A trip round the coast of the Isle of Man

Filmed and Produced  by Peter Tucker

The Jurby Mice Take to the Air

The Flight of the Pherics – the further adventures of the Jurby Mice.
Daisy and Fred take a very unusual aerial trip round the beautiful Isle of Man, visiting many of the special attractions on the way.
Never mind the weasel and the woodpecker – the Pheric family did it first, in 2013 !

2015 Isle of Man cat coin features Selkirk Rex

2015 Manx coin featuring Selkirk Rex

The Isle of Man’s 2015 cat coin celebrates the Selkirk Rex, a modern breed that originated in Montana. The coin is available in Uncirculated copper-nickel and Proof .925 fine silver (shown).


The Isle of Man and the Pobjoy Mint continue an annual cat coin series in 2015 with a new coin featuring the Selkirk Rex.

The design is available in Uncirculated copper-nickel and Proof .999 fine silver versions.

The Selkirk Rex is a one of the newest natural breeds of cat. The breed originated in Montana in 1987 and features highly curled hair.  It is a large and solidly built breed with a very soft coat having a woolly look and feel, with loose, unstructured curls.

The temperament of the Selkirk Rex reflects those of the breeds used in its development. They have a lot of the laid-back, reserved qualities of the British Shorthair, the cuddly nature of the Persian and the playfulness of the Exotic Shorthair.

The reverse of the coin shows a Selkirk Rex Longhair cat with its kitten.

The obverse of the coin carries an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, Lord of Mann, by Ian Rank-Broadley.

Both coins measure 38.6 millimeters in diameter; the Uncirculated coin weighs 28.28 grams and the Proof silver coin weighs 31.103 grams.

The Uncirculated coin has an unlimited mintage and retails for $16.95.

The Proof silver coin is limited to a mintage of 10,000 pieces and retails for $79.

At time of publication, 2014 coins remain available as well, featuring the Snowshoe cat; the Uncirculated 2014 coin cost $16.95 and the Proof 2014 coin was priced $89.

To order either 2015 or 2014 coins, visit the Pobjoy Mint website.

Crafty Cat is an Isle of Man company specialising in the production of Manx Cross-stitch kits in a series entitled ‘Around the Island in Cross-stitch’. Bringing you a selection of Manx Heritage News.

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Statue commissioned to remember ‘brave’ Manx miners

stone face with beard

A stone statue has been commissioned in the east of the Isle of Man as a tribute to the "bravery" of those who worked in the Great Laxey mines.

The miner, which will be erected on a plinth in the heart of Laxey, is currently being constructed in Bali by an artist called Ongky Wijana.

The Great Laxey Mine employed more than 600 miners between 1825 and 1929.

Co-ordinator Ivor Hankinson said: "The miners were so brave, and this statue will mean they are remembered forever."

He added: "In addition we will have a plaque on the wall showing the names of 32 people who died in the mine. I think that is important because they did so much for the Isle of Man and worked so hard at a very difficult job."

Crafty Cat is an Isle of Man company specialising in the production of Manx Cross-stitch kits in a series entitled ‘Around the Island in Cross-stitch’. Bringing you a selection of Manx Heritage News.

Once erected on its plinth, the stone miner statue will stand at about 13ft high.

It will replace a wooden carving of a miner which was removed in 2008 after it disintegrated with age.

Ongky Wijana’s statue is under construction in Bali

Funding for the statue was provided by a benefactor, a Laxey resident who left money for the project in her will.

"This lady died in 2012 at the age of 97, but she would have been so pleased that one of her final wishes is coming to fruition," said Mr Hankinson.

"She was saddened when the wooden miner had to be taken down so this would have meant a lot to her – as it will for everybody in the village."

Stone Carver Ongky Wijana said: "I was honoured to be asked to do the Laxey piece. It’s a big public piece of work so I’m very proud that people from all over will be able to see it and it will represent Laxey, which is such a beautiful town."

The Laxey mines were among the riches sources of zinc, lead and silver anywhere in the British Isles in the latter half of the 19th Century.

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A De-Tailed Account of Manx Cats

A De-tailed Account of Manx Cats @ CraftyCat.im

Manx cats have long been a source of fascination to both curious onlookers and cat lovers alike, and although now more prevalent in the USA than the Isle of Man, this new book is likely to draw readers from both sides of the Atlantic.

Much has been written about their distinctive characteristics which doggedly link them with the Island, but this inexpensive, little volume would be a purr-fect addition to any bookshelf.

Split into bite-sized morsels devoted to the Manx cat’s history, their contemporary setting and folklore, Sara Goodwins has provided a gently humorous portrayal of this much-loved feline with its untroubled demeanour and curious traits. There’s a selection of anecdotes to whet your appetite and some interesting suggestions as to the possible origin of the singular Manx moggy, not only renowned for its physical attributes, but also as an excellent mouser.

A cat-alogue of useful information, its pages are awash with colourful photos and comical pictures of regional souvenirs, providing an insight into this iconic symbol of the Isle of Man which still holds its appeal in the twenty first century.

Presented to us on innumerable postcards, stamps and mementoes from the once burgeoning visiting industry, the Manx cat has lost none of its attraction, demonstrated recently by a children’s short story competition which attracted several entries, including that of Megan Kneale of St Mary’s RC School in Douglas. Her winning entry entitled Kayt Manninagh has been included in the book.

Available at many Island bookshops – re-tailing at £4.95.

Valerie Caine

© August 2013

(Courtesy of Manx Tails)

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The Jurby Mice Official Video

Welcome to the Jurby Mice Official Video by Jean Tucker

Royal relocation’ in Ramsey

Kings of Mann @ Crafty Cat.im The sculpture of two Kings of Mann and the Isles who had strong links to Ramsey has been relocated from Ramsey town hall to the Courthouse grounds in Parliament Street.

King Godred Crovan, also known as King Orry, and his son, the statesman King Olaf, are depicted in the sculpture, the work of local artist Amanda Barton.

Crafty Cat is an Isle of Man company specialising in the production of Manx Cross-stitch kits in a series entitled ‘Around the Island in Cross-stitch’. Bringing you a selection of Manx Heritage News.

The piece was commissioned by Ramsey Town Commissioners in 2000 to mark the passing into the new millennium and references the change through the images of the old warrior King Orry and the politically astute young King Olaf playing chess. The younger man appears to be playing classical chess, the elder the ancient Viking game of Merels or mill. Other subtle cues, such as the figures’ different clothing, weapons and accoutrements, also hint at the changing times.

Ramsey Town Commissioners’ chairman Captain Nigel Malpass said: ‘Such a magnificent work of art as this has long merited a more prominent setting where as many members of the public could admire the artist’s skills and gain a sense of the epic significance of these two rulers.

‘Amanda Barton’s sculpture of these two legendary figures in Manx history representing changing times could not be a more fitting metaphor for the regeneration of Ramsey town centre. Central to that regeneration, which continues apace, has been the transformation of the Courthouse grounds, which will now serve as a worthy new “home” for two Norse kings who shaped the destiny of the Isle of Man.’

Godred Croven

The Chronicles of Mann record three invasions of the Island by King Godred Crovan, the third occasion, known as the Battle of Sky Hill, in 1079 when he gathered 300 men and fought a battle in ‘the port called Ramsey…threw the Manx men into disorder and compelled them to fly’.


Of King Olaf the Chronicles of Mann refer to a reign of unbroken peace; a king who founded Rushen Abbey and Castle Rushen and who was killed in Ramsey in 1152 after three of his nephews came from Dublin with a number of followers ‘and demanded from the King one half of the whole kingdom of the Isles for themselves.’

For more information about the sculpture visit ramsey.gov.im


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Dunkirk ship Mona’s Queen memorial held on Isle of Man

Hundreds of people have attended a memorial service on the Isle of Man dedicated to the crew who died on board the Mona’s Queen in World War II.

The Steam Packet vessel was sunk near France during the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940 after it struck a German mine.

Seventeen of the vessel’s 24 crew were from the Isle of Man.

In 2010, the ship’s starboard anchor was recovered from the sea and restored before being returned to the island as a permanent memorial.

Speaking in 2011, former Steam Packet chief, Captain Hamish Ross, said: "These men would have been sailing between Douglas and Liverpool on normal ferry business and a month or two later they were on their way into Dunkirk.

Crafty Cat is an Isle of Man company specialising in the production of Manx Cross-stitch kits in a series entitled ‘Around the Island in Cross-stitch’. Bringing you a selection of Manx Heritage News.

"It was an absolute hell of a place where they were attacked from the air, the water and the shore."

The ship was one of eight from the Isle of Steam Packet company which rescued a total of 25,000 troops during the evacuation.

Two other Steam Packet ships, the Fenella and the King Orry, were also lost.

Port St Mary Commissioners held the annual service at Kallow Point where the anchor now rests.

The Mona’s Queen was one of eight Steam Packet ships involved in Dunkirk

Rushen MHK Laurence Skelly said it was a "fitting tribute to the brave crew who lost their lives".

He said: "The anchor faces Cregneash where many of the crew were from and is surrounded by the sea. It is a fitting tribute and the anchor’s spiritual home.

"This is a very important part of Manx history and I was delighted to see so many paying their respects."

As part of the service the Steam Packet’s Mannanan ferry sailed past and sounded its horn as a mark of respect.

The anchor, which was restored at Cammell Laird in Merseyside where the ship was built in 1934, arrived on the island in October 2011 and the memorial was unveiled on 29 May 2012.

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The Cymric Cat Breed

Although the Cymric is sometimes said to be just a long-haired variety of the Manx cat, Cymrics are increasingly being recognized in breed registries. This article gives an overview of the breed’s history, characteristics, and unique features.

Cymeric @ CraftyCat.im

The Cymric is a little-known breed of long-haired cat. One reason that it’s relatively unknown outside cat fancy circles is that some people disagree that the Cymric is a separate breed. These cats are sometimes considered to be a type of Manx cat with longer than usual hair. As a result, Cymrics are sometimes called Manx Longhair or Long-haired Manx cats. As many people are aware, the Manx breed is famous for having no tail, and indeed the Cymric breed is also traditionally tailless. Other unique characteristics, however, make the Cymric more than worthy of its own special place in cat breed registries.

Tailless Cats

Actually, to say that the Cymric has no tail is a bit misleading. Cymric cats can be born with tails that are nearly as long as the tails of other breeds. Because the traditional form of the breed has little to no tail, however, Cymric cats with long tails are usually not considered valuable by cat breeders. Originally, Cymrics came from the Isle of Man, near Wales, and the tailless trait developed as a genetic mutation. Since the gene for short or absent tails is dominant, this unusual physical characteristic came to be a hallmark of the breed. However, if a cat inherits the tailless gene from both parents, it will die before birth, resulting in miscarriage. Therefore, breeders select for this trait carefully; nevertheless, Cymric litters often contain one or more miscarried kittens.

Cymric Personality

In terms of personality, Cymric cats bear a strong resemblance to the Manx breed. Both breeds are playful and friendly, while maintaining independence. Healthy Cymrics are very agile and can jump better than many cat breeds. However, Cymrics are to a certain extent susceptible to diseases that can inhibit their ability to move. One example is the spinal deformation known as Spina Bifida, which causes the vertebrae to have abnormal gaps between them. Even in healthy Cymrics, the vertebrae are shorter than normal, giving their backs a hunched appearance. This can occasionally affect the way the cats move, as well, but it is not considered a deformity. In fact, the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) indicates that an ideal Cymric should have noticeably longer hind legs than front legs.

Highlights from the ACFA Standard

Because of its long hair, the Cymric is arguably more attractive than the Manx, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that cat breeders and fanciers began to show this breed at cat shows. According to the ACFA standard, the Cymric’s flank should have a greater depth than any other breed. That means that the side of the cat in between the ribs and the hip should be large in proportion to the rest of the cat’s body. For example, many cats get thinner in the flank as their bodies taper behind the ribs. In Cymric, this should not happen. The ACFA also prefers Cymrics to have a faded color, although many colors are possible.

Cymrics in the Home

When caring for a Cymric in the home, the Cymric’s long hair needs to be groomed at least once or twice per week, making it a more time intensive breed to maintain than a standard Manx. Like the Manx, however, Cymrics are very loyal and loving. Some will make noises similar to growling if they notice an intruder, and they can even be taught to fetch and do other simple "dog-like" tricks. These characteristics make Cymrics good companions for cat fanciers and families alike.

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Meet Troubs the Manx Cat who has been invited to the prize giving for the winner of a Manx Cat story, included in the new publication ‘A De-tailed Account of Manx Cats’.

Troubsie and A De-tailed Account of Manx Cats @ CraftyCat.im


A prize giving ceremony will be held in Lexicon Bookshop at 3.00pm on Saturday 16 March for Megan Kneale winner of the Manx Cat Story Competition. Megan’s story Kayt Manninagh, was unanimously declared the winner by the panel of judges.

The competition challenged the island’s children to write their own version of why the Manx cat has no tail.Over 100 entries were received from children in years 10 and 11 and ranged from fairy tales to science fiction, including characters as different as Usain Bolt and Dr Who. Against stiff competition the three judges felt that Megan was a worthy winner.

Mr Tony Wild, MLC and Member of the Department of the Department of Education and Children, will award Megan her prize of a £50 voucher to be spent on books, as well as present her with a copy of A De-tailed Account of Manx Catsin which her story appears. The book is published to coincide with the prize giving.

Also gracing the occasion will be glamour puss, Troubs, the Manx cat who stars on the front cover of A De-tailed Account of Manx Cats. She will be accompanied by her social secretary (a.k.a. owner), Peter Tucker.

Further Notes:

  • Megan Kneale was eleven when she entered the competition and attended St Mary’s RC School in Douglas.
  • The judges were David Ashworth of Lexicon Bookshop, Mary Cousins of the Family Library and Sara Goodwins of Loaghtan Books.
  • A De-tailed Account of Manx Catsis published on 16 March 2013 and divided into three sections: the history of Manx cats, the animal today and folklore concerning why the cat has no tail. The winning story is included as modern folklore.

Further information from Sara Goodwins, Loaghtan Books, 020 8661 6102, [email protected]

A De-tailed Account of Manx Cats @ CraftyCat.im