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Monologue by John Watterson of Port St Mary about his youth

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Date(s): 1992

Scope & Content: Track 1: Monologue by John Watterson of Port St Mary (inspired by a poem by Henry Longfellow) reading his ‘reminiscences of my youth’. John talks about his youth spent in Port St Mary, starting with the infants school and events from the First World War including the ship 'Lady Plymouth' held on a rock; survivors from a torpedoed ship landed in the village; naval ships; 1918 armistice celebrations in the High Street; the schooner the 'Bessie' sunk by submarine. He recalls the Boys’ School; drowned war victims on beaches; coal boat ashore on Gansey Rocks; fishing for ‘boakies’ and ‘bollans’ with iron hooks and playing with hoops made at the smithy; herring boats in 1920s, 30s and names of local fishermen; ‘Laggan Cottage’ poem by John about people in Port St Mary; Qualtrough’s Boat Yard; boys playing football on The Cronk or Chapel Beach; arrival of Scottish drifter boats for the herring; named locals with ponies and carts, called ‘the cadgers’, who bought herring to sell in the village; housewives salting and packing the herring in a ‘crock’; Scottish girls cleaning the herring; lifeboat launches; Lifeboat Day in the summer; 1922 Clanline steamer wrecked on the rocks at The Sound; rowing boat hire; Band of Hope meetings in Wesleyan Sunday School; Hop-tu-Naa song; 1920 boy accidentally killed in Fistard by other boy with shotgun with description of village funeral; the tides; rowing boats to Sugarloaf and Spanish Head for cod fishing; escaping drowning by tidal wave.

Track 2: John resumes his Port St Mary boyhood narrative with memories of playing at New Quay; crabbing; odd jobs; golf course links, Ballacraggan estate (opened 1926); Isle of Man Steam Packet Company boats; poem by John about tragedy of boys going to Kitterland for gull eggs; shop message boys; visits to named schooners in the harbour; Sunday funerals; religious meetings and choirs in the Old Sunday School (since demolished and replaced by the Garden of Remembrance); Robert Mathison (Dublin) annual religious services for children; and he ends with poem about men collecting lobster pots and a reflection on the changes to Port St Mary since his boyhood, 70 years ago.

Language: English

Extent: 57 min. 29 sec.

Item name: cassette tape

Collection: Sound Archive

Level: ITEM

ID number: SA 0264

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


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