Valerie Caine's blog

Isle of Man: Launch of Poetry Book on World Book Day

The Enchanting Island of Cushag is the most recent publication to be launched under the auspices of Peel Heritage Trust with the Peel City Guardian, appropriately on World Book Day, at the Peel Clothworkers School.

Cushag was the pen-name of Ramsey born Josephine Kermode, one of fourteen children of the Reverend William Kermode and sister of the celebrated naturalist and archaeologist P. M. C. Kermode.

Isle of Man: Plenty of Entries at the World Bonnag Championships

The annual World Bonnag Championships was a great opportunity to combine a talent for baking with an evening's entertainment, drawing competitors and onlookers from all parts of the Island.

The Manx bonnag is a simple, un-yeasted bread which once figured prominently upon many farmhouse kitchen tables, but remains a favourite at a number of social gatherings and in some Island households.

Sponsored by Shoprite, the winners were:

Isle of Man: Celtfest - a Fresh New Name for the Island's Annual Summer Festival!

There's a fresh, new name on the festival calendar, but behind it a rich background of history and social enterprise.

Celtfest Isle of Man has been organised by Yn Chruinnaght (a group of like-minded individuals who love all things Celtic) and promises to invigorate mid-summer with a selection of new ideas and trusted favourites.

Isle of Man: William Kennish Memorial Dedication Ceremony

With the success of a local campaign to raise funds for a permanent gravestone at the burial site of one of the Island's unsung heroes, there was an opportunity for some of those involved with the project to view the finished stone before transportation to New York.

Trustees of the William Kennish Memorial Trust, Robert Stimpson and Roy Moore (a descendant of the Kennish family) invited those who had donated to this unique marker along to Manx Memorials in Peel, where Matthew Gregson, who worked on the stone, was on hand to answer questions, together with the trustees.

Isle of Man: Festival Season Springs into Life

With daffodils raising their heads well above the parapet, in a seasonal surge of expectation and solidarity, it's a sure sign that the festival season is about to spring into life.

Manx performers will be entertaining audiences both at home and abroad, including the Welsh inter-Celtic festival Cwlwm Celtaidd, headlined by Jamie Smith's Mabon, which includes talented locally based musicians Jamie Smith and Paul Rogers, along with Welsh band Calan who performed in Peel last year.

Isle of Man: The Hammer of Thor

Despite its title, this book has little to do with Norse mythology, but one of its meanings, 'fearful destruction', is a perfect epitaph of the life-changing consequences of what was termed the Great War.

The effect of war is, by its very nature, manifold, but in her new book Patricia Skillicorn reveals the true picture of how the Island fared during World War I and what became of it at the cessation of conflict; including some valuable first-hand accounts.

Isle of Man: Celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight at Dalby

There's a special event coming up at Dalby to mark Fairtrade Fortnight, where there's sure to be a warm welcome, along with a film made during a visit to Kathmandu and an opportunity to purchase some tasty Fairtrade products.

Isle of Man: Funds Secured for William Kennish Memorial

As the worldwide achievements of Manx men and women continue to bring international recognition for the Isle of Man, Bob Stimpson and Roy Moore have successfully joined forces, as trustees, to raise funds for a memorial to be dedicated to one of the Island's most prolific inventors.

The campaign's success has now secured shipment of the stone for cutting before transfer to Manx Memorials for specific work on the grave-marker's inscription by Matthew Gregson.

Isle of Man: Making Celtic Connections at one of Glasgow's Biggest Festivals

If there's one way of shaking off those winter blues, it's undoubtedly a visit to the hugely successful Scottish festival Celtic Connections, where musicians linked to the Manx music scene showed ticket holders just how vibrant the trad scene is on the Isle of Man.

Based in Glasgow, this annual folk, roots and world music festival attracts more than two thousand musicians from across the globe, for eighteen days of festival fusion and the pick of a staggering three hundred events.

Isle of Man: Candle-lit Concert Boosts Funds for Knockaloe Project

A local charity, challenged with the task of establishing a new project in the village of Patrick, recently held a special candle-lit musical evening to help raise funds for their vision regarding the World War I internment camp previously based at Knockaloe Moar Farm.

Holy Trinity Church, at the heart of the village's community, became the venue for a concert of music performed by the local, early music group Hartes Ease, who delighted everyone with a range of songs and tunes.

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