Manx Cross-stitch Kits perfect as Christmas gifts

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Crafty Cat are proud to offer a range of delightful Cross stitch kits featuring well known scenes from the Isle of ManGroudle Glen @ Crafty Why not visit the Crafty Cat website and view the range of Cross-stitch kits available. Perfect Christmas gifts for the cross-stitch fan or craft enthusiast!

Traditional Fairy Beliefs Isle of Man

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Traditional Fairy Beliefs with Professor Ronald Hutton

The Isle of Man is famous as an island full of fairy traditions: in some ways it may be regarded as having the greatest concentration of them in the British Isles. It therefore seems a good place in which to address the problem of what traditional fairy beliefs – those shared by ordinary people until recent times – actually were.

In an enchanting lecture on Friday 14th January 2011 at the Gaiety Theatre, popular British historian Professor Ronald Hutton will explore the intriguing subject of Traditional Fairy Beliefs, including the value that fairy stories served, whether ‘real’ or not.

Professor Hutton lectures at the University of Bristol and frequently appears as a consultant on British television and radio. He is also an author and an authority in a range of subjects, including Britain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, ancient and medieval paganism, folklore and the global context of witchcraft beliefs. Professor Hutton holds a fellowship at Magdalen College, Oxford and is also a Commissioner of English Heritage.

Anthea Young of Manx National Heritage said;

“Professor Hutton’s timely lecture will be delivered in the centenary of Sophia Morrison much loved story book ‘Manx Fairy Tales’ which was originally published in October 1911.

Sophia Morrison not only shared Professor Hutton’s view that the Island is an exceptional place for folklore and fairy beliefs, but both authors and storytellers demonstrate how an audience can be enchanted by those with a passion for life and literature. I am among many, who will be looking forward to Professor Hutton’s captivating presentation on another fascinating subject.”

‘THERE is at least one spot in the world where Fairies are still believed in, and where, if you look in the right places, they may still be found, and that is the little island from which these stories come – Ellan Vannin, the Isle of Mann…’

Sophia Morrison 1911

Tickets to this lecture are priced at £10 per adult, £5 for members of the Friends of Manx National Heritage and £5 per child, and would make an excellent Christmas gift or stocking filler for those with an interest in our Island’s heritage. All tickets are available at the Manx Museum Heritage Shop, House of Manannan or online at

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Design and Make a Christmas Decoration Competition

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Design a stocking competition @ CraftyCat.imWith Christmas just around the corner it’s time to get creative. Manx National Heritage invites entries for their annual festive competition, which this year is to design and make a Christmas decoration.

The competition is open to all ages and will be judged in three age groups, children under 8, children 8+ and adults with fantastic prizes to be won. All of the entries will be displayed in a colourful Christmas exhibition at the House of Manannan.

Katie King, Community Outreach and Learning Support Officer said,

“We want the decorations to be as bright, textured and colourful as possible. They can be any shape and made from anything you can get your hands on. You could knit one, construct one out of paper mache or draw, colour, paint or glue materials onto our ‘Bauble Template’. Templates can be picked up from the House of Manannan and the Manx Museum or printed from This really is a competition to use all sorts of materials – anything goes!”

‘Design and make a Christmas decoration’ competition will open on 13th November. All entries should be submitted to the House of Manannan. Closing date for entries is Friday 3rd December. Winners will be announced on Saturday 4th December at the House of Manannan before the Peel Commissioner’s Lantern Competition and Parade.

Along with many other festivities, The House of Manannan are also supporting Age Concern’s Support Our Stocking Appeal. From 13th November there will be a collection box in the reception area for your gift donations, which will then be delivered by Age Concern to residents and members of Ny Kaire Thieyn in Peel.

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Cooish week Isle of Man

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Cooish Week – the main events!

Cooish Week @ Crafty

Cooish Week 2010 is in full flow, and has so far featured a number of Manx Gaelic classes and conversational evenings.
However, the annual celebration of the Island’s language and culture also includes music, which takes centre stage from now on.
This evening (Friday) sees the ‘Arrane son Mannin’, or ‘Song for Mann’, competition for original compositions in Manx, at the Masonic Hall in Peel.
Then tomorrow, there’s the traditional Cooish concert, featuring Irish singer and button accordian player Breanndan O’Beaglaoich, at Peel’s Centenary Centre.
Both those events start at 8pm.
This year’s Ned Maddrell lecture will be given by Dr Rob Amery from the University of Adelaide, on the subject of indigenous, Aboriginal languages in South Australia.
Director of the Cooish Phil Gawne says the range and quality of those involved helps emphasise that Manx Gaelic is more than just a small language from a country in the Irish Sea (play audio file):
The Ned Maddrell lecture will be given at St John’s Mill, between 2pm and 3pm tomorrow.

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Manx National Heritage launch new edition of Living with the Wire: Civilian Internment on the Isle of Man

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Living with the Wire @ Crafty Cat Isle of ManThis fascinating updated publication reveals how internment was used in wartime by governments to protect their own citizens against resident foreigners of enemy nationality. In both World Wars fenced-off camps in the Isle of Man served as secure detention centres. From 1914 to 1919 twenty nine thousand German and Austrian men were held here, and from 1940 tens of thousands of Germans, Austrians, Italians, Hungarians, Finns and Japanese found themselves behind barbed wire stockades.

Yvonne Cresswell, Manx National Heritage Curator for Social History and author of ‘Living with the Wire’ said:

“In the early 1990’s civilian internment on the Isle of Man was an important aspect of Manx history that was slowly fading from the public consciousness. As each generation of Manx and ex-internees with firsthand experience of ‘living with the wire’ passed away, the subject appeared to be ready to become a lost footnote in 20th Century History”.

Back in 1994, Manx National Heritage staged the ‘Living with the Wire’ exhibition at the Manx Museum, an exhibition which was only possible due to the great generosity of many people. These included ex-internees, Manx civilian staff, military personnel and all their families, who shared their memories, artwork, documents, craftwork and lives to provide a fascinating insight into life on the Island during the two world wars.

Yvonne continued,

“I thought that interest would peak in the months after the exhibition, but I was thankfully wrong, and year on year the enquiries from researchers of all ages and levels grew steadily. A significant number of enquiries are also received from the families and descendents of ex-internees wanting to discover what their parents, grandparents or great grandparents experienced on the Island or to generously donate objects, artwork or documents to the collections of Manx National Heritage. As a result, the rich and varied story of those who lived behind the wire is constantly growing and the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle, which seemed so fragmented in 1994, are slowly coming together. This updated new book is dedicated to all those who have generously shared their part in ‘Living with the Wire’”.

‘Living with the Wire’ provides a compelling account of life in internment camps on the Isle of Man including full colour illustrations, photographs and internment art.

Living with the Wire is priced at only £10 and is available exclusively from the Manx Museum Heritage Shop, House of Manannan and online at

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Collection of Traditional Manx Songs

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Manx songs @‘Ree ny Marrey’ (King of the Sea) is an exciting collection of traditional Manx songs with eye catching illustrations by local artist Juan Moore. Presented in both Manx Gaelic and English this substantial publication also incorporates piano arrangements and chords for guitar and keyboard.
This is another book from the Manx Heritage Foundation stable which was so popular when initially introduced in 1994 that it has now been revised and reissued. Although primarily directed at children the book should appeal to anyone, and includes additional material chosen and arranged by Fenella Bazin, providing musicians with countless opportunities to learn more about Manx music in an easy format.
Incorporating translations, descriptions and valuable historical details about their collection ‘Ree ny Marrey’ will have a special appeal for singing groups, choirs and churches. Assistance with pronunciation is also available at the Manx Heritage Foundation’s website.
Priced at £12 ‘Ree ny Marrey’ is available at bookshops across the Island and from the Manx Heritage Foundation.

Manx Signs

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Signage is now a daily part of our lives, commanding our movements and providing useful information. It’s also an ongoing challenge to the Manx Language Officer, Adrian Cain, in his quest to see more of the Island’s native language visible to the general public.
He commented, “Signage is important from a minority language point of view as it lends credibility and visibility to languages, which are often quite hidden”.
Recently though the promotion of the language has suffered one or two setbacks with the downplaying of Manx Gaelic on the Island’s buses, downgraded after a number of complaints from customers, although it still remains a feature of the new timetable. ‘Bus Vannin’ operates under the wing of the recently formed Department of Culture and Community.
Adrian’s disappointment was compounded by the recent re-branding exercise undertaken by ‘Isle of Man Creameries’ when the Manx language was unexpectedly dropped from their milk cartons.
Despite this minor fluctuation all is not lost with the recent introduction of some new ‘No Smoking’ (Jaaghey Meelowit) signs in Manx Gaelic positioned at the entrance to the Strand Shopping Centre. Adopted as part of an on-going project to promote a Manx identity for the shopping centre, Adrian remarked, “It’s always good to see the language being used in innovative and exciting ways. Not only does it get people thinking, but it also demonstrates that the language can be used in a wide variety of contexts”.  However, Adrian may still have some work to do as a number of shoppers thought that ‘Jaaghey Meelowit’ was actually Polish!


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Pell Heritage Isle of Man

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Keen local amateur historian Fred Palmer was a well known character in the town of Peel, remembered for his popular publishing business and his long term involvement with the ‘Peel City Guardian’.
Over many years Palmer collected numerous stories and anecdotes about Peel and its people, which he subsequently published in a selection of volumes during his lifetime. But upon his death Palmer left a wealth of untouched material, some of which has now been transcribed and edited by the curator of the ‘Leece Museum’ Roy Baker and published under the title ‘Peel Three’.
Compact, but informative, this latest volume covers just a small area of the town, exploring yesteryear and evoking rich memories of a bygone age, with the promise of more to come in subsequent volumes.
Published in conjunction with the Manx Heritage Foundation and with the blessing of Palmer’s sister Emilie Pugh, the book is priced at £5.00, with proceeds invested in refurbishment of the ‘Leece Museum’. ‘Peel Three’ is available from various outlets in Peel including the ‘Leece Museum’ situated on the East Quay.


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Manannan’s Cloak: An anthology of Manx literature

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Manannan’s Cloak brings together a range of texts in the Gaelic language of the Isle of Man from the earliest writings to the present day, along with their English translations. Written Manx arrived comparatively late, and the size of the Island’s population was not conducive to the widespread development of Manx literature.
Nevertheless, the amount of Manx literature collected here may come as a surprise. The texts in Manx are linked by a narrative which places them in the context of Manx history, and includes observations about the language and the people who used it by a number of officials and visitors to the Island, like George Borrow.
In recent years there has been a positive attitude to the language which has led to the development of a modern literature in which books are produced professionally to meet a growing demand.
The book has been edited by Manx speaker, broadcaster, musician and author Robert Corteen Carswell and produced with the financial assistance of the Manx Heritage Foundation.
An important book for anyone interested in the Isle of Man, its people and language.
Manannan’s Cloak: An anthology of Manx literature ISBN 978 1 903427 49 1 £16.99 paperback
Manannan’s Cloak is the second volume of Francis Boutle’s Lesser Used Languages of Europe series, which includes anthologies of literature in Breton and Galician. In preparation are anthologies in Basque, Scottish Gaelic, the Norman language of the Channel Islands, Esperanto and Occitan.
Visit for a list of their books in print.

Online Maps Isle of Man

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The Isle of Man is mapped out and available online

Isle of Man @ Crafty

In the next stage Dan will add features like woodland, streams and footpaths

For the first time a comprehensive series of Isle of Man maps have been made available online.

The project has taken Manxman Dan Karran around five years so far and is not finished yet.

In the next stage he will add features like woodland, streams, footpaths, parks, tourist attractions and shops.

Dan said: "It has been a massive undertaking, I have spent a lot of time driving around the roads of the Island with a GPS unit".

He added: "I’m not the only person involved- in 2008 a group mapped the Island’s roads from end to end over the course of a few days.

I’ve been building the map as a hobby and I’d love to see others making use of it

Dan Karran

"We also have a walker mapping out countryside footpaths and a cyclist who has mapped all sorts of detail around Port St Mary."

The aim of is to start making maps free and available for people to use online but Dan hopes the project will grow over time as people contribute information.

"I’ve been building the map as a hobby and I’d love to see others making use of it. I’d like to get some local businesses onto the map and best of all-it’s free."

Isle of Man @ Crafty

The OpenStreetMap works on similar principals to Wikipedia

One of the purposes of the OpenStreetMap project was to start a new map which was free of the restrictions that maps usually have.

Maps created as part of the project are available for anyone to use under a Creative Commons Attribution – Share-Alike.

This arrangement means that anyone is free to use the data as long as they say where it came from and offer any further improvements back to the project in a similar concept to Wikipedia.

During his time working on Dan says he has worked with a range of different people.

From enthusiasts who have walked the streets to help with mapping, cartographers at the Isle of Man government who have given access to aerial photography and even the team involved with Google maps.

"We have been given some very positive feedback so far- someone said it is one of the best maps of its kind available of the Island".

All map images used in this article are copyright of OpenStreetMap and contributors, CC-by-SA.

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