Monday, May 30, 2016

Tallis Consort Spring Concert in Ramsey

The first of their two spring concerts was held in St Paul's Church in Ramsey, where an attentive audience enjoyed an extensive programme involving a range of choral pieces.

Members of the acapella choir were challenged by a diverse collection of work, created by a wide selection of composers from the fifteenth to the twentieth century.

By concentrating on such a variety of early music, Tallis Consort brought a wealth of rich resource to its Island audiences through their occasional concerts at selected venues.

Composers ranged from (amongst others) Rachmaninov, Thomas Tallis, Jacques Arcadelt and Giovanni Pergolesi.

The first half of the concert was brought to a close by the performance of Rejoice in the Lamb, a striking, but lengthy composition, by the contemporary composer Benjamin Britten; based on the poem Jubilate Agno by Christopher Smart.

Meanwhile, Jack Oades, the current Organ Scholar at St German's Cathedral, made his own contribution to the evening, utilising his talents as a composer, choir member, organist and as joint Musical Director.

He will be leaving the Island later in the summer, however, to take the position of Organ Scholar at Croydon Minster.

(Photo courtesy of Tallis Consort)

(Courtesy of the North Western Chronicle)

Valerie Caine
© May 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016

Support the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway and Help Secure its Future

With the future of the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway in jeopardy earlier this year, after Douglas Borough Council announced that they would no longer operate the service, Isle of Man Transport has secured a license to run the world famous heritage system for this season.

The shock announcement by Douglas Borough Council divided supporters and critics, but after much discussion behind the scenes by a number of influential people, the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway has been given a reprieve for this year. Its long term future, however, still hangs in the balance, with public support central to its continuation, notwithstanding the prospective re-modelling of Douglas promenade.

Three local companies, Okell's, Conister Bank and Athol Garage, have pledged their support by advertising on the trams themselves, with local radio station 3FM and Island photographer, David Lloyd-Jones, supporting the cost of printing the timetable and supply of photography respectively.

Other organisations interested in offering support by advertising on this historic transport system should contact Daphne Caine, by phoning (01624) 694322 or emailing

The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway was built by entrepreneur Thomas Lightfoot in 1876, but was purchased by the Douglas and Laxey Coast Electric Tramway (now the MER) in 1894. Douglas Corporation (the forerunner of Douglas Borough Council) subsequently took over the service in 1900, commencing operation two years later.

Full details of fares (including season tickets) and timetables, available from the Isle of Man Transport website, or at both the Welcome Centre in the Sea Terminal, or Derby Castle terminus.

Further to the long term future of the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway, online petitions (both Island and off-Island)  have been created by the Manx Electric Railway Society to garner public support for their retention (see Links at

Valerie Caine
© May 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

One million records on iMuseum

Manx National Heritage, the organisation responsible for the Isle of Man’s heritage and culture, has today announced the release of the one millionth record onto its collections online website, iMuseum ( 
The one millionth record went live with the addition of the nearly 9,000 motorsport records launched in time for TT 2016, Second World War Internee Biographies and Parish Register entries from the 1920s.  
The records join over 150 years of Manx Newspapers searchable on iMuseum, 17th to 20th century baptism, marriage and burial records, records of the Island’s war memorials, almost 800 artworks from the Island’s National Art Collection and thousands of images of Manx people and places from the National Photographic Archive.
Edmund Southworth, Director of Manx National Heritage said:
Launched just over three years ago, the iMuseum website is the largest technological project ever undertaken by the Isle of Man public sector and now provides unparalleled access to over one million records.  This remarkable achievement doesn’t just provide a treasure trove of stories from the Isle of Man’s past, but it also joins many different sources of information into one gateway. No other country has achieved this.” 
Since the latest version of the iMuseum website went live in November 2015, Manx National Heritage has attracted almost 24,000 online visitors from all over the world in just six months with 673,856 pages of information being viewed.  Each page offers the option for online visitors to comment and share what they discover on social media.  iMuseum is also now mobile responsive, working on smartphones, tablets and mobile devices.  
The iMuseum content and website has been jointly funded by Isle of Man Government, the charitable funds of the Manx Museum and National Trust and the Friends of Manx National Heritage.
Project partners currently working with MNH to deliver iMuseum include Isle of Man Government Government Technology Services, Knowledge Integration (software), Gooii (web design), Olive Software and a variety of specialist companies that assist with the digitisation of collections.
Partnership support is also received from the Isle of Man Family History Society, the Isle of Man Government Preservation of War Memorials Committee and the Genealogical Society of Utah, other online providers, as well as through many thousands of hours of volunteer time.
Edmund Southworth continued:
“iMuseum is a remarkable example of the public and private sector working together to deliver a service to help generations of people to research the Isle of Man and their Manx connections online”.
The million records and thousands of images on iMuseum are all FREE to the public to access and download online.  Full access to the Newspapers & Publications on iMuseum is by subscription with four subscription options available: 1 day access, 7 days access, 30 days access and 365 days access, with prices starting from only 28p per day for an annual subscription.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Family Affair Wildlife Photography Winners 2016

Manx Wildlife Trust held their nature photography competition reveal at the Ayres Visitor centre on Sunday 22nd May. The focus of the competition was the Trust’s Cooildarry reserve just south of Kirk Michael. Lara Howe (Marine Officer) said “We wanted to promote the Trusts reserves and get people out and about seeing nature up close. This all links in with our 30 Day Wild Campaign in June”. The reserve is made up of 18 acres of woodland with waterfalls and a riverside walk, teeming with life including over 50 recorded species of birds. The standard of imagery was high with some great and varied images produced; making it a tough challenge for our judges to decide on the winners. It’s amazing to see what wonderful wildlife can be seen on our doorstep.

The Trust’s CEO Tim Graham revealed the photographs that were entered into the competition giving some insightful comments. The winners for each category were announced and the prizes awarded. In the Budding photographer category (under 11’s) William Kermode’s photograph of a garlic flower won bested on its composition and clarity, whilst in the adult category Suzanne McKnight’s image of a frog in the undergrowth captured the hearts of the judges. Tim Graham (CEO) said “it is great to see such eager photographers, not only are they getting our in nature but it photos like these that really help other people understand how great Manx wildlife can be. It is fantastic people will be able to see them at the airport and helps highlight International Day of Biodiversity”.

It turned out to be quite a family affair at the prize ceremony at the Ayres Visitor Centre, amongst the basking lizards and hunting gannets. It became apparent that William Kermode is the nephew of Suzanne McKnight and so they are quite the family of wildlife photographers!

Manx Wildlife Trust would like to thank all who entered the competition. Thanks of course go to the judges for their deliberations and RL 360o for sponsoring the prizes, and a special note of thanks goes to Michael Howland for giving the initial talk at the launch event on 2nd May, getting our creative juices flowing, and for helping with the judging.
- END -

Contact information
Lara Howe – Marine Officer
Office: 01624 844432

Or Pashala Yates
Office: 01624 844432

Images are included for use with this news release.  They are granted on a one-time use basis, in association with this release and the photographer must be credited.

Attached Photos:
Suzanne McKnight Adult Winner_frog This is the Adult winning photo. Frogs are an important indicator for the health of the environment, and especially our dubs/ponds.
William Kermode Budding Photographer Winner_Smellie. Wild Garlic is one of the scents of spring, and not only overpowering with its smell of garlic, nearer the TT it starts to die back and can be quite notorious for becoming more smelly!
Suzanne McKnight with prize suzanne won at £50 photography supply voucher thanks to RL 360.
Alison Kermode accepting for William with prize William’s mum accepted the prize, which is a bug hotel and hopefully will enable William to get more photographs from his garden.

The Manx Wildlife Trust (MWT)
MWT is the leading nature conservation charity on the Isle of Man and whilst it is a fully independent, Manx charity it also benefits from its partnership with 46 other Wildlife Trusts throughout the British Isles. 

One of the Trust’s main aims is to acquire and manage nature reserves and safe sites for wildlife, conserving some of the best habitats and species on the Island.  To this effect, the Trust is currently actively managing 23 local reserves encompassing almost 300 acres of land.  The Trust is also committed to providing environmental education and awareness throughout the local community.

Stay connected.  Find us on Twitter, Facebook or visit our Website

2016 North American Manx Association Convention Workshops

2016 North American Manx Association Convention

Thu., Jun. 23, 9 a.m. - Jun. 26 | More dates
174 West St
O'Callaghan Annapolis Hotel
$15 for Manx Culture and History Workshops; Pricing for other events varies | 703-717-0074

The Manx -- the people of the Isle of Man, between Britain and Ireland -- are coming to Annapolis. The biennial convention of the North American Manx Association will bring people of Manx descent from all over the U.S. and Canada to O'Callaghan's Hotel. The convention features an afternoon of public workshops on Manx culture, history (think Vikings), language (Manx Gaelic), crafts (kids & adults) and traditional music June 25, from 1-4 pm. Come learn about this unique people, place and culture!
All workshops free to NAMA Members, $15 per adult for non-members
1 p.m. Failt Erriu dys Ellan Vannin!  Kelly McCarthy of Port St. Mary, Isle of Man and Alexandria, Virginia introduces her beautiful native home and what makes it unique. Learn about famous Manx and Manx-Americans and the heritage the Manx brought with them to North America.
1: 30 p.m. Vikings – From Mannin to Maryland. The Isle of Man was once the center of a great Viking kingdom that stretched from Ireland  to the Orkneys in Scotland. Learn about Manx Vikings and a chance to be a Viking right here on the Chesapeake Bay — if you're brave enough!
2 p.m. Manx Gaelic in 30 minutes! Bill Cassidy introduces the Manx language, Gaelg, a sister tongue of Irish and Scottish Gaelic. Learn a bit about the history of Manx Gaelic and pick up some important phrases. We'll have a braew braew time and you'll soon have Manx dy liooar, whooiney!

2:30 p.m. Gow Arrane: Learn Manx Songs.  Manx singers are making a big impression these at festivals all over the Celtic world and beyond. This is your chance to learn a few songs in Manx. We’ll lead you through a few simple song or two line by line and word by word until you’re ready to sing.
3-3:15 p.m. Coffee (or Tea) Break / Traa Caffee ny Tey
3:15 p.m. Room 1: Henry Collister: Maryland's Colonial Manx Naturalist. Dr. Ellen Lawler introduces us to Henry Callister, a Manx immigrant who arrived in Oxford, Maryland in 1742. Callister was a profuse letter writer, a merchant, musician, and a pioneering Colonial-era naturalist.
3:15 p.m.-5 p.m. Room 2: Manx Crafts for All Ages — Come build and create with us as Chicago's Margie Martinson-Brezina leads adults and children in a crafts workshop. We will build Manx-style thatched cottages for birds and decorate home decor with Manx themes. Supplies provided!

4 p.m.-5 p.m.  Room 1: Manx Traditional Tunes and Session — Join Ed Bradshaw and Bill Cassidy in this hands-on workshop on Manx traditional instrumental music. We'll learn a few Manx tunes and perhaps get a chance to play for our supper (or at least a pint). Bring your instrument(s)!