Monday, May 31, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
And you know what -- if anyone else has children or grandchildren in NAMA or their local Manx Society who are graduating, or getting married or giving birth -- send me the details and I'll put them up. It's only fair. Let's make this about our members as well as the IOM.
Friday, May 28, 2010
This is taken from the Dubai Manx website run by WMA member Gil Costain-Salway:
The WORLD MANX ASSOCIATION was founded in 1911 by the then Chairman of the Castletown Brewery, Mr. Richard Cain, who was inspired by a remark made by the Manx national poet T.E. Brown about Manxmen returning from overseas. During a lecture Mr Brown said "We should welcome them back with a shake of the hand and a clap on the shoulder". Though not founded until after T E Brown's death, the occasion was well documented in a newspaper at the time, the ‘Mona's Herald’, which reported "a gathering of unique character at Rushen Abbey." The meeting was of a number of visiting Manx emigrants from as far away as North America, South Africa and Australia and it was Mr. Cain's idea to make it a formal occasion "whereby Manx colonials and their friends could extend to each other the hand of friendship".
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Several years later, he reminisced about the rock in his column and it caught the imagination of the President of Tynwald – one Noel Cringle – who arranged to have the outcrop named after Terry.
The naming ceremony took place on Saturday afternoon and Noel Cringle hopes that it will one day appear as 'Cringle Rock' on Ordnance Survey maps. Terry Cringle is a local columnist and journalist, known for his humorous approach to life.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
It meant it was the hottest day since July 2, 2009, when a sunny 24.1C (75F) was recorded at the airport. In addition, further inland on Saturday, it reached as high as a scorching 25C (77F). The following day was another warm day, with the temperature rising to 19.5C (67F) at the airport.
It was well above the average May temperature of 17C (62F).
And it smashed the hottest day reached in the Island so far this year. That was achieved on Thursday, May 6, when 16C (60F) was recorded at the airport. Many Isle of Man residents flocked to the Island's beaches to enjoy the warm weather.
But there was bad news for those hoping that the weekend's weather was the start of sunny summer. On Monday morning, a Met Office spokesman said that the wind direction had already changed. It means that the temperatures forecast for the week are getting increasing cooler, from a maximum of 14C (57F) today (Tuesday) to 13C (55F) by Friday.
There is a chance of rain on Thursday and Friday.
1. The Treasury has released this week the draft Government’s Accounts for the year to 31 March 2010
2. The Accounts released at this stage are the detailed management version compiled to the nearest whole pound and which remain subject to Audit by the Public Auditors. After the completion of the Public Audit later in this year a less detailed financial report style version of the Accounts will be released and formally laid before Tynwald. The audited Accounts are expected to be laid before the October 2010 sitting of Tynwald.
3. The Accounts reveal:
· Treasury income of £570 million.
· Net revenue expenditure of £572 million.
· Capital expenditure of £100 million.
· Revenue deficit of £3 million.
· No transfers to Government reserves.
4. The Accounts show Government has started to respond to the economic challenges it is facing with Departments ensuring their costs remain within Tynwald approvals. The revenue deficit of £2.8 million is £5.5 million less than the authorised out-turn of £8.3 million (surplus of £0.2 million approved in the Budget in February 2009 less the £8.5 million additional expenditure approved by Tynwald during the year for the Department of Health & Social Security).
5. Treasury Income is slightly below the estimate for the year due to reduced interest income. Income Tax receipts off-set a reduction in Customs receipts. Departments have all remained within their approved revenue votes for the year and have absorbed the costs of public sector employees’ pay awards. As set out in the budget in February 2010, no transfers to Government reserves and funds have been made.
6. Copies of the Accounts including details of the departmental spend can be obtained from the Tynwald library or at www.gov.im.
COMMENTARY ON THE YEAR
1. Net General Revenue Account – Balance Brought Forward
The actual balance brought forward at 1 April 2010 of £41.8 million was £12.4 million more than the "Probable" shown at the Budget in February 2009, with income £11.3 million up and expenditure £1.1 million down. The out-turn for 2008-09 was shown in the audited Government Accounts, which were laid before the October 2009 sitting of Tynwald.
Gross income from all sources at £877.3 million was generally in line with the various estimates for Departments and Other Bodies but in aggregate exceeded them by £1.5 million, mainly due to higher Department receipts and lower Treasury income.
Treasury income at £569.6 million was below estimate by £2.7 million. Within this higher Income Tax receipts (up £26.0 million) offset lower Customs receipts (down £25.7 million) and Other Treasury Income (down £3.1 million).
Net expenditure at £572.4 million was £8.2 million less than the revised estimate (the original estimate of £572.1 million plus the Supplementary Revenue Vote of £8.5 million for the Department of Health & Social Security). Department Expenditure was within the approved Votes.
4. Net General Revenue Account – Balance Carried Forward
In the 2009-10 Budget it was originally envisaged that the General Revenue Account would produce a surplus for the year before appropriation to reserves of £0.2 million. This estimated surplus was reduced to a deficit of £8.3 million after allowing for the Supplementary Votes approved during the year. However the actual gross income of £877.3 million and the actual gross expenditure of £880.1 million resulted in a deficit for the year of £2.8 million.
The deficit of £2.8 million reduced the balance brought forward of £41.8 million and resulted in a carried forward balance on General Revenue Account at 31 March 2010 of £38.9 million.
5. Capital Expenditure
Total Capital expenditure out-turn for the year was £100.3 million. This compares with the original vote of £126.8 million plus Supplementary Votes of £2.1 million.
The balance on the Capital Fund at the end of the year was £801.6 million and the cash available for capital expenditure was £116.6 million.
6. Reserve Funds
Treasury's investment strategies for the larger funds (which are externally invested) include exposure to equities and, although their market values can and have fluctuated downwards from time to time, the broad and long term trend has been upwards. In 2009-10 the market value of the investments (net of transfers into and out of the funds) increased by £109.1 million to £1,683.9 million.
Within this the market value of external investments increased by £266.6 million, a decrease of 22.5%, net of transfers. Net transfers include transfers to external investments from internal funds, including £30.0 million in respect of the National Insurance Investment Account.
The value of internally invested reserve funds (excluding the Capital Fund) reduced by £28.1 million (net of expenditure and transfers) as transfers out of the funds exceeded transfers into the funds.
Monday, May 24, 2010
The Chief Minister stated: ‘Although AA Gill is not a news journalist but a satirical columnist meant to entertain through his outrageous comments, I, like all Manx residents, find his remarks to be misleading, unfounded and insulting to every man, woman and child on our Island.
‘Unfortunately, AA Gill has, for some reason, a personal dislike of the Island and its people, as is clear from his latest abusive comments.
‘The Isle of Man is not the country that he portrays. We have a strong anti-drugs policy and a crime rate that is among the lowest anywhere in the British Isles. On the social policy front, the Island gave the vote to women decades before the United Kingdom and we have extended the right to vote to 16 and 17 year olds while many other nations are still considering it.
‘He may like to reflect on the privilege that he enjoys to express his views so freely in the media; it is a privilege that many Manx men and women sacrificed their lives for in considerable numbers, in two World Wars, and in fact continue to do so today by voluntarily serving in Her Majesty’s Forces in such places as Iraq and Afghanistan.’
So what did he say? Referring to Mick Jagger's controversial suggestion about the Island being used as a testbed for the legalisation of drugs, Gill suggested in his Sunday Times column that this was an inspired choice.
'If it all goes wrong, and they become a hopelessly addicted, criminal cesspit, who'd care?
'Indeed, who could tell the difference? The denizens of Isle de l'Homme fall into two types.
'Hopeless, in-bred mouth-breathers known as Bennies. And then retired, small-arms dealers and accountants who deal in rainforest futures. I have never been anywhere that would be more improved by a glut of class A substances. They believe in fairies and fascism.
'This was the last place in Britain to legalise homosexuality. The Isle of Man, twinned with Malawi. Bring on the crack."
Friday, May 21, 2010
"Mark and I are rivals on the bike, but we are good friends off the bike," said the 29-year-old Chicchi, who claimed his fifth win of the season. "Winning is always good, but to beat the No. 1 is even better."
Cavendish, who has won 10 stages of the Tour de France the past two years, has more than 60 pro wins and is generally considered cycling's best sprinter.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Manx MHK Bill Mallarkey said the comments were "irresponsible".
I'd be surprised if Mick Jagger could remember where the Isle of Man is
Bill Mallarkey, MHK
"The whole question of legalising drugs is fraught. You usually try these things out in very small places. You know, like you try a new product out in a small kind of society or an island somewhere.
"In England they always try out new mobile phones in the Isle of Man. They've got a captive society. You should try the legalisation of all drugs on the Isle of Man and see what happens."Bill Mallarkey, MHK with responsibility for the Manx drug and alcohol strategy, said:
"Jagger's comments are out of order and irresponsible to suggest that people on the Isle of Man should be used as social guinea pigs. I'd be surprised if Mick Jagger could remember where the Isle of Man is, as he's not been here since a concert in 1964 to my knowledge.
"If he does want to come and discuss this any further he'd better not bring any drugs with him as the Isle of Man has a zero tolerance policy on possession of drugs and severe penalties for drug-dealing."Under Manx law, drug dealers of class A or B drugs can be imprisoned for up to 14 years.
The singer is attending the Cannes film festival for a screening of the Rolling Stones documentary Stones On Exile, about the making of the band's 1972 album Exile On Main Street.
*Younger readers should know that Sir Mick is a musician in an senior citizen's rock band called the Rolling Stones. They were very popular back in the sixties and seventies when your parents were young. Their drug habits are legendary and a member of the band died as a consequence of drug abuse. That Sir Mick would suggest using the IoM as a test bed for drugs suggests that the mental faculties of the surviving members have also been affected. And as for suggesting we're a part of England....
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The work will ensure the pier remains stable and stop further deterioration
Mr Gawne said: "I am a strong supporter of the refurbishment agreement. Had it not been for the change in government financial position I would have been here recommending the £9.15m full refurbishment. Clearly we can't afford the full refurbishment now. The alternative option offers a solution which makes the pier safe and holds out the prospect of future refurbishment. Doing nothing is no longer an option."
The BBC is working hard for its licence fee!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Diseased bees will eat through icing sugar to greet their new queen
The island's bees are disease-free after Tynwald passed a law in 1987 to ban the import of foreign bees.
The queens will replace infected ones and may gradually spawn new colonies.
Our bees are among the healthiest in the world
Harry Owens, bee disease officer and inspector
Manx government bee disease officer and inspector, Harry Owens said: "Our bees are among the healthiest in the world and it would be nice to see if they could take over diseased colonies."
If successful, it is possible that the Isle of Man may export healthy bees as a commercial venture, he said.
Kill the queen
"The keeper will take out and kill the existing queen and put the cage, which contains a bit of icing sugar, in the hive.
"The diseased worker bees will eat through the icing to release the queen, by which time they will have accepted her as their own," said Mr Owens.
The queen's and drones' healthy offspring will then repopulate the hive over a 46-day period as the last of the diseased bees die off, said Mr Owens.
UK agriculturalists and ecologists are alarmed by the extent of bee population declines because of their crucial role in pollinating crops.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
The prestigious accolade adds to their 4 star grading and shows that the hotel has gone above and beyond expectations with comfort and cleanliness in bedrooms and bathrooms but, more importantly, it shows that the proprietor has excelled with its standard of service and hospitality throughout the guest’s stay.
Quality in Tourism is the body contracted by Isle of Man Tourism to award the independent grading and adheres to national standards known as the National Quality Assessment Scheme (NQAS) working in conjunction with VisitBritain. The assessment mirrors the scheme operating in the UK and takes place in the form of an inspector secretly visiting a business for a routine evaluation. Subsequently the business receives an independent rating and a report is provided containing feedback.
Geoff Corkish MBE MHK, Political Member for Isle of Man Tourism, said:
‘I congratulate and thank the management and staff of The Sefton Hotel for their efforts resulting in this tremendous achievement. The silver accolade reflects the very high standards achieved in all categories during their assessment. The Hotel will now be entitled to display the Award and their patrons will be assured of the very best standards.'The Assessors were particularly impressed by the warm greeting they received on arrival at the Hotel and friendliness of staff members, the high level of service received by the dinner waiters and the good quality of the food served both at breakfast and dinne
A Chinese friend of mine studying in Chicago came across a Celtic festival and she took this photo attached. She was told that there are about 20 Manx living in the city. I expect the Chicago Manx Society were rather surprised to meet a Chinese who'd been to the Island - in fact she even wrote an article about the Island for China Southern Airline's in-flight magazine about 6 years ago.
Richard A Hewitt
Honorary Representative of the Isle of Man Government in the People's Republic of China
“The figures are particularly pleasing not just because it is a reflection of how solidly the economy is performing, but also because falling unemployment helps contain total welfare support costs, at a time when the public finances are under some strain”, said the Minister. “Undoubtedly seasonal factors are now coming into play, helping to reduce unemployment in sectors such as construction and hospitality”, the Minister recognised, “but it is significant that the numbers on the register are down not just on a month by month basis but also in comparison with a year ago, reflecting just how resilient the Island’s economy has been in the face of the global slowdown”.
Unemployment fell by 57 in April but perhaps more significantly by 58 over the last 12 months.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The 12ft-high carving is only Nick's second attempt at turning a tree into a piece of artwork. His first attempt was a carving of a face, into a tree stump in the same field, owned by his friends Sue and Gary Quilliam.
Nick, of Old Milestone, St John's, explained: 'It's a friend's tree which has been stood dead for about five years. 'Sue loves trees, and when she saw the face I had done she asked me to carve a wizard. More at IOMToday
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Hat Tip: Bryce Quayle's Facebook page from where I stole all this!
Monday, May 10, 2010
Mr Brown established Tony Brown Electrics in Castletown 29 years ago. The shop is due to close for a final time at the end of this month. He said he was "sad" and that it was a difficult decision to make. However, Mr Brown said it was the right time to sell-up because "the town has moved on and improved" over the past 29 years.
Eighteen members of the local traditional group the ‘Manx Folk Dance Society’ will be flying the Manx flag on the Wirral this month at the invitation of the ‘Mockbeggar Morris Dancers’.
They will be dancing at various venues in the area, including the picturesque Birkenhead Park which is now designated a Conservation Area and a Grade 1 Listed Landscape by English Heritage. During this trip they will be stepping out in full costume at the isolated Thor’s Stone on the summit of Thurstaston, a natural rock feature made of red sandstone reputed to be 230 million years old. The ‘Manx Folk Dance Society’ was last at this venue approximately ten years ago, but with a 5.00am start they’re going to need an early morning wake up call!
Although usually thought of as a masculine activity the all ladies ‘Mockbeggar Morris Dancers’ was founded in 1991 after some of the wives of the ‘Mersey Morris Men’ expressed a desire to start their own group. Adopting the style of English traditional dancing known as North West Clog Morris they elected to name themselves ‘Mockbeggar’ largely because of its association with the Wirral Peninsula.
In contrast the ‘Manx Folk Dance Society’ has been part of the dancing scene for much longer. Formed in 1951 for the Festival of Mann celebrations, and easily recognisable in their colourful and eye catching costumes they have danced in places as diverse as local village halls, the Albert Hall, London, and the Celtic Festival in Barbados!
They have forged links with fellow dance groups all over the world, but are currently busy fundraising in readiness to celebrate the group’s 60th anniversary, which will include a spectacular International Folk Dance Festival in August 2011.
Valerie Caine © April 2010 (Courtesy of Manx Tails)
I know most of you can't make this but it's interesting that they are doing this.
National Mills Weekend is an annual celebration of our milling heritage when many of the owners of surviving mills invite the public through their doors to learn more about this once essential trade.
Organised by the Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the weekend’s growing popularity demonstrates the importance of this sometimes forgotten industry.
Here on the Isle of Man Canon John Sheen and his wife Elizabeth will be opening Kentraugh Mill. Based in the south of the Island this largely restored watermill was bought by Mrs. Sheen’s father, R. M. Nuttall, in 1965 when he purchased the miller’s house. He thought the mill building was a garage and was somewhat taken aback when he realised what he now owned. During the next five years Mr. Nuttall lovingly renovated the three storey building to its former glory.
Tucked away in the countryside Kentraugh Mill has a long history with the earliest record dated 1506 showing that it was a working mill in the ownership of Robert Qualtrough. But it’s likely that it was a working mill for several centuries. It is believed that the mill was largely rebuilt in approximately 1832, or earlier, and the current machinery installed. Prior to about 1800 everything would have been constructed entirely from wood.
Kentraugh Mill remained within the Qualtrough family until 1904, when the two surviving sisters of William Qualtrough sold the building to another miller by the name of John Woods living in Ballabeg. His family, or tenants, continued to work the mill until 1943, at which point the miller shut the door and left everything untouched.
Local stories relate that when the miller was short of labour he would hang a red flannel petticoat from a bedroom window to alert drinkers at the Shore Hotel!
Members of the public will have the opportunity to join an extensive guided tour of the mill explaining the processes involved and viewing the system in action.
During tours of the mill visitors will also be shown the remains of the miller’s storeroom across the road, which became a temporary home for the Primitive Methodists until the building of the Ebenezer Chapel in 1881. Now known as the Chapel Garden, records dating from 20th September 1851 show that the ‘chapel’ had 16 members, with 83 children and 11 teachers attending the Sunday school anniversary. Previously services were held in one of the Kentraugh Mill cottages.
There are still people living in the area who remember being sent to the mill for oatmeal or barley meal, and others who recall being brought to the mill as children in order to be weighed on the miller’s scales.
There is no charge made for the tour, but there will be an opportunity to make a donation to the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, a mission society of which Canon Sheen is a council member and long time representative for the Isle of Man.
Home made refreshments will also be available at the miller’s house during the weekend.
Anyone wishing to arrange a group booking outside of the National Mills Weekend, or would like further information, or directions, is asked to telephone 832406.
Saturday 8th May 10.00am – 5.00pm
Sunday 9th May 11.00am – 5.00pm
Valerie Caine © April 2010 (Courtesy of Manx Tails)
Friday, May 7, 2010
Mr Brown said:
'We are not part of the European Union but decisions they make can have a big influence on us. 'We are aware of things that happen in Brussels that might affect us long term and having an office there will give us an opportunity to lobby on these issues.'More
What's exercising the pundits is that this comes when the EU is having another spat about the crown dependencies' Zero 10 business tax rate and at a time when the IoM is having to cut costs and services. Also if you look at the comments under this article there's a suggestion that this is part of some advance planning for an ambassadorial role. Remember, the IoM is not a member of the EU and is not a part of the UK.
Hat Tip: James Bennett
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Renowned for its beautiful countryside, sweeping coastlines and pretty seaside towns, the wealth of locations available to movie makers on the Isle of Man have made a great contribution to the very successful and thriving British film industry.
The island has doubled as a Cornish fishing village, Scotland, London, Ireland and even the Caribbean!
Indeed, the Isle of Man itself has been the star of many great films from comedies to action adventures, sci-fi thrillers to period dramas. Whilst touring the island, why not follow in the footsteps of the island's many A-list visitors?
Just two of the number of hit films which have had scenes filmed on the Isle of Man are Miss Potter, starring Renee Zelwegger and Ewan McGregor (see picture below) and Me and Orson Welles, with Claire Danes and High School Musical star Zac Efron.
Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger paid warm tribute to the Isle of Man after filming scenes for Miss Potter.
The actress said that she had runs on the beach while on the island. Zellweger, best known for her role as Bridget Jones, said: "It's been great looking across at the ocean and I've gone for daily runs on the beach whenever the weather allowed."
Ewan McGregor added: "I've had a great time here. I've visited the bike museum -- and I've actually bought an old bike to add to my collection. It was my first visit to the Isle of Man and I thoroughly enjoyed it'
The film's publicist, Susan d'Arcy said the cast and crew had made "extensive tours" of the island and were regular visitors to local restaurants and hotels. She added that the Isle of Man museum in Douglas was a favourite visitor attraction with the cast and crew.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
‘Tunesmith’ is an appropriate title for the new publication issued by Welsh traditional musician Jamie Smith. Compact and clearly expressed, Jamie’s repertoire includes a large number of tunes reflecting his links with the Isle of Man, both musically and personally. Most of these are easily spotted by the reference notes supplied by Jamie, or a quick glance at the song titles.
Part of the Welsh band ‘Mabon,’ he has visited the Island on numerous occasions to play at gigs and concerts, and although living in Wales has now married a Manx girl.
A talented accordion player, Jamie is also a prolific composer. His knack for writing tunes began almost a decade ago, and his love of Celtic music comes through very clearly. He is unafraid to experiment and happily moves from jigs and reels to Breton an dro and Galician muiñera. However, inspiration is also drawn from other examples of European tradition.
Aimed at both beginners and experts alike, the compositions reproduced in ‘Tunesmith’ vary in difficulty and cover a wide range of keys, tempos and rhythms.
For those people on the Island who are familiar with the Welsh band ‘Mabon’ they may also recognise many of the tunes. Two thirds of the compositions reproduced here have been recorded by the band over the course of their three albums. In view of this they have been grouped together in their respective sets as played by the band.
Jamie has been playing music with ‘Mabon’ for several years, but first started playing the accordion seriously in 1998. Teaching himself using a combination of CDs at home, gigging with the band and accompanying local Welsh folk dancers Penyfai, Jamie took the lead creatively with the band. As their unique sound developed he began to compose his own tunes and now writes most of ‘Mabon’s material. Jamie also plays guitar and mandolin and can also turn his hand to song writing and is noted as an occasional singer-songwriter.
Many of the tunes in this book include explanatory notes giving both a glimpse into the life of a musician and the topic of the tune. Jamie also provides helpful points for the musician in respect of harmony and ornamentation, with tempo and metronome markings. Mp3 recordings of Jamie playing tunes from his book are also available on request, for those who wish to hear how he plays a particular tune.
Married to Gráinne Joughin from Peel, a number of tunes were inspired by her, including ‘On St. Patrick’s Isle,’ a tune composed and played for her to walk down the aisle at their wedding. Gráinne has also designed the cover of her husband’s new book, and is now pursuing a career in the film industry.
‘Tunesmith’ packed with sixty two original compositions is available via the ‘Mabon’ website at £12.50.
Valerie Caine © May 2010 (Courtesy of Manx Tails)
The paper lanterns float into the air by lighting a candle inside them and can travel a mile into the sky.
Coastguard teams have been called out to several false reports in recent months, the Manx government said. BBC
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Take it away the Ross Sisters in 1944