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The annual Welsh
festival Cwlwm Celtaidd has long been a firm favourite with a number of Manx
singers, dancers and musicians, who will be heading across the Irish Sea later
this month to represent the Isle of Man amongst a host of entertainers from the
With a growing
reputation as a family friendly festival, Cwlwm Celtaidd has attracted an
extensive selection of groups and individuals, ranging from the gentle sound of
the Welsh triple harp to the unmistakable resonance of the Breton Bagad.
In amongst a
dozen performers will be two groups from the Isle of Man who will be putting a
firm Manx stamp on the festival.
Local trad power
trio Barrule focuses on bold but sensitive arrangements, which have captured
the imagination not only of those in the wider Celtic circle, but introduced
the concept of Manx music to others who were unaware of what the Island has to
offer froma cultural perspective. The
tight knit group, which has a tangible Welsh link within its ranks, will be hot
footing it to Wales after a short European tour.
dance group Perree Bane has become a firm favourite at the seaside based
festival, with an emphasis on keeping alive an extensive repertoire of both
traditional and contemporary dances. A popular southern based team with more than
30 years experience,and a strong
generational membership, their name is a reflection of the male dancers white
The Manxies will
also be rubbing shoulders with the dynamic Shooglenifty, one of Scotland's most
unique musical exports. Although their sound sprang from Scottish traditional
dance music, their interpretation ultimately challenged music writers, whose
best attempts have led to the description 'hypno-folkadelic-ambient-trad', or
simply 'Acid-Croft' which fuses acid-house music style of the late 1980s with
the description of a traditional Scottish rural dwelling.
Based as usual
in the versatile Grand Pavilion, which was originally opened in 1932 as a Palm
Court, it's a perfect central location on the town's seafront at Porthcawl for
many of the festival's activities; including a busy programme of concerts,
dances, workshops, street displays and a beach ceili!
New for this
year will be the awarding of Young Musician of the Festival, with participants
encouraged to play an unaccompanied Celtic tune, or medley, on an instrument of
their own choice. Aimed at musicians aged 10 - 18, the lucky winner will be
awarded a cash prize, have their name engraved on the festival trophy, secure a
prime slot in the special St David's Day Concert and a be invited to a master
class with a professional folk musician.
And for those
still burning with energy there'll be an opportunity to join in some after show
sessions at The Ancient Briton, promising a warm Welsh welcome and a great time
for real ale enthusiasts.
Manx National Heritage is looking to highlight the untold stories of women in the Isle of Man’s history in a series of pop-up displays and events in seven of its venues around the Island.
From March to December 2015, History in Heels lets you follow in the footsteps of the women who made Mann. From a Civil War Countess to the fastest woman round the TT course, History in Heels takes a fresh and surprising approach to some of the remarkable Island women and their personal histories.
Co-curator of History in Heels, Jude Dicken said; “We couldn’t possibly tell the whole story of women’s history on the Isle of Man. We also wanted to do something other than an exhibition, and that’s when we came up with the idea of ‘pop-ups’. We asked ourselves, what we are the stories about women we either don’t tell or only partially reveal at our sites. How can we begin to introduce these women to our visitors, get them to hear their voices and think about their stories, perhaps in relation to issues facing women today. Not surprisingly we soon found countless stories to share.
The flexibility of the locations and the differences in the stories has allowed us to be quite theatrical with some displays, in others you’ll simply hear from the words of the women themselves, and some will be told in the very location they happened. We’re also very excited about using social media to share women’s stories and encouraging fun and debate at our History in Heels events.”
History in Heels spans women through the centuries, beginning with the Pagan Lady to prisoners at Castle Rushen to the era of Miss Isle of Man and the bathing beauties. Other themes include working women, women in politics and women interned.
Nicola Tooms who is also curating History in Heels said;
“Through research, we have been able to uncover stories about women from all walks of life. For instance, we already know about the Gibb ladies of the Grove, but we knew very little about their ‘below the stairs’ maid Dolly. In a public appeal we were able to find more about her story – and it’s fascinating. We hope that History in Heels will open our visitor’s eyes to the remarkable lives, experiences and achievements of these women.” History in Heels marks the centenary of the National Federation of Women’s institutes and also proudly celebrates the 65th anniversary of the formation of the Isle of Man Women’s Institute from its beginnings in Lezayre in 1949.
Manx National Heritage invites visitors to look for the History in Heels logo and follow the stories through pop-up displays at Castle Rushen opening on International Women’s Day – Sunday 8 March, and the Manx Museum, and House of Manannan from 9 March. Pop-ups at The Old House of Keys, Old Grammar School, Cregneash and The Grove open from 28 March. Standard admission charges to venues apply.
Visitors who want to find out more about the project can join Jude Dicken for a whistle-stop introduction at the Manx Museum on Friday 10 April.
Check opening times and History in Heels events at www.manxnationalheritage.im. Share your stories about Island women by contacting Manx National Heritage, follow us on Facebook or tweet #historyinheels.
the long, winter nights behind us, many of us seek solace in the marvellous
displays of early snowdrops, which act as an early beacon for oncoming spring;
their nodding, delicate heads a positive indicator of better days.
so it was that a fundraising event, organised by St James Church in Dalby,
attracted many people to Dalby House, to experience a wonderful display of
snowdrops, during a glorious, early spring day.
to the private gardens of Dalby House was by kind permission of Mrs Clarke, who
generously allowedmembers of the public
to wander freely amongst the burgeoning displays of virginal blossoms.
in an idyllic, rural setting, local gardener, Michael Killey, was on hand to
explain more about his development of the garden and to answer questions about
its care and progression.
was also an opportunity to purchase ready-made potted snowdrops (two
varieties), which proved very popular and contributed further funds to this
year's church nominated charities.
as the afternoon sunshine began to sink a little, those lucky enough to secure
tickets for this sell-out event moved on to St James Church in the village,
where they were treated to a lavish afternoon tea, including generous amounts
of home-made sandwiches and cake.
raised during the afternoon will be divided between the St James Church
Restoration Fund, and this year's chosen charities, Women's Aid (IOM) and
Mannin Sponsors Africa, as they work towards providing wells amongst the
villages of Gambia.
fundraising events will be organised by St James Church throughout the year.
checking their website for details, or ask to be included on their popular
considered a pastime for women, the Isle of Man Embroiderers' Guild will be
using the celebration of their 25th anniversary to encourage more men to pick
up a needle and thread and get creative!
textile art (incorporating more contemporary techniques) is far from being
simply a woman's domain, with some of Britain's major, successful textile
artists being men.
Embroiderers' Guild itself is a worldwide educational charity, which has
existed in the UK for a century, but local celebrations, which will be centered
at The Isle Gallery at St John's,will
include a wide variety of exhibits by Island members (some of which will be for
sale) under the banner of 25 Years in
aims to illustrate the full range and skills of those from the group, opening
the possibilities which exist between the traditional and the contemporary,
illustrating conventional ideas such as Hardanger and Goldwork and the
excitement of something more experimental in an attempt to push the boundaries.
It's a month
long exhibition, with a wide appeal to both the experienced needlework artist
and those hesitating on the brink of discovery, and a chance to meet the
artists and watch members demonstrate a wide variety of techniques. Held free
of charge on each Sunday of the exhibition, it promises to be a valuable
opportunity to learn more from some of the Island's leading experts.
But there'll be
much more to see, including an unusual exhibition of colourful, 'postcards'
which were designed and embroidered by individuals from branches throughout the
British Isles in celebration of the London Olympics during 2012. Although there
were originally 3,000 entries, the exhibition will focus on the Isle of Man's
contribution, Mauritius, together with other examples which celebrates some of
the other nationalities which now make up the wider Manx community.
It's very much a
'hands-on' celebration, with visitors (gender and experience immaterial)
invited to add their own contribution to the World's Longest Embroidery, which
was awarded a Guinness World Record in 2004. For those less practiced, members
of the Embroiderers' Guild will be on hand to guide those who would like to try
their hand at design and creative stitching in relaxed surroundings.
Whilst at the
exhibition there'll also be an opportunity to study a number of 4"
'silver' samples, incorporating a vast array of techniques, designed especially
for the 25th anniversary of the Isle of Man Embroiderers' Guild.
This will be a
special time for members of the local branch, who hope that visitors will take
away a new message as the world of embroidery forges ahead into the twenty
first century; that it's creative, colourful, enjoyable, never boring and not
just for your grandmother!
whether novice or expert, always welcome.
details contact Helen on 851258 or check out their website iomeg.blogspot.com
the voyage of the replica Viking boat Odin's Raven no more than a distant memory
for some, members of the Friends of Manx National Heritage at the House of
Manannan relived this unique journey by watching the original documentary made
a brief introduction by Development and Administration Officer Nicola
Pemberton, the audience was transported back more than thirty years to relive the
highs and lows of its crew as they crossed the seas from Norway to the Isle of
was a remarkable journey, although you could be forgiven for thinking that it
was perhaps an uncommon pub crawl, as members of the crew were gifted several
bottles of fine whiskey as they visited various Scottish islands and bartered
with resident oil rigs for crates of beer.
it was, of course, far more than that, and after hearing a brief explanation of
how the crew was selected, members of the audience watched as BBC Scotland
filmed this historical journey, warts and all.
film crew was on hand to record both their triumphs and disappointments, and
the unending generosity and hospitality of both landlubbers and other sailing
companions they met on their travels.
board Odin's Raven life revolved around such things as the delights, or
otherwise, of reindeer meat, soup to the fill the hungry belly, the joy of
reading an English Sunday newspaper after six weeks at sea; and of course
the most heartbreaking moment was watching helplessly as Odin's Raven capsized
off the Isle of Skye and the crew's efforts to re-establish the vessel without
losing faith in their quest.
Raven engendered curiosity and admiration everywhere she went, but there were
some poignant moments as the crew revealed how the journey had changed their
outlook on life and forced them to re-evaluate their future.
to finish a glorious homecoming as they landed in Peel.
the documentary ended members of the audience were invited to look upon Odin's
Raven in her final resting place on the ground floor of the House of Manannan.