Thursday, May 31, 2012


THE Department of Economic Development has confirmed that new television deals negotiated by North One TV are likely to double the 16,000,000 viewers that watched the 2011 event worldwide.

New deals have been confirmed to take a minimum of the eleven one-hour TT dedicated and Isle of Man themed international programmes this year to broadcasters in the Middle East and North Africa, South America, pan-Asia, Scandinavia, France, Poland and the Czech Republic. Several other deals are close to being signed with major broadcasters in territories where TT dedicated programmes will be shown for the first time.

These territories will join the established pool of TV broadcasters worldwide carrying the international TT programmes which includes Australia, Taiwan, Germany, Spain, the USA and Canada.

UK audiences can enjoy 14 one-hour programmes on ITV4, and a Welsh language version on S4C, which start on Monday 28th May. In addition to 11 TT review programmes, ITV4 will also screen three one-hour specials: a profile of John McGuinness; a look at the TT ‘Record Breakers’; and a behind the scenes look at how the TT is set up called ‘the Final Countdown’. The on air team will again be led by Craig Doyle and includes Steve Parrish, James Whitham and Steve Plater.

In addition to the TT races review programmes a number of stations are also planning features during the TT: BBC Coast programme will again be visiting the Isle of Man; an Al Jazeera documentary team are creating a one hour film of the event; ITV4’s The Motorbike Show are filming a show on the return of Norton; and a crew from HBO in the USA are on the Island to do a major news and lifestyle feature.  BBC1 will also be covering the Olympic Torch relay taking place on Saturday in the Isle of Man.  This will be screened on Wednesday 6th June at 7.00pm as part of the national coverage. 

New production improvements from North One TV include on-board telemetry from the bikes this year as well as a higher spec hi-motion camera that will run at 1000 frames per second, an increase from the 600 frames last year. The company has also researched more new camera angles and positions.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Manx Stagecoaches

Written by Manxman Michael Barry, this detailed publication looks at the evolution of public transport on the Isle of Man from earliest times up to 1950, charting major advancements by a selection of enterprising individuals, although it wasn’t until the late 1920s that the first all-Island motor bus service was launched.

Michael, who worked with the Island’s buses for over 25 years, is fascinated by transport history and has undertaken extensive research on the subject. Believing there to be a gap in the annals of Manx history the author skilfully introduces the reader into the world of the early stagecoaches; following their progression into motorisation and reflecting on the introduction and demise of several companies.

Illustrated with a generous selection of photographs, the reader can sit back and journey through the ups and downs of the coaching trade which reached its peak in the 1860s, but was soon threatened by the railway and the internal combustion engine.

Also included is a useful and important explanation about the value of money pre-decimalisation and a selection of Appendices for the dedicated enthusiast.

Sporting an eye-catching painting of the Dixon’s stagecoach ‘Majestic’ from the 1820s by Peter Mylchreest on the front cover, this book is a nostalgic trip down memory lane, revealing how the people of the Isle of Man were presented with the ability to travel as never before.

‘Manx Stagecoaches’ is available throughout the Island priced at £15.99.

Valerie Caine 
© May 2012, (Courtesy of Manx Tails)

Friday, May 25, 2012

More on Bob Kelly

Hello everyone!

John and I just returned from visiting Uncle Bob.  I am pleased to report that he is doing quite well!  He was very talkative and we were there for over 2 hours.  He is being a very good patient and the staff at Centegra are extremely happy with his progress.  We have to give some high marks to the staff in ICU based on our observations. 

Bob was moved today to another bed in ICU and is now in Room 565.  He is able to take phone calls and receive visitors.  Pastor Doug from Rockford stopped by while we were there.  The nurse said it is likely Bob may be moved out of the ICU into another unit of the hospital tomorrow or the next day.  So if you call or visit, be sure to ask the operator or receptionist which room he is in.  We expect that he will not be discharged from the hospital under after Memorial Day as arrangements will need to be made to transport him back to Wesley Willows’ Rehab unit.

He had a swallow study performed today and they have him on a thick liquid diet at the moment, such as soup and pudding.  He was to receive his first ‘real’ food shortly after we left his room.  He started receiving both Physical and Occupational Therapy today.  He sat on the edge of the bed but was dizzy so there was no attempt to stand.

Bob received some Get Well cards and he wants everyone to know how appreciative he is of your kind thoughts and prayers for his recovery.  His doctor told him that he is “very lucky to be alive” and “God must have a plan for him yet”.  He teared up telling me this and I tear up now as I write this to you. 

The main phone number at Centegra is 815-344-5000.  To get connected directly to his current room (565) you will need to enter extension 1565.  If he doesn’t answer he may have been moved out of ICU.

Hospice 'overwhelmed' by Gibb support

Date Posted: 25/May/2012 07:02

By: Manx Radio

Hospice Isle of Man says it’s been overwhelmed by the generosity of people around the world after the death of Robin Gibb.

The Bee Gee’s family asked people to donate to the charity earlier this week – and money and messages have been flooding in from around the world.

Margaret Simpson, chief executive of Hospice, says hundreds of people from around the globe have sent cash.

And she says the messages accompanying the donations have been heartwarming:
Clip 1

Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant stamps from IOM Post Office

DOUGLAS, Isle of Man, May 24, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- : The official licensed first day cover features the Royal Barge, Gloriana and two Manx vessels and is the ultimate souvenir from what is tipped to be the highlight of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will showcase one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the Thames and the biggest collection of historic vessels. The Manx vessels: a lifeboat from the historic Lady of Mann ship (the last vessel present at Dunkirk to survive), now converted as a cabin cruiser and Vital Spark -- one of four replica Viking longboats built to be used in the annual World Viking longboat races held in the Isle of Man, will both form a special part of 1,000 vessels and 20,000 people on the Thames on June 3.

Dot Tilbury, General Manager Isle of Man Stamps & Coins, Isle of Man Post Office said: "We are absolutely thrilled Her Majesty The Queen has approved this very special first day cover to celebrate such a historic event, which is expected to be the largest live public event ever held in London. It is particularly special to us as two vessels representing the Isle of Man will be showcased in the Pageant. A numbered limited edition of just 1,000, one for every boat in the Pageant, will be carried aboard a vessel in the flotilla and authenticated by the master of the vessel. Priced at just GBP 10, I would encourage any Royal fan to pre-order their cover now to avoid disappointment.
"This magnificent Jubilee keepsake will capture the essence of the day's atmosphere and better still, a percentage of each sale will benefit the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation, the charitable trust set-up to raise funds for the charitable projects through The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust" she added.
A piece of this historic day to keep is a must, so don't miss out. The first day cover will be officially issued on June 3 but can be pre-ordered now online at or by calling +44-(01624)-698-430.


Thames Jubilee Pageant

Just a quick email as I noticed you had a great feature on the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant; the Thames Jubilee Pageant Infographic and map from can be embedded (for free) and thought you might want to include it in your article:

Have a great day


Vicki Forde

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Update on Bob Kelly

Bob is the Emeritus Governor of the North American Manx Association, a role created for him in honor of his longevity within the organization and his lifetime commitment to NAMA and all things Manx. It was his donation that financed the move of the T.E. Brown window to its new home in the Manx Museum; and his donation that launched the North American Manx Museum in the University of Wisconsin - Platteville where we will convene this August for the Convention.

On Saturday 19th May, Bob had a heart attack on his way to a BigWill meeting. He was taken to the Centegra Hospital, Fort Henry WI, where he was admitted to the ICU and spent several days receiving  critical care. Yesterday we received this positive update from his niece, Carol Pilgrim.

I spoke with Uncle Bob today (yes, you read that right)!  He sounded weak and out of breath, but we had a bit of a conversation.  He couldn’t hear me very well because of the phone they gave him.  He told me he was shocked 3 times by the EMTs and 15 times in the ED.  I don’t believe this was from memory, but from what he was told.  It proves to me that his mind is as sharp as always. So obviously, he had the ventilator removed today.  The nurse I spoke with said he was very coherent.  He is receiving antibiotics and will likely remain in ICU for another day or two.  
 I am sure that everyone joins with the NAMA family in wishing Bob the very best wishes and a swift recovery from his illness. We hope to see him in Platteville!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Three stories!

Diamond Jubilee: Isle of Man parliament presents gift to Queen
BBC News
The Manx parliament has presented a gift to the Queen as part of theIsle of Man's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. An illuminated address was handed to the Lieutenant Governor, Adam Wood, the Queen's representative on the island.
See all stories on this topic »

BBC News
London 2012: Isle of Man vicar to carry Olympic torch
BBC News
A vicar from the north of the Isle of Man said he was "privileged and honoured" to have been chosen to carry the Olympic torch. Reverend Cyril Rogers, from Ballaugh, will be a torchbearer on 2 June when it arrives in the Isle of Man.
See all stories on this topic »

BBC News
Gibb family request Isle of Man charity donations
BBC News
Well-wishers for Robin Gibb are being asked to donate to a Manxcharity instead of sending funeral flowers. The Bee Gees singer, who died aged 62 after a lengthy battle with cancer, was born in the Isle of Man in 1949. His family have requested ...
See all stories on this topic »

BBC News

NAMA Awards - Invitation

MeShell Berry
Events Organiser
Corporate Services Division
Department of Education and Children
Professional Development Centre
Santon Old School, Santon
Isle of Man, IM4 1EG

Direct Dial No:    (01624) 693830
Mobile:               (07624) 450456
Fax:                (01624) 824702

23 May 2012

Dear Members of the North American Manx Association

It gives me great pleasure to invite you to attend the presentation of the North American Manx Association awards, which are due to take place on Wednesday, 4th July 2012 at 2pm in the Wedding Room at the General Registry office, Deemster’s Walk, Douglas, Isle of Man

Those who maybe travelling from the United States or Canada to attend Tynwald Week and its festivities and would like to attend the North American Manx Association awards, please contact me so I may include you on my guest list.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Yours sincerely

MeShell Berry

MeShell Berry
Events Organiser
Department of Education and Children

Monday, May 21, 2012

Robin Gibb's busy cares have flown

Robin Gibb remembered as remarkable talent, exceptional citizen

Robin Gibb was born on the island and remained emotionally attached to it, having a home there. He recently recorded his own version of "Ellan Vannin", a popular song that serves as a second Manx National Anthem. He was the last of the Brothers Gibb.

One day after he succumbed to cancer, Bee Gee Robin Gibb was hailed in his native Britain Monday as a master musician whose interests went far beyond the recording studio. The distinctive singer, who wrote and arranged numerous hits for other major artists, was also recognized for his work on behalf of British veterans and his interests in politics, history and the Titanic.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, a longtime friend of Gibb, said the singer had a “wonderful open and fertile mind” and offered condolences to Gibb’s widow, Dwina, and their family. “Robin was not only an exceptional and extraordinary musician and songwriter, he was a highly intelligent, interested and committed human being,” Blair said.
Gibb suffered a lengthy illness and had appeared extremely gaunt in his rare public appearances during the last year. He was forced to cancel most of his engagements after he suffered an alarming weight loss and required emergency intestinal surgery.
He did find the energy, however, to compose The Titanic Requiem with the help of his son, RJ. But Gibb lapsed into a coma and was too sick to attend the gala premiere with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra last month. The classical composition about the loss of the Titanic marked a new direction for the multi-talented Gibb, who along with his brothers Barry and Maurice created an enduring performing and songwriting team.
Air Force memorial
Gibb was a history buff who had worked overtime in his last few years to help create a permanent memorial to the flyers and crew who served during World War II. He also served for four years as president of the Heritage Foundation, a group that promotes British culture, backing a number of projects. Heritage Foundation Chairman David Graham said Monday that Gibb was the natural choice for the job. “He was so enthusiastic about the whole thing,” Graham said. “He loved history, and he was a lovely fellow. We’re going to miss him so much. He was always interested in the good of others.”
The formal unveiling of the memorial in London’s Green Park is scheduled for next month. The Bomber Command Association said in a statement that the project would not have succeeded without Gibb’s help. “It is a tragedy that Robin will not see the finished article,” the group said. “But Robin did his bit for all who served in Bomber Command and on the behalf of the veterans and the relatives of those who died in World War II, we would simply like to say, thank you.”
Casual listeners knew the Bee Gees best for the innovative disco sound they created with theSaturday Night Fever soundtrack, but music industry insiders viewed the brothers Gibb as extremely versatile music makers. Songs they wrote for other artists include “Islands in the Stream” by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, “Heartbreaker” by Dionne Warwick, and “Woman in Love” by Barbra Streisand.
Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, whose band competed against the Bee Gees for top chart spots in the 1960s, praised Gibb’s musical legacy. “The Bee Gees from our era were quite important, especially the harmonies,” Starr said Monday. “He had a great voice and they wrote great songs.”
BBC broadcaster Paul Gambaccini, who has covered the music scene for decades, said the Bee Gees have left an impressive body of work. “The Bee Gees are second only to (John) Lennon and (Paul) McCartney as the most successful songwriting unit in British popular music,” he said. “Their accomplishments have been monumental. Not only have they written their own number one hits, but they wrote huge hit records for Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Celine Dion, Destiny’s Child, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. The list goes on and on.”

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Praying the Keeills 2012

At one time the Isle of Man boasted a thriving network of almost 250 keeills scattered across the length and breadth of the Island. Crudely made from earth and stone and somewhat compact in size, keeills were used as family chapels, wayside shrines and places of retreat and hermitage. Many of their locations are now lost and the sites bearing remains of the buildings even less, but their role in the Island’s history is still a source of fascination for historians, worshippers and the curious.

Keeills are largely associated with pre-Christian sites with some built over Bronze Age Cairns, but although both the sites and burials can be dated back to the sixth century or earlier, none of the remains can be proven to be older than the eighth century. Typically a keeill will be on a mound and surrounded by a circular burial ground, with many yielding some interesting finds for both the professional archaeologists and local farmers, including a number of Cross Slabs, used as grave markers, or as part of the Altar. But local folklore suggests that it’s unlucky to tamper with these old sites, with stories of misfortune for those who ignored such advice still echoing amongst the Island’s parishes.

The catalyst for Praying the Keeills Week was the former Lord Bishop of Sodor and Mann, the Rt Rev. Graeme Knowles, and with a taskforce of volunteers from each Christian denomination has been providing an annual schedule of events since 2006.

It’s an informal week of activities held towards the end of May with a selection of events across the Island, with each walk including a time of prayer and reflection. Destinations this year will include Bishopscourt Chapel, St Luke’s Church in Baldwin and Lonan Old Church (St Adamnan’s) with visits to the Braaid Circle, the Quaker burial ground at Ballajora and the Meayll Circle in the south of the Island.

For those unable to participate in the many organised walks there’s a chance to join a coach trip to see Manx crosses at Lezayre and Bride, attend an illustrated lecture given by Andrew Johnson of Manx National Heritage on the same subject, or join a torchlight procession at the end of the week in Port St Mary.

Valerie Caine
© May 2012 (inc photos)

Husband and wife team sell the farm to ride in TT races

They are at an age when they could be forgiven for putting their feet up and relaxing a little.
But pensioners Robin Daykin, 74, and wife Annette, 62, who live in Scotland have no plans to slow down in life.
In fact, they are taking part in one of the fastest and most dangerous motorbike races on the planet.
The husband-and-wife team sold their croft and threw themselves headlong into the world of high-performance superbikes.
They gave up a lifetime of farming to invest in a 600cc superbike with sidecar – so they can compete in TT races.
While their friends are content with a bus pass, these grandparents will soon be tearing round the track taking on riders less than half their age on the gruelling Formula Two circuit in this month’s famous Isle of Man races.
The couple, from Turriff, Aberdeenshire, packed up and sold their croft eight years ago and dipped into their savings to finance a new thrill in life.
Mr Daykin convinced his wife they should invest in a classic Royal Enfield motorbike and sidecar to race.
Mrs Daykin said the couple’s three children – Nicola, Damian and Tree – were all grown up with their own families and so, after retiring they decided to revive an old passion for motorbikes
She said: ‘Neither of us wanted a quiet life. This is our time to go out and have fun.’
After some gentle persuasion, she agreed to join her partner in calmer Classic Club races.
But they soon became bored and decided to upgrade to a super-powered 600cc Yamaha R6 and sidecar to compete in the Formula Two circuit.
Performance: Robin and Annette Daykin in their leathers trialling their 'Team Past It' 600c superbike with sidecar in which they compete in TT races around the world
Performance: Robin and Annette Daykin in their leathers trialling their 'Team Past It' 600c superbike with sidecar in which they compete in TT races around the world

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