blog This is a great photo of the jellyfish-- or jellies, as I understand they are now called given their non-fish status -- that are beginning to dominate our waters.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cav wins stage 19 and rides into record books

MARK Cavendish became the most successful British rider in Tour de France history after taking his fifth stage in this year's race, his ninth career win in the Tour. Cavendish had already equalled Barry Hoban's record of eight wins which had stood since 1975, but today the 24-year-old from Laxey went one better.

Stage 19 took the riders on a 178km route from Bourgoin-Jallieu to Aubenas across the heavy and hilly roads of the Massif Central.

Leyland Era Draws to a Close

The last of a long line of buses from the famous British manufacturer Leyland Motors will soon leave use on regular service journeys with the Island’s ‘Bus Vannin’ fleet, with the exception of a limited number of school services. This will also end the use of step-entry buses on the Island’s regular service journeys.
Leyland has been a familiar name in the Island’s bus fleets since 1927 when a Leyland C7 was delivered new to Manxland Bus Services but now only a handful of more recent models remain in use.
Commemorative services with the last survivors of the type, numbers 83 (BMN 83G) and 99 (DMN 16R), will operate as part of the Manx Transport Heritage Festival which is taking place between 30th July and 5th August. Both buses will then be placed on loan to the new Jurby Transport Museum where they will join the display of vintage buses and other vehicles.
Number 83 is one of a batch of six Leyland bodied Olympians purchased new in 1988. These were the first new double deck buses to be used on the Island since A.E.C. Regent V numbers 409/410 LMN were delivered to Douglas Corporation 20 years before. 410 LMN was the last A.E.C. double deck chassis built and is still owned by ‘Bus Vannin’.
Number 99 is a former Dublin Bus Alexander bodied Olympian and is the last of a considerable number of second hand Leylands (Titans, Leopards, Panthers, Atlanteans and Olympians) purchased between 1972 and 2003. Second hand buses have featured on the Island since 1927 with other notable purchases being Dennis Falcon single deck buses in 1967 and Dennis Dominator double deck buses in 1993.
I was given an Atlantean while down the pub (The Albert) one night. Weirdest thing to ever happen in a pub in a life of weird pub events.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Police steal keys -- and that's OK with Manx people

POLICE in the north of the Isle of Man have warned motorists that they will take keys out of cars if they find them left inside. It's part of 'operation keysnatch'. From next Monday, officers will leave calling cards in unlocked cars and remove keys if they're inside.

Motorists will have to go to Ramsey police station to collect their keys. They will need identification and proof of ownership to get them back. Sergeant Mark Newey said: 'There have been a number of instances where vehicles have been taken due to the owners leaving keys in the vehicle and sometimes even in the ignition. 'Typically, those who are taking such vehicles are young and are not able to drive, which often results in these vehicles crashing.'

Apparently this is OK on the IOM. The IoMOnline website carries more favorable comments than adverse. I'm surprised.

Isle of Man Domains

LUXEMBOURG - EuroDNS is glad to announce the opening of the .IM extension, now available for purchase for only 2 Euros ($2.84) at

.IM is the Country Code Top-Level Domain extension for The Isle of Man, a self-governing crown dependency located within the British Isles, but constitutionally separate from the United Kingdom. The Isle of Man is a "low tax economy" with no capital gains tax, wealth tax, or inheritance tax. Xavier Buck, CEO of EuroDNS, explains “The .IM extension represents more than just a country code domain available to all Isle of Man’s businesses and residents. It can indeed be used to personalize your web address, as .IM in English phonetically corresponds to “I am”. Therefore, having an address such as YourName.IM could sound really interesting. .IM is also strongly linked to the social characteristic of Instant Messaging, which allows you to create a website using your instant messaging screen name. The need of unique, specific and personalized domain name extension such as .IM is growing. Don’t miss this opportunity and register your .IM at EuroDNS for 2 Euros. This great offer will only be available for 6 months”.
.IM extension offers a number of interesting possibilities around the personalization and social aspects of a web address. It is also a way to expend one’s business and e-commerce within The Isle of Man. For more information on this offer and to get more promotions and an extensive list of available extensions, please go to

Hat Tip: Jim Kneale

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

US/Manx partnership

ECONOMY BOOST: Managing director Roy Charsley and hatchery manager Richard Long next to the trout tanks at the new facility in Glen Wyllin, Kirk Michael.

An international company with a new division in the Isle of Man is set to put Kirk Michael on the world 'aquaculture' map.
USA-based Troutlodge Inc has built a £1.2m water temperature controlled and water re-circulated hatchery building at Glen Wyllin on the site of the old trout hatchery.

Isle of Man theme park idea raised in Tynwald

A THEME park should be built to halt the decline in Manx tourism.
That's the dream of George Waft MLC who suggested in Tynwald that a Thomas the Tank Engine theme park would provide an attraction for young children and their families. Mr Waft insisted the Isle of Man needed to provide something new for young families to do. He said he was not proposing an Alton Towers or Legoland.

All children, he said, could name Henry, Gordon, James and all of the other characters in Rev W. Awdry's Thomas the Tank Engine books that were set in the fictional island of Sodor based, of course, on the Isle of Man.

What do you think?

Monday, July 20, 2009

T M Sheard – TT hereo

T M Sheard – the Modest Manxman concentrates on Tom's racing career, including personally collated reports from newspapers of the time. It also chronicles Tom's personal life and shares family memorabilia. The book is self-published (which means that it has been painstakingly(!) self-typed and arranged then professionally printed), with the price being kept as low as possible (only £10) as I wanted everyone to be able to enjoy it. It consists of 147 pages with many photographs and images. (Have a look at extracts from the book on the website). Also available through

Oldest house on the Isle of Man?

An incredible 3,000 years older than Stonehenge, it dates back to the time when the first human settlers returned to the Isle of Man after the end of the Ice Age. It's part of the Ronaldsway find.

Describing the significance of the find, Manx National Heritage field archaeologist Andrew Johnson said: 'It's defining moment in an archaeologist's career. Finding a Mesolithic house is like finding the tooth of a hen – you would never think it would happen!'

The site consists of a slight hollow 6-7 metres in diameter with a series of post holes around the outside which would be have supported a large wooden structure, possibly in the shape of a wigwam, that would have been home to an extended family.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

You can always depend on the French...

Officals rob Cav of green jersey hopes

UNLUCKY 13: Cavendish may have lost any chance of winning back the green jersey after today's controversy
UNLUCKY 13: Cavendish may have lost any chance of winning back the green jersey after today's controversy.

A DECISION by Tour de France officials to relegate Mark Cavendish on today's 14th stage could have cost him any chance of winning the green jersey. Cavendish was demoted in a controversial sprint against green jersey Thor Hushovd in which the Norwegian attempted to get past on Cav's right hand side with the crash barriers on Hushovd's right.

Cavendish finished ahead of Hushovd to take 13th place, but it was to be an unlucky number for the Manxman. Race officials decided that Cavendish had moved to the right as the Norwegian tried to squeeze between him and the barriers and was therefore guilty of what they described as 'irregular sprinting'.

TV replays showed Cavendish drifting very slightly to the right as he looked around to see where Hushovd was. Cavendish initially looked over his left shoulder, a manouvre which any cyclist will know often causes a rider to drift to the right.

It looked to be a very harsh decision but the Tour de France's chief commissaire told ITV interviewer Ned Boulting that Cavendish had unfairly prevented Hushovd from getting past and the decision to relegate the Manxman from 13th to 154th place was final.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Yn Chruinnaght

Ta’n Chruinnaght ny feailley jeh cultoor Vannin as y vooinjerys eddyr Ellan Vannin as ny queig cheeraghyn Celtiagh elley (Nalbin, Nerin, Y Vretin, Y Chorn as Y Vritaan). T’ee goaill stiagh kuse dy haghyrtyn lesh kiaull, daunse, y chengey, ellynyn as keirdyn, leaghtyn as mooarane elley.

Yn Chruinnaght (meaning 'the gathering') is a celebration of Manx culture and the relationship between the Isle of Man and the other five Celtic countries (Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany). It includes a number of events with music, dance, language, arts and crafts, lectures and much more.

It's currently being held in the IOM but there is nothing about it on the Newspaper website (tut, tut).

Oh, Cav lost the green jersey yesterday.

Friday, July 17, 2009

DC Manx -- Check this out

The National Air and Space Museum will premiere Alan Bean: Painting Apollo, First Artist On Another World at the Museum on the National Mall July 16, 2009 through January 13, 2010 in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of the first Apollo Moon landings. Alan Bean: Painting Apollo, First Artist On Another World

represents a major exhibition of paintings by American artist and Apollo 12 astronaut, Alan Bean.

The exhibition will be the largest exhibition of Bean’s work to date with approximately forty original paintings and drawings. The exhibit will enable viewers to experience a world 238,000 miles away through the eyes of the only artist to walk on the lunar surface.

Artifacts from the National Air and Space Museum’s collection will supplement the exhibit as three-dimensional references to the lunar equipment depicted in the paintings.

IOM Connection --

The Isle of Man Post Office is honoured to present the artwork of the renowned international artist and former NASA astronaut, himself a ‘Moon walker’, Alan Bean, in celebration of Man’s first footsteps on the Lunar Surface.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ballacottier School sing "Roll Away" by Davy Knowles for the Bee Gees

Bee Gees serenaded with Davy's song! from Davy Knowles on Vimeo.

Ronaldsway, Cav and the French

BARGES carrying thousands of tonnes of massive boulders have been regular visitors to Derbyhaven Bay since April. The three barges are being towed 640 miles from Larvik on Norway's south coast with cargoes of rock armour for the Isle of Man Airport runway extension project. Story

MARK Cavendish today won his fourth stage of this year's Tour de France and now has a total of eight Tour wins to match Barry Hoban's record for a British rider. Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team) lost the green jersey after finishing fifth on the 192km stage from Vatan to Saint-Fargeau.

Cavendish is back in the green jersey and now has 176 points to Hushovd's 169. The French riders are now trying to assert that Cav is a racist. Didn't they also used to have a go at Lance? They should take a leaf from the American's book: hold a world series and only invite the host nation to compete.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Golden Queenie found on Mortuary beach

PORT Erin's Sarah Brown has found the Golden Queenie.
At 3.30pm on Sunday, after hours of frantic digging on Mortuary Beach in Port Erin, she unearthed a queenie scallop shell painted gold with a code and a mobile telephone number in a Tupperware box.
Her determination to find the queenie, worth £4,000, could not have been greater. Sarah, 42, now known as 'Golden Brown', knew 10 days ago that it was somewhere on Mortuary Beach.
'I have been on the same beach digging, I must have done 40 hours,' she revealed.
The Golden Queenie Conundrum was launched as part of this year's Queenie Festival, which began in late June and ran into this month. A number of clues were issued to help hunters find their way to the golden prize. As clue after clue was issued and no queenie unearthed, it became clear it was going to take someone with great tenacity to find it.
Organiser of the queenie festival Tim Croft, of Island Seafare, said: 'I'm glad it has been found and congratulations to Sarah, it is a fair reward for the long hours she put in. By all accounts she knew where it was but struggled to find out how many paces it was to the exact spot, but then she landed on it.'
He promised something similar for next year's festival. 'I do not know whether it will be a golden queenie, it might be something different.'
The Golden Queenie Conundrum was set by a local personality and the Golden Queenie itself was donated by Celtic Gold of Peel.

Bee Gees photo

It finally arrived - my photo of Barry and Robin Gibb with Alan Crowe, Chairman of Isle of Man Post (right) and Alex F. Downie, FIMarEST, MCMI, FFB, MLC (left). They received a framed set of the Bee Gees stamps and covers as well as a commemorative coin.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Around Britain in letters.

Nice Telegraph story here about a lady recuperating from an accident. She decided to track down the letters of the alphabet from Google Earth images. The 'W' is from Sulby on the IoM.

Ice Age -- Manx version

A PREHISTORIC dwelling3,000 years older than Stonehenge – has been unearthed during construction of the runway extension at Isle of Man Airport. Dating back an astonishing 8,000 years to the time when the first human settlers returned to the Isle of Man after the end of the Ice Age, it is probably the oldest dwelling ever found in the Island.

Featuring the foundations of a strongly-built shelter, filled and surrounded by thousands of pieces of worked flint, the charred remains of wood, and hundreds of hazelnut shells, the major archaeological find is certain to make headlines around the world.

It has been unearthed as fieldwork at Ronaldsway nears completion, with diggers due to finish excavating in the middle of this month and the project on schedule to be completed by the end of the year.

Tynwald Day celebrations in Norway

BONNAG was on the menu as a group of nursery school children enjoyed their own Tynwald Day celebrations in Norway last week.

The youngsters baked the traditional Manx bread during a morning of Isle of Man-themed activities at the Muldvarpen kindergarten in Stavanger. The event was organised by Juan Cottier, the Isle of Man Government’s honorary representative in Norway, and his wife Katerina.

Children, parents and teachers were greeted at the school gates by Manx fiddle player Juan Maddrell and received a message from Chief Minister Tony Brown MHK which had been translated into Norwegian. Each of the 34 children made their own individual bonnags decorated with raisins and chocolate chips, as well as a bigger one for the teachers.

While the bread was baking in the oven, the headteacher gathered everybody together to explain the Isle of Man’s strong historical and cultural links with Norway. The children then sat down to tuck into their tasty Manx bonnag, topped off with a dollop of Norwegian jam.

The Chief Minister said:

‘It is always a pleasure to hear of people in other parts of the world joining in our Tynwald Day celebrations and learning more about the Island’s history and traditions. The work of our honorary representatives is invaluable in terms of raising awareness and understanding of the Isle of Man and I’d like to thank Juan and his family for their sterling efforts.’ The Cottiers also hosted an open house at their home in Stavanger city centre on July 5. Friends, neighbours and business contacts were all invited to enjoy an afternoon of Manx food and entertainment. Kippers, queenies, Loaghtan steaks and 10 different Manx cheeses were served up to 50 guests who also watched a DVD of the TT Races and listened to CDs by Breesha Maddrell.

Juan said: ‘The gathering was a great success and the Isle of Man produce attracted plenty of compliments. In the spirit of a traditional Manx tay-fight we finished up at about 1am! I am most grateful to the many Isle of Man companies and individuals who contributed to the Tynwald Day celebrations in Norway, including the IoM Government, Island Seafare, IoM Post Office, MHF Music, IoM Creameries, Duke Marketing and Manx Loughtan Produce.’

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Official Press release from the Washington trip by IOM Government delegation

Date: July 10, 2009

Delegation to Washington warmly received

THE Isle of Man’s continuing leadership in the field of international co-operation has created considerable interest during the Manx Government delegation’s visit to Washington this week.

Headed by Chief Minister Tony Brown MHK, the delegation has spent a busy three days in the US capital meeting key advisers and officials in the areas of tax and financial crime. Mr Brown has been accompanied by Treasury Minister Allan Bell MHK, Chief Secretary Mary Williams, Attorney General John Corlett and Director of External Relations Della Fletcher.

The Chief Minister said: ‘We have been warmly received. There has been a good deal of interest in the Island’s leading position on tax co-operation, our record in signing tax information exchange agreements and recognition of that through the OECD white list. As well, our high standards of financial regulation in such areas as Know Your Customer are being viewed here as examples of best practice.

‘People in Washington are particularly impressed that the Isle of Man has underlined its commitment to transparency by being the first small finance centre to announce a move to automatic exchange of tax information under the EU Savings Directive.’

Mr Brown continued: ‘The purpose of the visit was to make the Isle of Man’s case in person to key contacts in Washington, which is what we have done. This was not the Manx Government’s first delegation to the USA, and it won’t be the last, but we have to continue reinforcing the message across a range of people and places.

‘Going to the States for face-to-face meetings – in addition to our ongoing dialogue in the meantime - shows we are serious about building relationships and understanding in Washington, and this was a point appreciated by the people we have met.’

Bodies contacted by the delegation this week include: the Multistate Tax Commission, working to co-ordinate tax laws across the States; the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees all tax legislation introduced in the Senate; the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, which oversees all tax legislation in the House of Representatives; the Joint Committee on Taxation, assisting Congress on tax policy and legislation; the US Treasury; the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which has investigated offshore tax evasion; and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), the US Treasury’s main anti-money laundering agency, the Deputy Director of which, William F. Baity, visited the Island last year to deliver the Chief Minister’s International Lecture.

In addition to meetings with officials and advisers, the delegation supported the network of Island connections within the USA by attending a reception hosted by the Washington Manx Society.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cav loses Green jersey

He's not as good on the hills as he is in a sprint so he fell behind today as Thor Hushovd, his main rival for the green jersey, gained points in two intermediate sprints on stage eight of the Tour de France.

Pennies on the Prom

An ambitious fundraiser will be attempted on Sunday 12th. The Isle of Man Children's Centre is trying to get people to come and lay coins along the entire one and a half miles of Douglas Promenade. It's estimated that 160,000 penny coins will be needed. Story here on Isle News - a new website on me as it covers the Channel Islands and the IoM. All I can say is I'm glad I won't have to pick them up!

Items from Jo Overty at the IOM Department of Education

Manx curriculum website created

A WEBSITE dedicated to the Manx curriculum has been created. The site – – provides teachers with a wealth of materials, ideas and contacts. The public is also welcome to use it.

The Island’s curriculum is influenced by the English national curriculum but requires schools to reflect the culture, heritage and geography of the Isle of Man in their lessons. A central Manx Curriculum website has been created to make more Manx-based information available for both primary and secondary teachers.

The website already contains contact details and information pages about many helpful organisations on the Island, including Manx National Heritage, the Manx Heritage Foundation, the Manx Wildlife Trust and the I Love Manx campaign. These and the other pages also include downloadable resources and links to help primary school teachers planning and teaching Manx elements of the curriculum.’

The site will be invaluable for providing instant access to resources that already exist such as the primary schools’ Hop tu Naa pack and the secondary schools’ music scheme Kiaull Manninagh. The website has events and training days listed, as well as a photograph gallery onto which teachers can upload photographs of successful Manx work that has gone on in their schools.

World’s youngest teachers celebrate successful year

TEN of the world’s youngest teachers today met to celebrate a successful year – even though some slept peacefully through all the excitement. Newborn babies who have played a pivotal role in the Island’s pioneering Roots of Empathy programme were among the guests of honour at a celebration hosted by Education Minister Anne Craine MHK.

Roots of Empathy sees tiny babies and their parents visit classes of six and seven-year-olds regularly throughout the year. Trained instructors coach pupils to observe the babies’ development and interpret their feelings. Ten primary schools participated in the award-winning programme’s first year in the Isle of Man, each hosting 10, 40-minute lessons. From September 2010, all primary schools will be participating.

Mrs Craine said: ‘I have been very keen to see the year end results of this programme. Its intention, to enable young people to be able to explore and understand their own feelings and relationships with one another, has very powerful possibilities in reducing aggression and poor behaviour. ‘At a superficial level, it is important for our children to understand the development of babies and their need for nurture but the strength of the programme is that it enables them to understand their own emotions and behaviour towards one another. ‘I know that all of our schools wish that they could have been in the first cohort to pilot the scheme but I am glad that we are continuing to roll out this important programme to all of our schools over the next two years. At some point we have to intervene and try to address the increasingly difficult behaviour that some children display and I think Roots of Empathy plays a valuable part in doing that.’

Another guest of honour at the celebration at St John Ambulance Headquarters was Mary Gordon, the Canadian woman who founded Roots of Empathy in her homeland in 1996. Since then it has been rolled out to New Zealand and the USA. However, the Island is leading the way in Europe as the only country to launch the programme.

Roots of Empathy:

The initiative to introduce the Roots of Empathy programme into Island schools arose from the Early Years Conference hosted by the Department of Education in 2007. The programme explores nine themes: Empathy, culture of caring, respect, power of parenting, participatory democracy, inclusion, diversity, infant safety, non-violence/anti-bullying.

Roots of Empathy sees children taught to observe and interact with tiny babies who are taken into schools on a regular basis. The programme was trialled among Year 2 pupils at Rushen, Ballasalla, Anagh Coar, Willaston, Ashley Hill, Onchan, Braddan, Ballaquayle, Ballacottier and Cronk-y-Berry schools. Next year it will also operate at Arbory, Phurt le Moirrey, Andreas, Vallajeelt, Jurby, Peel Clothworkers, Auldyn, Michael, Dhoon and Marown schools.

Roots of Empathy allows children to gain insight into how others feel and develop a sense of social responsibility for each other. Evaluations have shown it has had a dramatic effect in reducing levels of aggression and violence among schoolchildren by raising social and emotional competence and increasing empathy.

Seven independent evaluations found children on the programme showed:

• Increased social and emotional knowledge
• Increased pro-social behaviour (eg, sharing, helping and including) with peers
• Decreased aggression with peers.

Researchers in three studies looked at specific types of aggression, including bullying. All the studies showed a significant decrease in bullying. Roots of Empathy also contributes to improving the five priority outcomes for children outlined in the Isle of Man Government’s Strategy for Children and Young People: Staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and prospering.

Mary Gordon:
Mary Gordon is an educator, child advocate and parenting expert who advises governments on childcare policy and has won several awards for her work. She is the author of a best-selling book, Roots of Empathy: Changing the World Child by Child, published in 2005. Roots of Empathy was one of three winners of a global competition for projects that help young people at risk.

30 Years on and NAMA is still presenting Awards in IOM

YOUNG people were honoured at the 30th annual North American Manx Association Awards. Association president Sally Dahlquist presented the awards which were commissioned to mark Tynwald's millennium year in 1979. Education Minister Anne Craine MHK said the awards had evolved over the years while still recognising the achievements of young people in understanding and promoting the Manx culture.

Tom Callister-Wafer, 16, from Queen Elizabeth II High School, Peel, was presented with the music prize in recognition of his talent in playing the drums, violin and guitar. He is happy to help other students and was described as a great asset to the school music department. Tom has developed links with other countries through music and was said to be an ambassador for music performed by young people.

The arts and crafts prize was awarded to 16-year-old Castle Rushen High School (CRHS) student Georgina Kent. Georgina has a diverse style and approach with an expressive painting skill. She used her creative ability to design and make a dress from recycled materials and made her year 11 prom dress at home.

Ruby Biscoe-Taylor, 16, who recently took the GCSE equivalent in Manx won the Manx language award. The CRHS student is expected to achieve a high grade in the subject. She has a strong interest in Manx culture, particularly Manx music and will be studying in London from September where she will fly the Manx flag.

Sarah Jane Qualtrough, a student at King William's College, Castletown, received the under-18s' award for Manx culture. Proud to be Manx, she was honoured to represent the Island at the Thomas Cranmer awards in February where she was one of the youngest to win first prize. She is a helper and fundraiser at the Abbey Church, Ballasalla, is a member of the Manx Operatic Society and has performed at the Manx Music Festival.

The over-18s' award for Manx culture was awarded to Harry Revill in recognition of his ability to MC entirely in Manx. The 18-year-old Ramsey Grammar School student and former winner of the award for overcoming a disability wasn't present as he was in Senegal teaching English.

Health and social care students from Isle of Man College were awarded the Manx culture group award for under-25s in recognition of their work during a recent trip to Norway. The group used puppets to help overcome the language barrier while working with young children and also gave a presentation to fellow students and staff at a college in Norway.

Office administration students from Isle of Man College received the Manx community award having organised charity events including a stall selling non-alcohol cocktails and cakes, a sponsored walk and taking part in the One World Centre Charity Challenge.

Katie Saunders, 17, picked up the award for overcoming a disability. The full-time Isle of Man College student suffered cerebral convulsions as an infant and defied medics who told her parents she would never walk or talk. She has excelled at sport, clinching four gold and 10 silver medals in the Special Olympics and is preparing to take an exam in speaking with confidence.

Awards for the most progress in Manx was presented to Matthew Brammer, of RGS, and Jessica Isherwood, of Ballakermeen High School, Douglas. Year 10 student Matthew has been learning Manx since he was in year four. He has opted to take Manx as an exam subject and plans to do work experience at the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh to help improve his fluency.

Year nine student Jessica studies Manx as an additional subject in her own time. She enjoys singing songs in Manx.

Stories from IOMOnline

Another talented Manx boy, Peel Golf Club member Seb Crookall-Nixon claimed his second consecutive English Under-16 Championship last week when he prevailed in a five-way play-off at Radcliffe-on-Trent Golf Club in Nottinghamshire to land the prestigious McGregor Trophy.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Great night for DC Manx

Greater Washington Area Manx society members were fortunate enough to meet with the Manx delegation visiting D.C. on official business. They stole an hour out of their hectic schedules to visit with us in Alexandria. The delegation brought a plaque to commemorate the occasion which was presented to the current President of the Society, Jim Kneale Jr. Jim baked his famous cherry bonnag (seen here being sampled by Chief Minister, Tony Brown) and also some of his home-smoked salmon which is loosely based upon a traditional Manx kipper recipe, replacing whisky with rum in a marinade and then smoking over oak chips. Delicious! The delegation included Treasury Minister, Allan Bell, the Chief Secretary, Mary Williams, Attorney General, John Corlett and Head of External Affairs, Della Fletcher.

GWAMS & friends present: Jim Kneale, Don & Von Quayle, Harold & Martha Quayle, Alene & Phyllis Whitten, Kelly & Bill McCarthy, Matt & Mim Blower, Bill Cassidy, Kelly, Meridith, Sebastian & Mackela Crenshaw, Tom Sweeting, Joanna Kerhli, and Avril Quiggin Shipman.

Bee Gees made Freemen of Douglas

BEE Gees Barry and Robin Gibb's arrival at Douglas Town Hall in the Isle of Man today (Friday) was heralded with a performance from Ballacottier School's junior choir. The brothers and their late sibling Maurice were made Freemen of the Borough. The honour was bestowed on them in recognition of their contribution to music over the past 50 years. As the brothers arrived for the private ceremony in the council chamber they were greeted by the 38-strong Ballacottier School junior choir singing Roll Away by Davy Knowles.Full report here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

IOM News

Washington D.C. News: Local Manx Society guests are getting ready to meet the Chief Minister, The Treasury Minister and the Attorney General at a brief reception in Alexandria this evening. More tomorrow.

Manx News:
Cav holds Green jersey -- just

VLM is suspending its flights from the Isle of Man to London City airport for the summer.
In a statement, the airline said the majority of its customers were business passengers and operations would be reduced during the main holiday periods.

It said passengers would be offered the choice of seats on Aer Arann flights to London City or a full refund. A spokesman for VLM Airlines said: 'The vast majority of VLM Airlines' passengers travel for business purposes. 'As a result, the airline reduces operations during major holiday periods and it will be suspending its daily service from the Isle of Man to London City Airport from July 20 to September 1, 2009. Passengers booked to travel with VLM Airlines during this period are being contacted by the airline and offered the choice of seats for no additional charge on Aer Arann's services between the Isle of Man and London City, or a full refund.'

HANGING BRA-SKETS: Ramsey gardeners Lorraine Mihailovits, Vanessa Edwards and Carol Tuson put the finishing touches on the display in Parliament Street, Ramsey. They have used recycled items – including a wide range of bras and frilly knickers – as the centrepiece of the display on the site of the former Cusha building, in Parliament Street.

Also featuring plant pots made from lamp shades and handbags, they hoped the display, put up on Sunday, would encourage others to be more creative with their recycling. It coincides with the Royal Horticultural Society's event, featuring donated bras, boxer shorts and jockey pants, at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this week.

THE Queenie Festival may have finished, but that £4,000 Golden Queenie is still out there, waiting to be found. Festival organiser Tim Croft said if the Golden Queenie isn't found after two weeks, they will simplify the clues to guide people to its location. Reflecting on a very successful, week Tim said the Queenie Festival attracted thousands of people to the south to join in the festival that had something for everyone.

>> Click here for all the clues to the Golden Queenie hunt

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tynwald 2009

North American Manx volunteers wanted

From Cheryl who is performing a legitimate exercise for her Masters.

I am doing research on Manx identity, and I am about to draw the data collection to a
close for those who are in North America and who are of Manx extraction or
are Manx expats. While I have over 400 from the Isle of Man, I only have a little
over 100 from North America. Any help that your readers could give would be
most appreciated.

The link to the website survey is:

Thank you very much.
Cheryl Cheek

Petitions of Grievance

The newly-appointed Clerk to Tynwald, Roger Phillips, receives a petition of grievance at Tynwald yesterday. This is an ancient right and nine people availed themselves of it.

Guests included Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu, vice-president of the Norwegian parliament Olav Cunnar Ballo, Professor of Space Law at University of Houston Art Dula, founder of the TTXGP Azhar Hussain, Andrew Rosindell MP and secretary general of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Dr William Shija.

Following a service in the Royal Chapel, which was broadcast live on a big screen, the procession of Tynwald members, captains of the parishes, members of the judiciary and dignitaries made their way to Tynwald Hill.

The 17 new acts passed during the last 18 months by Tynwald were promulgated in English and Manx.

>> Tynwald Day celebrations centre on St John's

After the captioning of the acts, Castletown resident Ian Qualtrough received the Tynwald Honour for his contribution to Manx life. 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.

Umbrellas were put up during the ceremony, but unlike last year when visitors tried in vain to stay dry, this year they hoped it would offer a bit of shade.

The Tynwald fair was bigger than ever with visitors enjoying a wide range of stalls and entertainment. For many, the sight of giant bubbles (they were bigger than a football) flying above the stands was one of the highlights. Three dance groups came together for a Grand Manx Dance event and a MusicFest, with more than 20 acts, celebrated the Island's musical talent.

There was also a Manx Food Fayre and special events to celebrate the Tynwald National Park and Arboretum's 30th anniversary this year. Other events included a Vikings of Mann re-enactment, dog agility trials and a fly past by the RAF.


I'm sorry about the loss of service - I went away for the weekend and my computer conked out. We're looking forward to seeing the Chief Minister, the Treasury Minister and the Attorney General in Washington this week.

Here are some snippets:
Mark Cavendish won the first two stages of the Tour de France (on the real Tynwald Day and the official Tynwald Day). He was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal last week by an American rider who considers him very beatable. Hmm.

Economic report highlights Island’s resilience
THE quality and diversity of the Isle of Man’s economy is providing resilience at a time of unprecedented global turmoil, according to the latest quarterly economic report to the Council of Ministers.

The publication, relating to the period January 1 to March 31, highlights a number of local business sectors that are continuing to perform strongly. E-gaming is identified as the activity with the most potential for further expansion, with significant growth predicted during 2009.

There are also positive indicators for space commerce, shipping and aircraft registration and aerospace engineering. It is hoped that these growth areas, in particular e-business, will provide employment opportunities for any Island workers displaced from the financial services sector.

Overall, the quarterly report presents a mixed picture, with a challenging year ahead forecast in banking and tourism, along with certain aspects of the construction and manufacturing industries. The Island’s jobless total stood at 947 at the end of March which represents 2¼% of the economically active population.

The report states:

‘This compares favourably with the UK rate of 6.7% and the corresponding average EU rate of 7.6%.’
The current economic climate is also reflected in the work permit figures, with the number of new permits issued falling by 520 – about 33% – compared with the same period in 2008. In light of market conditions, additional scrutiny is being applied to new applications for roles in some sectors where there is an availability of suitable Isle of Man workers.

The quarterly report also confirms that the Island’s housing market is starting to feel the effects of the economic downturn. While the average sale price over the past 12 months was 4.9% higher than in the previous year, that figure has increased only marginally – by half of one percent – over the first quarter of 2009.

Treasury Minister Allan Bell MHK said: ‘This latest quarterly report confirms that the economic slowdown is having an impact on the Isle of Man. However, the Island is currently not in recession and the economy is expected to grow by 2.5% in the year ahead. The diversity of our economic base and quality of our niche sectors is providing great strength and demonstrating that the Island can respond positively to changes in the global environment.’

Message from Charles Wilson: More here on his story.
Hello Kelly,

We start on Tues 7 Jul in the Pyrenees.

Found another Manx connection (IOM gets everywhere)

There is a memorial at the site of a Halifax bomber which crashed high in the Pyrenees killing 6 men.

Our guide, Scott Goodall traced the living relatives of the crew. A Sergeant Hurley, an engineer on the flight has a niece Lyn Quirk, living in Kirk Michael! I have a memorial cross to place for her - amazing coincidence

Best regards...................Charles

Welcome to COAST month
The Isle of Man is playing host to an action-packed month of coast themed activities throughout July. Events are taking place throughout the Island aimed at raising awareness of the richness and diversity of marine life around our shores.

Coast month has kicked off with the Manx Queenie Festival which is now in full swing with a varied programme of events including cooking demonstrations by Celebrity Chefs Mitch Tonks and Mark Hix, recipe competitions, fun days, community events and barbecues. The festivities will end with ‘Marine Day’ on Saturday 4th July and Port St Mary Beach Day on Sunday 5th July. For more information on the Isle of Man Queenie Festival check out

Throughout July the Department of Tourism and Leisure will be producing four video clips showing aspects of coastal activities around the Island, the first of these clips going live this Friday 3rd July. This will be followed by a new one every Friday for three more weeks. The clips will be a snapshot of events taking place throughout July, including the Queenie Festival and the Viking Festival, attractions such as dolphins and basking sharks and activities including diving and kayaking.

National Whale & Dolphin Week is taking place from the 18th until the 26th July and public sighting days will be on Saturday 18th and 25th and Sunday 19th and 26th. There will be manned sites at Port St Mary ledges, the Calf and Niarbyl on the two weekends. Over a dozen Risso's dolphins and three or four killer whales were spotted only last Saturday near Cow Harbour. Five Risso's dolphins were also spotted near the Chicken Rock.

The Department of Tourism and Leisure has also hosted and arranged visits for three television crews during the last couple of weeks. A crew of five from BBC2’s Coast programme came over to the Island to film for an episode in the Isle of Man, with presenter Neil Oliver. The Isle of Man will feature in their next series during 2010. They filmed at locations Island wide including Peel Castle, Laxey Wheel, Maughold Head and The Tower of Refuge.

A crew of four from the production company ICON Films have also been over to film for BBC ‘The One Show’ with presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff. They went in search of dolphins with John Galpin of Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch before heading to the north of the Island to investigate more about the Irish elks. Both crews have informed the Department of Tourism and Leisure that they have captured some fantastic footage.

Tourism and Leisure Minister Hon Martyn Quayle MHK said:

‘The Isle of Man has a unique coastal and marine surrounding. Wildlife enthusiasts come from countries far afield to see the large variety of species of birds, seals and dolphins that live around our waters. Throughout the month there will be many coastal themed activities happening around the Island and I hope visitors and locals alike will take advantage of the beautiful coastline by taking part in the activities planned.’

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tynwald Day on the BBC --Monday 6th July

After years of lukewarm interest it seems we're now interesting to the Beeb. Very cool.

They will be streaming live coverage of the event on Monday via the website link.

There will be full coverage of the formal proceedings and general activities, interspersed with interviews with the President and Speaker of Tynwald and the Chief Minister, Tony Brown.

The broadcast will be repeated between 4.30pm – 7pm so that people in other time zones around the world can log on and enjoy the fun!

Manx team third overall

With 13 golds, 14 silver and 9 bronze medals the IoM is doing really well at the NatWest Island Games XIII Island games. Gymnasts, Alex Hedges and his brother Adam took gold and silver and shooter, Arthur Hayes also snagged a gold. This on top of wins from the judo squad and our swimmers.
Results here.