Wednesday, July 31, 2013

IOM Stamps – HRH Prince George of Cambridge

Isle of Man Stamps have given the new royal baby their stamp of approval by issuing a selection of memorabilia in celebration of the birth of HRH Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge who is third in line to the British throne.

It’s hoped that royal family enthusiasts will be attracted by a special limited edition package, containing a commemorative cover with a gold foil postmark, a fully authenticated birth announcement card and a mint sheet of stamps priced at £25.

In addition there’s a silver-foiled commemorative envelope (£8.50) featuring stamps of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and details of the birth of their son. A special feature of this timely product is two unique postmarks bearing the words Royal Avenue and Windsor Road and a dedicated information card with a specially commissioned text by leading royal journalist and biographer Claudia Joseph.

The stamps and birth announcement are also available on a stand-alone sheet priced at £8.

A special commemorative cover will be forwarded to the Duke and Duchess at Kensington Palace as well as to the parents of four babies born on the Isle of Man on the same day as the royal birth.

Valerie Caine © July 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Reflections of a Village Through Flowers and Photos Concludes with Anniversary Service

A special Songs of Praise to celebrate the 174th anniversary of St James Church in Dalby was a fitting closure to a very successful heritage exhibition, which coincided with the Tynwald Day celebrations and Manx National Week.

Entitled A Reflection of a Village Through Flowers and Photos, this unique exhibition attracted visitors Island wide who soon discovered that Dalby was not quite the sleepy backwater that they had imagined.

Wending their way from church to schoolroom, their curiosities were aroused by old photographs of the village, its people and a fantastic array of memorabilia which provided a glimpse into the daily life of its inhabitants.

The exhibition was a community based exercise, which, although focused on the village of Dalby reached out to Glen Maye and Eary Cushlin; featuring tales of local characters, history, legend and folklore. Particular attention was paid to some of the more notable stories of the area, such as the famous music hall artist Florrie Forde, eccentric Manx millionaire Colby Cubbin, the Christian heritage of Lag ny Keeilley and the shenanigans of the Dalby Spook.

A wide selection of refreshments was also available, tempting visitors to sample anything from simple lunches to afternoon tea.

The anniversary service was led by local Minister Cheryl Cousins, who thanked everyone involved in the exhibition for all of their hard work before introducing Michael Killey and Thomas Doyle to relate their individual, and sometimes revealing stories, about what it’s like to be born and bred in Dalby. In addition Margy Killey recounted the memories of Voirrey Curphey.

Meanwhile members of the Manx Gaelic choir, Cliogaree Twoaie, sang The Invocation to St Bridget, an evocative request for the popular saint to bless the house and Shee, a more reflective composition asking for peace.

The service was followed by refreshments in the schoolroom.

All proceeds from the exhibition will be divided between the Friends of Robert Owen House, the Malawi Mission Project and the restoration fund for St James Church.

Valerie Caine, © July 2013

Clowning Around at Peel Carnival

I know there won't be many of you over there but just in case!

If you’re looking for colour, excitement and a fun day out then head west for Peel Carnival on the 28th July which promises a great day out for all the family.

With a variety of music, song and dance to suit all tastes on five stages, sited along the promenade and around the quayside from 1.00pm, this will be an excellent opportunity to introduce some new and exciting performers and bring back some old favourites, including the PanFire Steel Band from Manchester; a small band with a big sound who will be guaranteed to entertain the crowds throughout the day with their uplifting carnival beat.

Committee member Greg Joughin commented, “The Grand Parade starts at 2.00pm and we’re asking everyone to dress up and come and join in. We’re also looking for stewards to assist on the day during the parade for a couple of hours, so if you can help out please contact me on 843318, Ian Baker on 201039 or email”.

The promenade and quayside will come alive with a variety of stalls, rides and street entertainers, with a classic car parade organised by Peel Transport Museum (which will also be open on the day) forming part of the colourful Grand Parade. Peel Sailing Club will also be hosting a yacht race for the coveted Carnival Cup.

In addition this year’s event will also include members of Island based group The Play People, a creative performance organisation specialising in circus, street theatre, parkour and comedy. Bringing together world renowned free runners, international circus artists, sketch comedians and clowns, they will be popping up in the crowd throughout the day. And there’s a chance for members of the public to try out their skills at tight-rope walking.

The carnival atmosphere will continue well into the night with a fantastic fire show (including the Human Firework) and a final performance by PanFire, closing with a spectacular firework display at 10.00pm.

Valerie Caine
© June 2013

(Courtesy of Manx Tails)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Manx animation to feature at Inter-Celtic festival in Lorient


The first-ever animated film in Manx Gaelic is to be a major feature at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient next month.
Caarjyn as Fenee
 (Friends and Heroes - in English) will be shown on Thursday 8 August in the Auditorium du Cercle St Louis at 16:55.

The unique Manx translation of the award-winning TV series is the culmination of a 5-year project, only made possible with the help of many local Manx speakers on the island, who became voice-actors for the cartoon characters in the film.

“This is ‘Yindyssagh erskyn towse’‐ (Fantastic above all measure) and is a real breakthrough for Manx Gaelic (Gaelg).” said Adrian Cain, Manx Language Officer for the Manx Heritage Foundation.“Each programme features a full Manx soundtrack as well as English and Manx sub‐titles, making a fantastic teaching and learning resource and helping give Manx Gaelic a much higher profile both on the island and internationally.”

Each episode of Friends and Heroes is set in the first century AD and follows the adventures of two children, Macky and Portia. As they engage in countless escapades and fight for justice across the Roman world, they share the timeless stories of the Bible and learn lessons that help them through many trials and tribulations. Each episode uses a combination of traditional hand‐drawn and stunning computer generated animation to bring the stories to life.

Caarjyn as Fenee officially launched last week as part of the annual Yn Chruinnaght festival, held on the Isle of Man. All 13 episodes (over 5 hours) of the First series are available in Manx in a 4-DVD set at just £20.

The Festival Interceltique de Lorient, or Inter-Celtic Festival of Lorient, is an annual Celtic festival, located in the city of Lorient, Brittany, France. Founded in 1971, this annual festival takes place in the heart of the city every August and is dedicated to the cultural traditions of the Celtic nations, highlighting Celtic music and dance and also including other arts such as painting, photography, theatre, film, sculpture, traditional artisan as well as sport and gastronomy. To find out more about the festival go to

To see a sample of Friends and Heroes in Manx, or to purchase online go

Press Contact: Brett Pitchfork - Marketing Director
Tel: +44 (0) 1624 811744

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New Celtic Nations website -

Transceltic is your resource on the six Celtic nations: Ireland/EireIsle of Man/Mannin,Scotland/AlbaWales/CymruCornwall/Kernow and Brittany/Breizh.
Celtic nationsCeltic travelCeltic culture and historyCeltic festivalsCeltic news

Check it out here!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Manx team wins Island Games in Bermuda!

The Isle of Man team's success at the Island Games in Bermuda will "inspire the next generation of Manx sports stars", the chief minister has said.
Competing in 11 sports, the 84-strong Manx team won 97 medals at the six-day competition, 36 of which were gold.
Allan Bell said their success would "give the next generation something to aspire to and hopefully emulate and overtake at future Island Games".
The island last topped the medal table in 1988 in the Faroe Islands.

In total the Manx team won 36 gold, 36 silver and 25 bronze medals. The hosts Bermuda finished second in the medal table with 27 golds followed by Jersey, who will host the next Games in 2015, with 23 gold medals.
The Manx total eclipsed the island's haul from 2011 when a 190-strong Manx team finishedsecond to Guernsey in the medal table, with 26 gold, 22 silver and 20 bronze medals in the Isle of Wight.
The Isle of Man's gymnasts won around half the island's 47 medals, including 18 gold medal performances.
The island's chief minister Allan Bell said: "I think the outstanding success of our sports people will undoubtedly lift the spirits of people all around the island.
"They will be great role models for the younger generation coming through."
The first members of the island's team will arrive back on the island on Tuesday.
However, the Isle of Man's record tally of 41 golds came when they hosted the Games in 2001.
More than 2,000 competitors from 22 islandsaround the world competed in 16 sports over six days.
The Isle of Man team participated in 11 sports including cycling, gymnastics, tennis and athletics.
The Bermuda Games were the first Island Games to be held outside Europe.

Isle of Man's gold medal winners

Gymnastics team (Combined floor and Vault)
Kevin Loundes (10,000m) Grant Halsall (50m Backstroke)
Alan Corlett (3,000m steeplechase), Andrew Roche (Time Trial), Men's cycling team (Time Trial), Mukunda Measuria (High Bar), Harshul Measuria (Parallel Bars), Antony Duchars (Pommel and overall individual), Grace Harrison (Beam, Floor, Vault and Overall Individual), Laura Kinley (200m Breaststroke), Charlotte Atkinson (50m Butterfly)
Grant Halsall (100m Individual Medley and 200m Backstroke)
Joseph Reid (400m), Anand Patel (floor), Antony Duchars (High Bar, Parallel Bars, Pommel), Harshul Measuria (Parallel Bars), Mukunda Measuria (Rings), Rebecca Johnson (Floor), Nicole Burns (Vault), Grace Harrison (Vault, Overall Individual), Grant Halsall (100m Backstroke), Charlotte Atkinson (50m Backstroke), Billy Harris and Laura Feely (Mixed Doubles)
Kevin Loundes (Half Marathon), Cristen Callow and Kim Clague (Badminton Women's Doubles) Half Marathon team: Men and Women

Monday, July 22, 2013

Parville Gardens - Ballabeg. Open days.

Parville Gardens, in the south of the Island, will be open to the public during July this year, and promises a riotous display of colour for midsummer.

A leisurely stroll around the estate will include the wildlife pond, the spectacular main garden with its magnificent gazebo, the colourful wildflower meadow and the naturally expressive Parville Glen.

Situated on the main road through Ballabeg, adjacent to Arbory Parish Church, the Parville estate (the name was derived from a combination of the family name with the Latin word villa) was first recorded in the Manorial Roll in 1587 as a cottage and croft owned by John Parr, but subsequently changed hands a number of times.

The house, which is not open to the public on this occasion, has been the subject of several modifications, although the core of the building is believed to date from the mid to late seventeenth century.

The Parr family originated in Lancashire and migrated to the Island with several others when successive Earls of Derby became Lords of Mann. Members of the Parr family subsequently held a number of important positions within the political and ecclesiastical framework of the Isle of Man, including that of Bishop of Sodor and Mann.

All funds raised during the weekend will be used by The Caroline Pettit Trust, the charity which owns runs and preserves Parville.

Open Days
Saturday 20th July           2.00pm – 5.00pm
Sunday 21st July               2.00pm – 5.00pm

Valerie Caine
© July 2013 (inc photos)

(Courtesy of Manx Tails)