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Memoirs of Catherine Annie Wood (nee Dodd) who grew up in Peel

Date(s): late 20th century

Creator(s): Wood, Catherine Annie

Scope & Content: Catherine Annie Wood (nee Dodd) recalls growing up in Peel and First World War events including Knockaloe Alien Detention Camp and seeing survivors from the torpedoed vessel HMS Champagne landed by the Peel lifeboat in Peel. The deposit comprises two typescript drafts with handwritten annotations (13 and 9 pages, respectively). She recounts her family connections, life at 30 Glenfaba Road, wash day, bath night, installation of gas for lighting and cooking, playing in the nearby areas, childhood street games and amusements, schooling and Sunday School activities. Also observing old Manx customs, Lifeboat Sunday and the Peel lifeboats, witnessing funeral customs, girls splitting and gutting the herring in Kelsalls kipper yard, the stoker at the Gas Works, collecting milk from the farms and delivery of bread and oil. She mentions poverty in Peel, children going barefoot, emptying of water closets, keeping cows in town, the slaughter yards and farm boys coming into town on Saturday night. Also the brickworks behind her house (Glenfaba Brick Co.), visits by the knife grinder (Billy Kelly), the hurdy gurdy men, Gus Callister and Caramouche Valario, the onion men from Brittany and Pack women selling linen and other household goods door to door, shopkeepers, shopping, concerts, socials and whist drives.

Archibald Knox was her art teacher at the Douglas High School for Girls 'and we all loved him' and Miss M L Wood was her music teacher. Also recalled is her membership of the Brownies and Girl Guides, attendance at the Manx Music Festival and Tynwald Day ceremony and fair.

First World War memories include being given an afternoon off school in the summer to collect foxgloves (Digitalis) for medication for the troops and picking blackberries (these were sold to Rushen Abbey, the jam proceeds helping buy comforts for the troops); also seeing activities from the perimeter of Knockaloe Alien Detention Camp. To make ends meet, her mother took in lodgers (wives and families of officers serving at Knockaloe Camp) due to her father's inability to work for a year on account of severe eczema. Money received in sick benefit from his Rechabite membership was much appreciated at this time. After secretarial training in Liverpool she worked for T C Moore (1928) Ltd, Tynwald Mills where she stayed until she married in 1936.

Administration / Biographical History: Mrs Wood was born at 30 Glenfaba Road, Peel on 21 October 1911 (Trafalgar Day). She was the mother of writer Ean Wood (d. 2010) and daughter of Thomas Joshua Dodd, who ran the saw mill on Mill Road, Peel.

Language: English

Extent: 2 items

Physical description: Typescript

Item name: memoirs

Collection: Manuscript Archive

Level: FONDS

ID number: MS 13657

Record class: Private

Access conditions: No regulations or restrictions are implemented on this material. Advance notification of a research visit is advisable by emailing


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