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Ida Arden (born 1921) recalls memories of her life in the Isle of Man

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Date(s): between 1970 and 1990

Scope & Content: Track 1: Ida, aged 74, talks about being born at The Cooill; moving to ‘River’s Bank’, East Baldwin where there was a tin bath and outdoor toilet; garden at East Baldwin; Clucas’ Laundry where her father was manager of the dyeing and dry-cleaning department; her schooldays at Murray’s Road School, Douglas; playing children’s games at The Claddagh, The Plantation and in Cronkbourne Village; ‘old lady’ Kitty Canon; pranks on the villagers; building the Cronkbourne Village bonfire in November; Christmas at the Cronkbourne Village hall; Easter tradition to walk to Port Soderick; gathering herbs for ‘old Mrs Kelly’ which she made into herb beer; Mrs Hunstall’s shop and Mr Hunstall the postman; Frank Bullock and Walter Magee [scurrilous content]; Aunt Emily and her sister Mrs Kermode supporting Braddan at the football matches; house flooded by the river; wooden bungalow near Mill Road; row of ‘dry toilets’ in the Village; neighbours; working in Clucas’ Laundry; country dances at Abbeylands, The Braaid and Marown; dances in Douglas at the Palais de Danse, Palace Ballroom, Derby Castle, Cunningham’s Camp and Collinson’s; cinemas in Strand Street, Douglas such as The Strand, The Picture House; The Regal in Victoria Street; The Royalty in Walpole Avenue; elected chair on Kirk Braddan Council; Second World War and the arrival of forces training in the Isle of Man; blackout restrictions; joining the Wrens (Women’s Royal Naval Service) stationed on the Promenade and on Douglas Head; time spent in Dover as a Wren; working in the ‘confidential book office’ on Douglas Head; her fear of internees; prank pretending to get married on New Year’s Day 1949 at St Luke’s; wedding at Kirk Braddan Church (14 March 1949) and farewell on the Steam Packet boat and at The Adelphi in Liverpool; honeymoon in London cut-short by Stanley falling ill with cancer; birth of son Roland; Stanley’s death leaving Ida a widow at 32; meeting her second husband George who was a tailor; George’s epilepsy; Roland marrying Ann in Ireland and her two grandsons; holidaying abroad with George; her various jobs; heart operations; George’s death at Noble’s Hospital; ‘Autumn Club’; making life-jackets for Mark Shaw; her parents Annie and Joseph Arden both from Stockport; brothers were Leslie, Douglas, Ronnie, Teddy and Lawrence and sisters were Doris, Mona, Margie, Vera and Audrey; the family home was River’s Bank in Cronkbourne; she mentions her father keeping hens after he retired and selling eggs; raised a Methodist; holidays with Stanley; the Cronkbourne reunion (21 July 1992) and the Baldwin reunion; holidays with George and others.

Track 2: mostly a repeat of Track 1 except for description of her father as the first man to bring dyeing and dry-cleaning to the Isle of Man; Lady Doris Cowle training them as children to perform Christmas concerts in the village hall; sympathy more for the alien internees; readings from the Bible; how her father was in the army and first came to the Isle of Man as he was stationed at Knockaloe [Internment Camp] during the First World War; her brother Ronnie having a drink problem and losing money [scurrilous content]; information about Clucas’ Laundry and River’s Bank house which she grew up in, drying laundry outside on the lawn at River’s Bank and her mother’s skill as a pianist.

Administration / Biographical History: Ida Arden was born on 17 July 1921.

Language: English

Extent: 1 hr. 27 min. 11 sec.

Item name: cassette tape

Collection: Sound Archive

Level: ITEM

ID number: SA 2015-0003

Access conditions: All reasonable attempt has been made by Manx National Heritage to trace and request permission (where needed) from the copyright holder(s) in this sound recording. If however you think you are a rights holder then please contact Manx National Heritage.

Subject tags : #UOSH, #UOSHSecondWorldWar


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