Friday, February 26, 2010

The Anglo Manxman – A Life of A. W. Moore

This recent publication brings to life the remarkable story of one of the Island’s best known figures in both politics and literature. Held as part of the winter series of lectures given by the Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society at the Manx Museum, Dr. Fyson, former senior lecturer in history and contributor to other Manx publications, gave his audience an insight into how the book was written rather than an extensive report of its contents.  Dr. Fyson revealed that it took him two years to research his subject, but a mere seven weeks to write Moore’s biography.

As a prominent member of the Manx community and a former Speaker of the House of Keys basic facts about the man were readily available, but the challenge for Dr. Fyson was how to reveal more about Moore’s personality. Reading Moore’s personal diaries proved to be a disappointment; filled with plenty of facts, but regrettably no emotional content.

Moore loved to travel extensively around the world and it was hoped that his travel diaries may have provided a more meaningful insight into his life, but Dr. Fyson’s hopes were dashed as it became apparent that they were lost over time.

Despite these set backs Dr. Fyson still had many details to work with including those taken from notes left by the late Canon John Quine, and undertook further investigation of the historical archive at the Manx Museum, local newspapers, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and a number of personal letters exchanged with other Manx worthies. Dr. Fyson also had the valuable assistance of A. W. Moore’s great grandson William Moore.

Dr. Fyson remarked that as much of his research material was concentrated in such a small area, i.e. the Isle of Man, this made his task much easier.

Moore was born into a wealthy family, became a prolific author, politician, Celticist and Royalist and died of cancer at the age of 56, but his widow then surprised everybody by remarrying within fourteen months of his death. Her second husband, Fred Clucas MHK, tactfully resigned from his position and the newly weds went to live in Bristol, England, well away from a disapproving public gaze on the Isle of Man. Later they returned to the Island and Clucas was restored to the House of Keys, spending eighteen years as Speaker.

Dr. Fyson readily admitted that time did not permit him to extend his research further into the life of Fred Clucas, but nevertheless felt that he was a neglected personality in Manx history, suggesting that he would be worthy of  further investigation.

‘The Anglo Manxman – A Life of A. W. Moore’ can be purchased through the Manx Heritage Foundation website.
Valerie Caine © February 2010

TT update

Austrian manufacturer KTM will make its debut on the Isle of Man's Mountain Course at the 2010 TT.
James Edmeades will ride the flagship RC8R Superbike for the Loughborough-based Redline KTM team. BBC

MARTYN QUAYLE: The tourism minister said his department was still finalising the budget for this year’s clean emissions race but that, in order to promote and run the event, he expected the budget to be between £100,000 and a £150,000 
MARTYN QUAYLE: The tourism minister said his department was still finalising the budget for this year’s TT clean emissions race but that, in order to promote and run the event, he expected the budget to be between £100,000 and a £150,000.
Going it alone on the green TT could save taxpayers up to £95,000, the House of Keys was told. He defended the decision to jettison TTXGP and to create a TT Zero event in its place. Questioned about damning headlines in Motorcycle News about 'playground politics choking electric racing', the minister hit out at inaccurate UK press coverage. IOM Online
TTXGP boss Azhar Hussain has refuted government claims that he elected not to take part in this year's zero emission motorcycle race during the TT Race Week.
A government statement last week said Mr Hussain was not prepared to sacrifice a rival event in Paris during TT fortnight in order to be at the TT, leaving organisers with no option but to organise the event – now called TT Zero – themselves. But Mr Hussain has told the Examiner he is extremely sorry not to be involved.
Thanking those who had supported his enterprise last year in the inaugural event, Mr Hussain added: 'I can confirm the question of Paris or issues of financial packages were not factors in the decision-making and am disappointed that it is being suggested so. 'We remain surprised about the decision as we did everything possible to make this happen.' IOMToday

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Clare Barker -- Manx talent with new album out on Monday March 1st

Clara Barker, a singer songwriter from the Isle of Man is currently one of music's best kept secrets.

Having graced stages supporting Paul Young & Los Pacaminos, Steve Gibbons, The Dylan Project and Jeff Lang, Clara should now become your "smug secret" before she is discovered by the masses.

Indigo, released March 1st 2010 is her debut full length album featuring 13 tracks of peace, fun, wisdom and all points in between.

"An unequivocal success" Banter Magazin.

Supported by the Isle of Man Arts Council

Members of Tynwald will meet the UK's House of Commons Justice Committee to discuss its relationship with the Isle of Man.

Among the items due to be discussed is the ending of a 62-year-old health agreement with the UK.
The reciprocal agreement will end on 1 April. From then, residents will have to pay for non-emergency treatment when they visit the UK or get insurance.
Manx politicians campaigned for the agreement to continue.
The decision also affects tourists visiting the island. They will continue to receive free accident and emergency treatment, but will be expected to have insurance to cover the cost of any further care.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Civil Partnership Bill

Members of the Isle of Man's House of Keys will consider proposals to introduce civil partnerships on the island. The Civil Partnership Bill will have its first formal reading on Tuesday.

If the bill is passed, gay and lesbian couples would be able to claim the same rights as those who are married. Treasury minister Allan Bell said the island had been regarded as homophobic in the past, and he hoped the new legislation would change that.

He said: "I think we have a far more tolerant and understanding community on the Isle of Man. Gay relationships are considered as quite acceptable to most people. I think the other changes to legislation we have brought in, in relation to the gay issue, have brought the Isle of Man in line with the United Kingdom and indeed the rest of Europe.
The stigma which we suffered very badly from in the early days has largely gone now and we can hold our head up high and claim we treat all our citizens as equal."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wanna drive an electric tram????

The Department of Tourism and Leisure is pleased to announce that due to the high demand they will be running extra dates on ‘The Ultimate Driving Experience’ throughout June and July 2010.

The event, operating on the Island’s Heritage Railways, will give members of the public a chance to experience driving one of the Island’s historic Electric Trams. Each experience will be run over a full day and will include safety briefings, a history of the trams, theory information and ultimately the chance to drive one of the trams between Laxey and Ramsey.

Minister for Tourism and Leisure Hon Martyn Quayle MHK commented:

‘These ultimate driving experience trips are a perfect opportunity for any railway enthusiasts to experience and appreciate firsthand the skill that goes into operating our Electric Trams. I’m delighted that they have been so popular with members of the public.
‘It is fantastic to see how accessible the Heritage Railways are becoming to us all. I’m sure these experiences would make fantastic gifts.’

As there are limited dates available bookings will be made on a first come first served basis. The total cost is £300, (or £350 with an accompanying guest).  Please direct all bookings to Marieanne Bridges, or telephone her on 01624 697419.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's snowing there, too.

THE Sea Terminal was opened as an emergency centre for motorists stranded by overnight snow. Many of the Island's main roads were closed due to heavy snow up to eight inches deep in places - and others passable only with extreme caution.

Police today (Sunday) once again urged people not to travel unless absolutely essential. Many motorists were forced to abandon their vehicles.

Six people were given shelter in the Sea Terminal before being taken home by civil defence volunteers.

The photo is Charles Street in Peel, courtesy of Valerie Caine which obviously dodged the really heavy snow.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Let's find Harold...

THROUGHOUT his life, John Tarver, aged 76, of Coburg Road, Ramsey, believed he was an only child. But a few months ago, a letter arrived that came as a revelation. The letter, from Coventry City Council's official adoption tracing agency, hinted he might be the long-lost brother their client was seeking.

'I couldn't believe it! But it turned out to be true. I had a sister, not just one but several — and brothers too. It came as a complete shock,' he said. For the client, June Raybould (nee Easterlow), being put in touch with John was the end of her 25-year search.

Firstly through correspondence, then through tentative phone conversations, John learnt that his birth name was John Barrie Easterlow. He was born on March 1, 1933, at Barras Heath Hostels, a rundown area of Coventry that was soon to be demolished. He was the eighth of 11 children born between 1920 and 1935. 'When June and I first spoke we were a little wary, but once we started we haven't stopped. There is a lot of time to make up for,' he said.

John was raised in Coventry as the only child of George and Alice Tarver. It was not a happy childhood and he was glad to be sent away to the Royal Navy at 14. He met and married a Wren, Moira Cottier from the Isle of Man, and they settled in Ramsey. After nearly 50 years of marriage, he was widowed in 2004. Their son and daughter and families live in Scotland.

The highlight of John's week is Age Concern's social get-togethers, but now he has more to look forward to — his phone conversations with June and making plans to visit his new-found family.

June was the baby of the family, yet she is the one who left no stone unturned in her search for her siblings. Like John, she was brought up by adoptive parents in Coventry, but the difference is that she had a happy, fulfilled childhood. She now lives in a village near Chelmsford, Essex. When she reached her teens, her adoptive parents told her she was adopted and mentioned there had been other children of the same family. It was only when her beloved adoptive parents died that she felt able to start looking for her brothers and sisters.

She only had their surname, Easterlow, to go on. The fact it was an uncommon name made the search a little easier. What unfolded was a tragic tale. Their mother Annie died in May 1936, aged 40, pregnant with her 12th child. Her husband Arthur Easterlow, who had been in the Navy prior to their marriage, died three months later of pneumonia, aged 44.

The 10 orphans (one child died as a baby) were 'scattered to the winds', he said. June's persistence paid off and she managed to trace Olive, Freda, Betty, Derek, who live in different parts of England and John in the Isle of Man. She also made contact with Winnie, Ellen and Cyril, who have since died.

There is just one piece of the family jigsaw missing: no one knows what happened to their brother, Harold.

John was three at the time the family split up, has no memory of his earlier life, although he has now seen photos of himself and his real mother and father. 'I have a family I didn't know existed and it has given me a wonderful new life,' said John. 'We are still hoping to trace Harold. Then we will be a full set.'

The Ballaugh Elk

When she was a little girl Joy Ling (nee Craine) listened intently whilst her father spoke of how her great, great, great grandfather, Thomas Kewish, discovered an important artifact in the village of Ballaugh, which led to both local and worldwide interest. But it was only later in life that Joy’s curiosity in the story increased, and she began to research the fascinating story of what became known as ‘The Ballaugh Elk.’

It was in 1819 that Thomas Kewish, the village blacksmith, and James Taubman, a brewer in Ballaugh, discovered the skeleton of an extinct great deer in a field in Ballaugh. This was many years before the discovery of the specimen now in the Manx Museum. Known at that time as an Irish elk, its discovery created huge debate on the Island with the fourth Duke of Atholl claiming the magnificent skeleton belonged to him. Kewish smuggled the great deer to Whitehaven in England in order to escape the Duke of Atholl’s men. The Duke eventually got his own way and made a gift of it to Edinburgh University Museum, paying £70 for the skeleton and £10 to Kewish, who obligingly removed the skeleton to Edinburgh.

It was the first virtually perfect skeleton of this species to be discovered in the world, with Kewish proudly exhibiting his find in Ballaugh, Douglas and Whitehaven.

There has been a considerable amount of scientific research on the species, including a recent carbon dating on ‘The Ballaugh Elk.’ Joy’s fascination led her to further research, with a desire to find out more about the people and the circumstances involved in this unusual story. Joy remarked, “It was a bit of local history, with some scientific significance. As well as filling in some family history details, it seemed important to record what material was available before it was forgotten.”

Her research also reflects some of the social history of the Island, dwelling on the difficult times experienced by farmers during this period, when charging the public to see the skeleton brought valuable income. But Joy’s enquiries also exposed the greed of the Duke of Atholl, pressing for extortionate taxes from the Manx people, and claiming he had a right to what was both on the land and under it.

Her extensive investigations took her to the Atholl Papers and other publications in the Manx Museum, the university libraries of Edinburgh, St. Andrew’s and Cambridge, the National Library of Australia and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.  Despite meeting with the Director of Natural History at the National Museum of Scotland, Joy was disappointed not to be able to see the elk herself, as the bones were being held in storage wrapped in bubble wrap. However, she cherishes a photograph that was taken the last time the ‘Ballaugh Elk’ was exhibited during the 1960s.  Recently the antlers were unwrapped in 2005 for carbon dating. The future of the skeleton is now looking more secure, with new galleries being created with the intention of exhibiting it again in 2011.

Proceeds from the sale of the publication have been split between Ballaugh Parish Church and Ballaugh Heritage Trust. It is particularly appropriate that Ballaugh Parish Church should benefit, as this was where both Kewish and Taubman, and their families worshipped. Two stained glass windows within the church are dedicated to their memory, but a vestry in the building itself requires some refurbishment.

Valerie Caine © February 2010 (Courtesy of Manx Tails)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Nice motor: Porsche Appointed Official Car Provider to the TT Races

Prestige Luxury Sports Car brand Porsche has been appointed to the role of official Car Provider to the TT Races by the Isle of Man Government Department of Tourism and Leisure.  The company responded with a formal tender following a request for expressions of interest issued by the DTL in October 2009.

The contract will be managed by the Corkills Group who are the Island’s official Porsche dealers.  The contract with DTL was negotiated by Isle of Man based Corkills Motorgroup owner Adrian Kermode

The company will provide 12 of the latest Porsche models including the Porsche Cayenne, Panamera and 911 models.  They will be used to help manage the running of the event including course inspection and roads open and closed duties.

The deal also offers the opportunity for the Isle of Man and the TT Races to be promoted through the channels that Porsche own and operate including media and dealerships.

Isle of Man Sports Awards Nominations 2009

For such as small place, it's amazing how many we've heard of!

• Mark Cavendish - Cycling
• Conor Cummins - Motorcycling
• Keith Gerrard - Athletics
• Alex Hedges - Gymnastics
• Peter Kennaugh - Cycling
• David Pearson - Martial Arts
• Sue Denney - Equestrian
• Zoe Gillings - Snowboardcross
• Fran Hunt - Rugby
• Janice Quirk - Race Walking
• Sarah Rigby - Archery
• Carolynn Sells - Motorcycling
• Mark Cavendish - Cycling
• Conor Cummins - Motorcycling
• Zoe Gillings - Snowboardcross
• David Knight - Motorcycling
• Dave Molyneux - Motorcycling
• Dan Sayle - Motorcycling
• Matthew Bostock - Cycling
• Mark Christian - Cycling
• Grant Halsall - Swimming
• Darryl Hill - Snooker
• Peter Kennaugh - Cycling
• Tim Kennaugh - Cycling
• Chris Whorrall - Cycling
• Louise Corkill - Hockey
• Reagan Dee - Athletics
• Laura Feely - Tennis
• Aalin George - Archery
• Emma Harris - Golf
• Harriett Pryke - Athletics
• Olivia Rawlinson - Swimming
• Douglas Royal Ladies - Football
• Island Games Archery
• Island Games Men's Gymnastics
• Isle of Man Ladies - Football
• Special Olympics Hockey
• Vagabonds Ladies - Rugby
• Vikings Ladies - Hockey
• Gordie Brew - Athletics
• Joy Gough - Archery
• Bridget Kaneen - Race Walking
• Peter Kinnish - Football
• Ron Ronan - Tennis
• Chris Taggart - Rugby
• Darrin Cook - Rugby
• Gareth Dawson - Cricket
• Sacha Djerski - Swimming
• Keith Lunt - Football
• Peter Mumford - Archery
• Gennady Tsyganov - Gymnastics
• Jodie Blaney - Snowshoe
• Paul Clucas - Snowshoe
• Daniel Kelly - Floor Hockey
• Rusty Kneale-Barrow - Archery
• Karl Monaghan - Snowshoe
• Andrew Richardson - Floor Hockey

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chris in running for space prize

Chris Stott, the Island's honorary representative to the space industry (and friend of NAMA and GWAMS), has been shortlisted for the Entrepreneur of the Year award by the British Interplanetary Society. Chris is chairman and CEO of ManSat and as every reader of this blog knows, his wife, Nicole is a NASA astronaut.

Also in the running for the Entrepreneur of the Year award are Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, who is pioneering the concept of space tourism, and David Williams of Manx-based company Avanti Communications.
'The news came as a complete surprise,' said Mr Stott when Business News contacted him by email at his home in Houston, Texas. 'I'm stunned and thrilled at the same time. I consider this very much a team effort though, with all at ManSat and the government being honoured. I'm up against Richard Branson and David Williams of Avanti, also an Isle of Man company, so I might not have much of a chance, but just to be nominated is wonderful.'
The winner of the award will be announced at the Sir Arthur Clarke Gala Awards Ceremony which takes place at the end of the UK Space Conference which runs from March 24 to 28. The awards evening will be a black-tie dinner at Charterhouse School in Surrey and is the UK space industry's equivalent of the Oscars.

Mr Stott says that he is especially proud of the nomination as the awards are named in honour of the science fiction writer and visionary Sir Arthur C Clarke whose most famous work was 2001: A Space Odyssey.  The book was the basis for Stanley Kubrick's cult movie. Sir Arthur also had many visionary ideas about space exploration and was the first to foresee the potential for using satellites for global communications.
'While Richard Branson is doing new things in sub orbital space, we at ManSat are just trying our best to continue Sir Arthur's legacy, he did invent the idea of geostationary satellites after all,' said Mr Stott. 'He also passionately believed in free minds and free markets. Freedom to Flourish does work in space and I like to believe that if he were still with us today that he would be a great supporter of our work in the Island. It is little known that Sir Arthur was seminal in our work at ManSat and for the Island. From his time as Chancellor of the International Space University to conversations we had when he encouraged me to attend ISU and to think about satellites, he has inspired me from day one. Even being nominated for this award means so much. I feel like he's still up there with his shoulder to our wheel.'

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

8th place and a damaged knee

She had been described as a medal hope for the Snowboard Cross but in the end didn't make it to the final. She came 8th which is still pretty good but she was hoping for better.

She was ranked tenth coming into the event, Gillings, from the Isle of Man, laid down an impressive first qualification run in difficult foggy conditions to qualify eighth fastest for the quarter-finals. She overcame tricky opponents from Austria and Switzerland to finish as runner up in her quarter-final, which secured a safe passage to the semi-finals.

Better luck next timeBetter luck next time 
Gillings, who placed 15th in Turin four years ago, gave everything she had in the semi-final but ultimately was unable to catch the two riders in front of her, which included Norway's World Champion Helene Olafsen, meaning Gillings finished third and agonisingly missed out on a place in the final.

The semi-final result meant Gillings was due to compete in the small final, which decides fifth to eighth places in the final standings.
Unfortunately for Gillings, an injury suffered to her right knee in the semi-final prevented her from getting any further than the start gate at which point she realised she was unable to compete and therefore ended the competition in eighth place.

Reflecting on her performance Gillings said: "Qualifying went pretty well in tough conditions with the fog and having to wait a long time at the gate.

"The first heat was perfect and then the (semi-final) didn't go so well. I had a clash of boards at the top and a pretty hard landing halfway down and hurt my knee.

"I could get around the corners after that but I couldn't hold the pressure around the corners, so I was going into all the bumps on the course and that's why I didn't make the final.

"Even standing in the start gate (for the small final) rocking back and forth it wasn't looking good at all, so I wasn't going to be able to ride."

Despite the injury set-back Gillings was in positive mood following the competition and already looking  to the future and her next Olympic ambition in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.

"I'm pretty happy with top eight. I was trying for a medal as I always do, so I'm disappointed with that but I definitely tried my best.

"I'm just looking forward to the future now. The BOA (British Olympic Association) has been awesome, looking after my programme, revamping the whole thing and really making it into a professional programme and hopefully they're going to be a lot more involved going forward."

In the immediate future Gillings is looking forward to supporting her teammates, "It's been absolutely fantastic being part of Team GB and i'm looking forward to supporting the other athletes now."


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Zoe competes today -- GOOD LUCK & GOD SPEED

She's rated No. 1 in Britain and No. 10 in the world but she's confident that today will be her day on the Olympic podium. She's got some REALLY tough competition but you go girl!!!! Get some metal for the Isle of Man.

Manx Budget: Time to dip into the savings and cut costs

This is the official Manx Government press release on the Budget and any comments are the Government's, not mine.

THE Isle of Man Government has risen to the challenge of its revenue shortfall with a Budget for Change that combines lower public spending, increased taxation and the use of reserves.
Presenting his ninth Budget in Tynwald today, Treasury Minister Allan Bell MHK said it was the first instalment of a five-year strategy to rebalance Government’s finances following the reduction in the Island’s share of VAT income.

Main features of the 2010/2011 Budget include:

·         A £37.1 million or 6.5% reduction in net revenue spending overall (but with no decrease in net spending on health and social care).

·         Income tax higher rate for individuals to increase from 18% to 20%, raising £9.4 million.

·         Implementation of a 1% increase in employee National Insurance Contributions (approved by Tynwald in November last year), raising £7 million.

·         £15 million transfer from Reserves.

Mr Bell also announced an 18% increase in Personal Allowance Credit for the least well off, a 1% increase in income tax personal allowance, £96 million capital spending, a freeze on salary budgets and the loss of nearly 100 staff posts by non-replacement.
The Treasury Minister explained: ‘This is a Budget that paves the way for change while maintaining support for the least well off in our society. There are further and greater challenges ahead, but we now have a clear plan to manage the transition to a new era of Government fit for the future.

‘The Isle of Man is not alone in facing fiscal difficulties, and we are in a relatively strong position. Our economy is still healthy and we are a resilient and resourceful small nation with a track record of working together to make the most of changing circumstances.’
Summary of key features of the 2010 Isle of Man Budget:

·         The income tax standard rate for individuals remains at 10%.
·         The income tax higher rate for individuals to increase from 18% to 20%.
·         Income Tax personal allowances to increase by 1% to £9,300 for single persons and £18,600 for married couples.
·         Single Parent allowance increased from £6,300 to £6,400.
·         Blind or Disabled Persons allowance increased from £2,850 to £2,900.
·         Age allowance for each individual aged 65 or over increased from £2,000 to £2,020.
·         Non Resident personal allowance is withdrawn.
·         Income Tax threshold at which the higher rate for individuals becomes payable remains at £10,500.
·         Increase of Personal Allowance Credit from £550 to £650 per person (18%) or £1,300 per couple.
·         Tax cap increased by 15% to £115,000 per person per annum.
·         Cap on Mortgage and Loan Interest relief reduced by £5,000 to £10,000 per person per annum, providing relief on up to £200,000 of Mortgage or loan per person at a 5% rate of interest.
·         Corporate Taxation - Income from banking business, land and property, including development, commercial property letting and rents to remain at 10%; 0% Standard Rate on all other income.
·         Implementation of Employees’ National Insurance contributions increase of 1% on earnings between the lower and upper earnings limits, with a 1% contribution on earnings above the upper earnings limit, as approved at the November 2009 sitting of Tynwald.
·         Government net spending to reduce by £37.1 million or 6.5% over the current year's estimate.
·         Consolidated Loans Fund interest rate cut to 0%, reducing Revenue Account transfer to Capital Account.
·         Gross spending on Health, Social Services and Social Security increased by 2.6%.
·         £96.1 million capital spending for Government Departments and Statutory Boards in 2010-11.
·         £37m spent on Housing, with 14.7m in the Government Programme, plus £22.3 million to be spent in the Government supported Local Authorities’ Housing Programme
·         £1,000 revenue surplus anticipated for 2010-11 following transfer of £15 million from the Reserve Fund to produce a balance budget.
·         Manx Radio grant reduced by 1.8%
·         Decrease in Government staff of 99 posts.

Monday, February 15, 2010

New player on Liverpool route

easyJet has confirmed it is to introduce a four/six-times weekly service between the Isle of Man and Liverpool. The new service from the budget airline starts on May 21 and will be operated by one of the airline's new Airbus 319 aircraft, which seat 156 passengers. easyjet is a cheap airline that boasts a "no frills" approach to travel and where every extra service is paid for. It has routes to many European destinations. There are concerns that they will undercut the competition on the Liverpool route and drive other airlines out of business. This is a regularly used business tactic on all IoM routes. But for we international visitors the biggest bugbear regarding traveling to the island remains the lack of a Heathrow/IoM link. Now that would be great news.

easyjet expects 70,000 passengers to travel in the first year. More here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Where's Zoe?

She's in Vancouver. She's 5th in the world and she's ready to rumble. Her website with videos of her at the Olympic is here

Zoe will be competing at the Winter Olympics, Vancouver in Snowboardcross on the 16th February 2010.  The womens Snowboardcross will start at approximately 6pm UK time. (That's 1pm EST)

Back story: Zoe Gillings can hardly walk. Even wearing shoes is painful for Britain's best snowboarder. For the 24-year-old, ranked fifth in the world and hoping to win a medal in the snowcross final on Tuesday, it is a worrying state of affairs – but one that she is well used to.
Five years ago Gillings shattered eight bones in her left foot while attempting to perform a stunt for an Audi advert. An x-ray showed her cuboid bone – vital for stability – was a mess. "It looked like cornflakes," Gillings says, matter‑of‑factly.
Her surgeon pronounced her career over, but Gillings refused to bow to expert opinion. "He probably thought I was very naive, but there was no way I was giving up." The following year she qualified for the Turin Winter Olympics, despite having had her foot in a series of protective casts for four months, and finished 15th. The rest of this fascinating story is here at the Observer.  And she has a Winter Olympics Diary on the Daily Telegraph here.

Tony Duchars - Manx gymnast

Tony Duchars has rapidly become one of the most outstanding Island gymnasts in recent times and during the last eighteen months has travelled almost weekly to Manchester where he worked with the Elite Performance Gymnasts. Although this level of training is not available on the Isle of Man, the improvement in Tony’s performance was realised very quickly as his results swiftly improved.

Formerly a pupil at Scoill Vallajeelt Tony has now been offered a place to train with high performance coaches alongside some of the UK’s top gymnasts at Huntingdon Olympic Gymnastics Club, and now attends The Ley’s School in Cambridge as a boarder on the recommendation of his coach in Manchester. The school, which has a strict selection process, has an excellent record for assisting top athletes to fulfil their potential whilst ensuring that their academic studies don’t suffer.

Tony began competing in gymnastics during 2004, but had shown dedication and commitment to the sport from an early age, showing both a positive attitude and motivation towards training. He began with pre-school gymnastics at Ellan Vannin Gymnastics and at the age of 5 had already been placed as runner up in a UK competition, which spurred Tony on to take the winning trophy in the following year. His talent was easily recognised and at the age of 7 Tony became the youngest child to be asked to join the Isle of Man squad. Tony’s involvement then inspired the organisers to continue to bring in younger gymnasts. Despite his age Tony was able to win against much older boys and he has won every Isle of Man Championship since. At just 12 years old Tony’s remarkable talent has ensured that he is now recognised within the top 5% of the talent pool in the UK, requiring that he trains with a high performance coach and other boys working towards the same goal.

He has been training alongside Olympic Bronze medalist Louis Smith and the 2009 World Championship silver medalist Daniel Keatings, and only missed out on a bronze medal by 0.2 marks in the 2009 Under 12 Men’s British Championships. Tony expects to be on the podium during 2010.

His competition programme for 2010 is lengthening rapidly, representing the Isle of Man at both the Celtic Cup in Wales and at an Invitational Competition. Tony will also be representing Huntingdon Olympic Gymnastics at the London Open, the National Elite Grades and British Championships and hopes to represent the East region of the UK at the National Performance Grades in Birmingham. Looking further ahead Tony hopes to be chosen for either the Commonwealth Games or the Olympic Games in the foreseeable future.

Although gymnastics may be his first love Tony has always been a high achiever and recently completed his Grade Three in piano, devours books, loves swimming and has recently challenged himself to learn juggling.

However, Tony’s education does come at a price and it is difficult for his family to find the resources needed for this once in a lifetime opportunity. If any organisation can offer financial support at this very important time for Tony’s development please contact his mother, Clare Duchars, by phoning 07624 470364 or email

Valerie Caine © February 2010 'Courtesy of Manx Tails

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Another Manx-based novel

THE Island has once again shown it is a source of inspiration as it is the setting for a new romance novel.
Amandine: Amour. Glamour. On Tour, written by Elena Scialtiel, is set in the Isle of Man and Dublin.

The self-published 'chick-lit' novel follows hotshot French travel and fashion journalist Amandine Avantoux, who is trying to deal with the crisis of her impending 40th birthday. Amandine travels to the Island for the first time in 2003 to attend Tynwald Day and seems to find love.
Elena said: 'Having visited the Isle myself in July 2008, the book indulges in descriptions of its natural beauty and historical monuments although all characters and brand names are strictly fictitious.'
More here.

Moghrey mie Washington Manx. Tomorrow our Manx classes begin!

Our twice-monthly Manx classes start at 3pm on Sunday Feb. 14th - tomorrow - and will run through 5pm. Bring anyone who wants to come! Go to Bill Cassidy's site: for more details.

Venue: 1006 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314. It's a straight shot off 495 or down Route One and it's a few blocks up Cameron Street off the GW Parkway. It's in the block between Patrick and Henry Streets which are the North- and South-bound lanes of Route One.

Parking: will be hard as the snow is presenting a problem to the Alexandria City authorities but there is a free parking lot on the left of the block between King and Cameron on Patrick Street (NB Route 1). We have been using parking lots but I don't know if they are open on Sunday. If you like the Metro get off at King Street (Yellow/Blue lines) walk down King and take a left on Patrick. Only the last building hadn't shovelled yesterday!

$50 / person for 10 sessions
$25 additional for Bun-choorse Gaelgagh
$75 total for the introductory course.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Beckii Cruel rules: Isle of Man teenager Rebecca Flint set to top Japanese charts

Frankly, I find this all a bit weird but you can make up your own mind about it.

A teenager from the Isle of Man is all set to top the charts in Japan with her debut album after becoming an internet sensation in the country.
Clips showing schoolgirl Rebecca Flint, 14, dancing to Japanese J-Pop style songs in the attic of her home have had over eight million hits on YouTube. The success of Rebecca's videos have caught the attention of publishing giant Tokuma Japan, who have signed her up along with two other girls.
The trio – known as Beckii Cruel and the Cruel Angels – release their debut album today which is now being tipped to top the Japanese charts. Speaking to the BBC, Rebecca's father Derek Flint said "Rebecca is well aware of the online dangers, she's been well advised and has told us when there have been problems. "This is just a bit of fun, dancing to Japanese culture."

Hey, that's my old bank.

This double-decker bus hurtled into the Isle of Man Bank in Prospect Hill just before 1000 GMT on Friday morning.
There were no passengers on board and the driver was left shaken but escaped without injury. Police are waiting to get full details from him.
Sgt Andy Kneen said: "We are still trying to establish what happened. Luckily no-one was injured."
The police received numerous 999 calls from pedestrians nearby.
Sgt Kneen added: "We have an officer from the road policing unit who is investigating the incident and we have people working on this from PSV, the Manx electricity authority to make sure there are no electrical problems.
"As I understand it the bus was travelling down Prospect Hill but we haven't had a chance to speak to the driver properly.
"He was shocked but unhurt and has been very helpful and cooperative."  BBC

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hey! We're in the papers!

Ex-pats in US offered Manx language class

MANXIES in America yearning for a bit of home culture can now satisfy their craving with a course of lessons in the Manx language. The course, arranged by the North American Manx Association starting later this month, is expecting to attract up to 20 pupils – an impressive total for a group 3,000 miles from home.

The course was the idea of Kelly McCarthy of the Greater Washington Area Manx Society, part of the North American Manx Association, who asked Bill Cassidy to teach it.
Mrs McCarthy said:
'Bill Cassidy, or Illiam as we naturally call him, has taught himself Manx. He already speaks Irish and Scottish Gaelic so all we had to do was work on his accent!

'We decided to offer the classes and are staggered to find a few people here who are interested in learning. They are of Manx heritage and would like to be able to learn a little conversational Manx.

'He's a big fan of Brian Stowell's Bun-Choorse Gaelgagh and does actually listen to Manx Radio via podcasts.'

The study group – Kiarkyl ny Gaelgey, the Manx Gaelic Circle – is to meet twice a month for a two-hour session until June. Mr Cassidy already speaks and has taught Scottish Gaelic and has studied the Manx language on his own.

'Most of the people we've heard from so far have some Manx heritage, and others, like me, have studied Scottish Gaelic or Irish and are interested in learning more about Manx.

'I've wanted to work on improving my Manx for some time and this is the perfect opportunity,' Mr Cassidy said.

His interest in the language was originally sparked in the 1980s when he picked up a copy of the book First Lessons in Manx at a bookshop in Manhattan.  Since then, honing his language skills particularly in the more obscure languages has been made far easier by the internet.
'Of course, there were no CDs, no internet in those days, only a few books and fewer cassette tapes.

'Today, you can go to and download sound files to hear how words are pronounced, listen to conversations, and watch videos.

'Radio programmes such as Moghrey Jedoonee are available over the internet, too, and with Skype and other communication technologies, you can even talk to Manx speakers over the internet, free of charge.

'We hope to use all these tools in our group, as well as Brian Stowell's Bun-choorse Gaelgagh. We'd like to connect with other learning groups on the island and elsewhere as well,' he said.

The group's goals for the course are to learn about the language and how it works with the emphasis on basic conversational skills using the materials available. Anyone interested can track their progress on the web site at

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My back yard -- that's a yard rule sticking out of the table

This is the mess we are in down here in the Washington metro area. Everything is still closed: schools, courts, government offices, stores. Even the electrical companies and DOTs are pulling their plows off the roads in the white out conditions. We're days into it and the nursing homes are suffering. Everyone with a 4 x 4 has been ferrying nurses, surgeons and other emergency medical personnel. We shoveled out our offices yesterday -- just enough for two cars and the sidewalk and I reckon we shifted 1500 cubic feet of snow. 
Overnight another 5 or 6 inches came down but as it's a blizzard, we're getting a couple of feet in drifts around the house. So far we have power but I gather that lots of people do not. This is now a record breaker for the D.C. area. It's funny but since I moved here I've had three "once in a hundred years" weather events: a hurricane, a flood and now a snowstorm. Is it me???
I am still confident that we will have the Manx classes on Sunday -- I'm just not sure where we'll park. There is a parking lot in the next block down on Cameron which we used yesterday, maybe we'll have to resort to that.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bell Ringing in USA

Annette Thackray and Marion Lawrence are both part of a small community of bell ringers on the Isle of Man continuing the tradition of campanology. Based at St. German’s Cathedral in Peel they meet weekly to practise in one of only two towers on the Island. Annette began her love affair with bell ringing in her early teens in Eastham on the Wirral. Her father was curate of the local church and she was taught by her sister who already had a number of years of bell ringing experience under her belt, eventually becoming Tower Captain before the family moved to another parish. Relocating to the Island when her father was made Vicar of Jurby and St. Judes Annette took a sabbatical from bell ringing for over twenty years, before learning that the bells of St. German’s Cathedral were being recast and restored. Jumping at the chance to get involved, Annette took the ropes on the first night the bells were rung in 1998 and has never looked back.
You’re never too old to learn, as Marion found out after meeting Annette socially in 2001 and revealing that she harboured a long held desire to learn bell ringing. Marion proved to be a fast learner mastering the bells in a few extended sessions before attending courses in England to fast track her experience. There is an enviable choice of bell towers in most towns and villages in England and Wales, where it’s possible for an experienced bell ringer to be welcomed at either a practise or a service.
Both Annette and Marion take every opportunity available to scale the dizzy heights of a bell tower to pursue their hobby, but have now decided to travel further afield on a whistle stop tour of part of the USA. Choosing from an enormous network of bell towers was no easy task, although distance, time and weather conditions helped narrow down the possibilities. They considered joining the ringers of Kalamazoo in Michigan for one of their many special weekends of bell ringing, but for now have decided to put this destination on the back burner.
Annette and Marion’s first stop will be Georgia where they hope to ring for Sunday service at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta before moving northwest to Marietta. Their next destination will be The Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta before heading at a more leisurely pace towards historic Charleston in South Carolina for an extended organised bell ringing weekend. Complete with workshops for conductors and the chance to try a Quarter Peal (45 minutes non stop ringing), there’s also an opportunity to view and hear four bells in a local Russian Orthodox Church and the chance to sample four different bell towers. 
There is a strong core of about 30 enthusiastic regular ringers of all ages on the Island using the towers of both the Cathedral and St. George’s Church in Douglas. Annette now also teaches anyone who fancies having a go at bell ringing.

Valerie Caine © February 2010 Courtesy of Manx Tails

Monday, February 8, 2010

Manx Music and Dance DVD for festival organizers

Located at the heart of the British Isles, the Isle of Man lays claim to both Norse and Celtic heritage, giving a rich tapestry to Island life and providing a unique cultural tradition. Although celebrated here on the Isle of Man, our distinctive and rich culture is often overlooked in other countries, a fact which recently prompted the production of a DVD entitled ‘Manx Music & Dance’ (Kiaull as Rinkey). A diverse selection of local dance groups, choirs and musicians were brought together to perform contrasting sets for this distinctive production with a very specific purpose in mind.

‘Manx Music and Dance’ is an innovation of the Manx Heritage Foundation, and has been developed over a two year period, designed to target festival organisers in order to make them more aware of Manx music, song and dance. Each group displays an exciting range of both traditional and contemporary interpretation of Manx material, showing how Manx culture has evolved and developed through time. Manx performers are increasingly in demand at both Celtic and roots festivals throughout the world, and this DVD is intended to be used as a vehicle to provide a snapshot of the variety of Manx traditional groups available to perform in other countries.

The DVD has already been distributed to hundreds of festival organisers throughout the British Isles, Europe and North America.

With a short introductory film on the Isle of Man itself, narrated by Charles Guard, this DVD offers a golden opportunity to promote the Island in new areas with original material. As a promotional tool the DVD highlights the talents of local groups in a variety of settings, including footage of some of the Island’s most attractive scenery.  Bringing valuable publicity for the Isle of Man, the DVD also includes full biographies of all the groups together with web links and contact details.

Sixteen Manx groups were involved in the project, with narration and translations on the DVD also available in French, German and Spanish.

Although the DVD is only available to festival organisers and is not for sale to the general public, it has also been supplied to the Island’s secondary schools in support of the delivery of Manx music and dance in the curriculum. Festival organisers who would like a copy of the DVD should send their festival name, website, language preference and postal address to:

Valerie Caine © February 2010


MEDIA RELEASE:  Issue date: 8 February 2010
This announcement came in from the IOM Government who are obviously dismayed that the clean emissions  team, TTXGP, didn't come through for the 2010 TT.

Following speculation and unsubstantiated claims regarding The Isle of Man Government’s decision to run their own clean emissions event as part of the 2010 TT races, The Isle of Man Government’s Department of Tourism and Leisure wishes to put on record the facts regarding their decision.

The Department began formal negotiations with the TTXGP Ltd team in July 2009 with a view to running another clean emissions event on The Isle of Man in 2010. On 2 September 2009, the Department formally agreed in principle to run an event and this was confirmed in writing to TTXGP Ltd.   A proposal, including a financial support package, was communicated to the TTXGP team on 7th October, 2009.  This proposal was rejected by the TTXGP Ltd management team. Subsequent to the original proposal TTXGP Ltd announced in late November, 2009 – without prior consultation with the Department – their plans for an event in Paris which conflicted with the TT period and effectively prevented TTXGP from participating in the allotted schedule in TT 2010.

On 21st December 2009 TTXGP Ltd advised the Department that due to their plans for Paris and their consequent inability to participate in the scheduled race in TT 2010, they proposed not to have a clean emissions race in TT 2010 and would aim to come back to the TT in 2011. TTXGP were advised that if they could not reschedule their proposed Paris event, in order to attend TT 2010 for the scheduled date,  the Department would develop and manage its own clean emissions race. This was confirmed to TTXGP Ltd on 24th December, and subsequently a meeting between the Department and TTXGP Ltd was held on 15th January 2010.

TTXGP Ltd were invited to reconsider their position regarding the Paris event to enable their participation in TT 2010 on the scheduled date, but declined the opportunity to do so. The Isle of Man Government then confirmed its intention to organize its own clean emissions event and would provide a press release to TTXGP Ltd for any comments. At the request of TTXGP Ltd, the Isle of Man Government deferred the issue of its press release. Immediately after 15th January, the Isle of Man Government initiated its contingency plan in order to organise its own clean emissions race.

The Isle of Man Government made a significant investment in the TTXGP in 2009, both financially and through officer time across a number of departments. In order to protect this investment, the Isle of Man Government’s Council of Ministers decided that if the Department was unable to reach agreement with TTXGP Ltd that it should run its own event. Regulations for the new event, TT Zero, were issued this week.  This race will be run as a stand-alone class as part of the 2010 Isle of Man TT races meeting.

The Department is confident that with the support of the teams and riders, and the experienced third party agencies that are involved with running the TT Races, they can build on the 2009 TTXGP race.

The teams and riders will now have direct access to funds from the Isle of Man Government to assist with their travel and other costs associated with their participation and will also benefit from the integral association with the TT races that the event will now have.

The Isle of Man Government remains totally committed to clean emission motorcycle racing and the development of the technology that is associated with clean emission machines.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Plans to protect mountain hares

The mountain hare is only found in the northern hills and not in the south of the island, the central valley forming an apparently effective barrier.  It is a separate species to the more common brown hare which can be found in all parts of the island on lower land. Having said that, even the brown hare is relatively rare these days having declined dramatically throughout the British Isles since the 1960s, with an estimated drop from 12 million to just one million animals.
The mountain hare or Lepus Timidus can be found in northern upland areas among the heather and into the snow line. It is slightly smaller and rounder in appearance than the brown hare, has smaller ears which are held upright and an all-white tail.  It is this latter detail which distinguishes it from its cousin, as in the brown hare the tail has a black upper surface. Its other most notable feature is the change in the colour of its coat which turns white in the winter.
This is triggered by temperature, with the animal moulting to its winter coat in October/November and moulting back to its summer coat around March. It must be debated just how effective this camouflage is though, as these days even the hills of the island rarely stay white for more than a week or two of the winter.
Mountain hares on the Isle of Man are to be given greater protection against illegal coursing. Agriculture Minister Phil Gawne plans to reclassify the animals, sometimes called blue hares, as game.
Concerns were recently expressed in the House of Keys about hunting with dogs on the government's hill estate. The hares are found in the uplands of the island north of the central valley. They moult in November and December, after which their fur turns white. Blue Hares were introduced to the island from Scotland sometime during the middle of the last century. They were originally classed as a game species but were added to the vermin list following a population explosion which impacted on livestock grazing and young plantations. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, said it was concerned about "significant and noticeable decline in the local population" of blue hares "which has been exacerbated by illegal hunting activities".

Minister for the Department, Phil Gawne MHK said: "It is difficult to police our extensive upland estate and we would urge the public to help and to report any suspected illegal activity to the police or ourselves. "Anyone caught by, or reported to, the department or the police for hunting hares will be investigated and prosecuted under the Forestry Act 1984 or under the Wildlife Act 1990."

BBC and here.

Memorial for Baby Crix

The youngest victim of the ‘Ellan Vannin’ disaster has been remembered during a special ceremony in Ramsey on what would have been her 101st birthday. On the 30th January, 2010, a wreath was laid at the Ellan Vannin Memorial on Ramsey quayside in remembrance of the ten month old child referred to over the last century simply as ‘infant Crix’.

But after some in depth research by Harry Edmondson, who also helped organise the special memorial for the centenary of the sinking of the ‘Ellan Vannin’ on board the Mersey ferry MV Snowdrop, and the help of the baby’s family, he was able to locate the birth certificate of the child. Mary Jane Crix was born in Liverpool although her father came from a well known sea faring family in Ramsey. Richard Stafford, author of ‘The Ellan Vannin Story’ mentions that the Crix family lived in what is now known as Post Office Lane, but this was also referred to as ‘Crix’s Lane’ by local people. The child’s mother is also thought to have been born in Liverpool, but with a maiden name of Moore she too may have Manx connections.

Relatives of the family and Chief Minister Tony Brown were invited to the simple ceremony, where a wreath bearing the child’s name was laid at the memorial by Harry Edmondson. An additional commemorative plaque at the site now names all those who lost their lives in this tragedy.

Valerie Caine
© February 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Manx Cheese sighted in US

It's time to lobby a Costco near you. Confirmed sightings of Manx cheese have been made in California and the mid-west. Let's get it all over America.

They never tell you anything...

Apparently the Chicago Manx have a Ning so check it out if you live near or are visiting ChiTown

The IOM's place in the new global economy

Island-based micro gas turbine company Bladon Jets has announced a partnership with Jaguar Land Rover to develop a device fitted to hybrid petrol/electric cars that charges batteries on the go.
The Ultra Lightweight Range Extender (ULRE) battery charger allows a hybrid vehicle to travel further without the inconvenience of stopping to charge the vehicle's batteries. The ULRE could be a significant piece of technology in the evolution of the next generation of electric vehicles. Do you see how small it is??? that's a pencil next to it.
Bladon Jets is leading a consortium that has been awarded funding from the UK government's Technology Strategy Board to develop the ULRE.  The objective of the consortium, which includes luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover and leading electrical machine company SR Drives, is to produce the world's first commercially viable ULRE. Backing for the project was secured in a hotly contested £15 million funding competition organised by the Technology Strategy Board to support the advancement of the mass adoption of low carbon vehicles and is a key part of its wider programme to stimulate technology-enabled innovation and to help boost UK growth and productivity.
The ULRE will incorporate a Bladon Jets' patented axial flow gas turbine engine coupled to a high speed generator utilising SR Drives' technology.  Design of the ULRE's packaging for vehicle integration will be overseen by Jaguar Land Rover.
Paul Barrett, Bladon Jets' executive chairman said that winning the Technology Strategy Board award was a significant event not just for his company but also for the future of low carbon vehicle development in the UK.

'We are delighted to be working with our partners Jaguar Land-Rover and SR Drives on this project and look forward to seeing our micro gas turbine engine play a major role in the renaissance of the British automotive industry,' he said.

Bladon Jets is a world leader in the development of micro gas turbine engines. Its patented breakthrough axial flow technology enables the production of highly efficient, small gas turbine engines that are ideally suited for use in hybrid electric vehicles. Jaguar Land Rover is part of Tata Motors, India's largest automobile company.
The SR Drives Group is based in Harrogate UK and comprises two operating companies which are Switched Reluctance Drives Ltd (SRDL), and SR Drives Manufacturing Ltd (SRDML). Both companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of Emerson Electric Co of St Louis, Missouri – the world's largest manufacturer of electric motors.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Peel Heritage Trust Talk – Peel Architecture by Patricia Tutt

Patricia Tutt’s talk, punctuated by a selection of her own photographs, attracted a capacity audience to the Centenary Centre in Peel where she described her view of the town through the eyes of an architect.
Commenting on how the town has grown organically, a fascinated audience was shown old maps of the area and invited to study the structure of the town a little more closely. 
The majority of her talk centred on the old part of Peel showing a variety of properties indicative of both prosperity and versatility.
Patricia invited us to study the idiosyncrasies of these buildings and to perhaps occasionally raise our heads to see the wonderful architecture above the ground floor, citing Michael Street as a particularly good example.
Inevitably some of the building styles adopted over the years have been totally inappropriate and unsympathetic to their surroundings. Recent new building on the outskirts of town reflects these changes quite forcibly and could, in her estimation, be anywhere.  Colour has also played an important part in defining Peel ranging from the garish to the more subtle shades of the spectrum.
An intimate town with properties grouped closely together cheek by jowl the older part of town has little in the way of green areas, but this is counterbalanced somewhat by easy access to the picturesque shore and active harbour. Patricia suggested that the town is defined by its landmarks; St. Peter’s Church tower, St. German’s Cathedral, Corrin’s Tower and latterly the rather ugly power station chimney.
Visitors are usually drawn to the town by its distinctive character and this included the celebrated novelist Hall Caine and the artist and designer Archibald Knox.
 But I was unaware that Peel had also attracted the attention of High Bailiff Moore for another reason. The residents of Peel were in the habit of using a variety of names for their streets and lanes, and in 1874 the High Bailiff decreed that street naming should be standardised, removing any doubt or confusion!
Other plans for restoration in the town never actually got off the drawing board, with grandiose schemes planned for the ruins on St. Patrick’s Isle in the nineteenth century and regeneration of the town on a Mediterranean theme from the 1970s.  Recent plans for regeneration of the town by Peel Commissioners submitted for the Isle of Man Government’s Town and Village Regeneration Scheme (available to view on their website) were displayed to a packed auditorium, and left many people who were unaware of what was proposed to wonder what the future held for this charming little port in the next few years.

Valerie Caine © January 2010

Washington Manx welcome Claire Davies (from the NAMA Peterson clan)

Watch Laxey Mills flour get made into bread

Hat Tip: Illiam

Solway Harvester

A photo journal is being put together on the Solway Harvester (featured in earlier posts on this site) by photographer Phil Kneen and writer Trevor Gibbs. Check it out, it's very moving. I believe they are looking for sponsorship for this project which will culminate in an exhibition.

Celtic Connections

This came in from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. The IOM helped with some items for their stand. As you can see it was a great success.

On behalf of all of the Officers and Members of the Celtic Connections Student Organization at the University of Houston, Clear Lake, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your help, support and kind donations for the Celtic Connections booths at the recent Global Expo held here on campus.
We truly felt that this event afforded such a fantastic opportunity to promote the Celtic heritage to many members of the University community as well as to inspire prospective tourists to visit Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales in the future.
We are still intent on holding and promoting further events both on and off campus – for example, Wear RED for Wales day on St. David’s Day (March 01, 2010), promoting St. Patrick’s Day festivities in the Clear Lake area (March 17, 2010) and many others to come.
Please find attached some photographs of the successful event and I look forward to sending you more pictures of all of our future events.
Please keep in touch with us and let us know of any events that you would like us to promote.
Diolch yn fawr iawn I chi gyd (Thank you very much to you all).
Dymuniadau gorau (best wishes).
Best wishes,
Chris Greenfield OStJ BSc
Vice-President Administration
Student Government Association