Isle of Man Classic TT August 24, 25, 26 2019

Isle of Man, – August 24-25-26 – For the 7th consecutive year, Team Obsolete has been invited back to the Isle of Man Classic TT, this time to display and parade two genuine exotic bikes from its world renowned collection: the 1976 Agostini MV Agusta 350/4 and the 1959 Surtees AJS Special.

Ten-time TT winner, fifteen-time FIM world champion, Giacomo Agostini will be riding the MV Agusta 1972/76 350 cc 4 cylinder Assen winner at the Jurby Festival and will be participating in a Special Lap of Honour on the fabled 37 mile “Mountain Circuit.” This is the same bike that he rode to victory in his last 350 Grand Prix, Assen 1976. (see article here.)

In addition to Giacomo Agostini, Classic Racing Legend, Dave Roper, the first American to win a TT will be riding the 1959 Surtees AJS Special which was recently honored at the ASI MotoShow in Varano, Italy. The “Surtees” had a long and distinguished career in ARTER EQUIPPE. Riders Mike Duff and Peter Williams scored many high placings just behind the Italian Multis. Williams was second behind Agostini’s MV 350/3 at the 1966 Isle of Man “Junior” TT.

Team Owner, Rob Iannucci said, “We are thrilled to return these great riders and bikes to the Isle of Man, the world’s greatest race circuit.”

Many thanks to our sponsors: AVON Tyres, Vanson Leathers, and Red Line Synthetic Oil.

Now in its forty first year, the Yn Chruinnaght Celtic Gathering is firmly established in its role as an annual celebration of music, song, dance, language and culture in Peel, and is recognised as one of the longest-running Celtic festivals in Europe – which later this month will present a packed programme of entertainment from both at home and abroad.

A series of evening concerts at the Centenary Centre, opens this year with Welsh Celtic super-group Mabon, celebrating their twentieth anniversary. They will be joined by one of the Island’s best-loved groups, The Mollag Band, before they head off to the Festival Interceltique de Lorient.

And there are other great musicians to come during the week. Highly acclaimed Scottish harpist Rachel Hair, familiar to many on the Island as Culture Vannin’s harp teacher with over twenty young Manx students under her wing, will be joined by guitarist Ron Jappy to promote their new album.

Singer Lors Landat and accordionist Thomas Moisson from Brittany will join local harpist Mera Royle (winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Musician 2018) and keyboard/fiddle player/composer David Kilgallon (King Chiaullee/Chronicles/Mec Lir) for the premiere of an exciting, new Breton-Manx collaboration.

But headlining the final concert, will be Irish singer and bouzouki player Daoirí Farrell, accompanied by Robbie Walsh (bodhran) and Michael O’Connell (uilleann pipes). Armed with several BBC2 Folk Awards and a new album produced by Irish music legend Donal Lunny, Daoirí was recently awarded Male Vocalist of the Year by LiveIreland. They’ll be supported by Manx flautist Peddyr Cubberley, Malcolm Stitt (guitar) and Russell Cowin (bodhran) under the guise of the Peddyr Cubberley Trad Trio.

However, there’s plenty of other entertainment to enjoy during the week-long event at various venues, including the multi-talented Cornish Davey family, as well as Falkirk Piping and the Glenbervie Folk Duo from Scotland. And there’s a rare opportunity to learn more about Appalachian music and dance and its connections with the Celtic world, with Appalachian banjo player Randy Wilson based in Kentucky, USA, and his son Gabe Dansereau, who specialises in old-time fiddle.

Several visiting groups will also participate in educational outreach sessions and Francis Boutle Publishers will be selling a selection of minority language publications – reflecting the 2019 International Year of Minority Languages.

During the final weekend, Cathedral Isle of Man will become the hub for an afternoon of free community events, including outdoor entertainment, acoustic recitals, children’s activities, workshops, refreshments and the Artisan Craft Fair.

Music and dance displays will also be on offer at the House of Manannan the following day, together with indoor activities, with informal music sessions during the week in Peel and at Noa Bakehouse in Douglas.

Credit: Paul Michael Hughes

Sponsors are always welcome, but organisers wish to thank Culture Vannin, the Isle of Man Arts Council, Culture Ireland, Thornton Chartered Financial Planners, Malcolm Scott Dickinson Charitable Trust and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Also the support of Manx National Heritage, Cathedral Isle of Man, Department of Education, Sport and Culture, Peel Town Commissioners, the Department of Enterprise and local venues.

Concert and ceili tickets (including the special festival pass) are available from their website, with single tickets also available from Celtic Gold, or phone the Festival Office on 07624 302200.

Further information about the festival from, Facebook or Twitter.

Valerie Caine

© July 2019

(Courtesy of Manx Life)

May 24th 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of HM Queen Victoria. Isle of Man Post Office decided to mark this important occasion by issuing a collection which celebrates the great works and inventions of six eminent Victorian engineers who have hugely influenced on the historical development of engineering, science and technology still used today in everyone’s daily lives.

This stamp issue presents six great engineers and inventors who influenced food manufacture, clothing, naval gunnery, modern machinery, oil shipments and engine fuel injection in original and unique ways now almost forgotten. It is a celebration of what the Isle of Man does well – providing opportunities to develop great people who go on to provide great service to mankind. Each of these great engineers was either born in the Isle of Man or created their ideas whilst living and working here. The full collection can be found at

Galicia will be the nation guest of honour this summer at the Lorient Interceltic Festival (LIF)
For 10 days and 10 nights, Lorient will become the Interceltic Capital, where thousands of artists and festival-goers from around the world come together every year to share these common roots!
750,000 festival-goers
200 shows
4,500 artists
12 stages
1,600 volunteers
9 Celtic nations

Lorient Interceltic Festival, is a music festival dedicated to the encounter of Celtic cultures from all over the world, this summer in Brittany.

Each year, musicians and dancers are invited to perform and let the festival-goers discover their traditional music, always mixed with contemporary influences. This year the guest of honour of Lorient Interceltic Festival is Galicia, located in the north-west corner of the Iberian Peninsula.

Some key information:

* one of the largest festival in Europe (+750.000 festival-goers, 12 stages, 200 shows and more than 4.500 artists)

* famous Galicians artists performing, including Mercedes Peón, Banda de Gaita de Forcarei, Carlos Núñez and many more

* Goran Bregović, Peatbog Fearies, Martin Hayes Quartet and many other international artists

* 10 Celtic countries with their own artists and stages (Galicia guest of honour, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, Wales, the Isle of Man, Australia, Canada, Asturias, Brittany)

Moreover, Brittany and its Morbihan Gulf, are one of the first tourist destinations in France with its wild beaches, its amazing history and its gastronomy. The festival could be a great opportunity to discover more of this wonderful region and its famous traditions.

Last year’s inaugural Oie Voaldyn Manx Fire Festival in Peel was literally a spectacular success which returned with an even bigger display during the early May bank holiday weekend.

Traditionally, Oie Voaldyn (May Eve) was a time to celebrate the return of fertility to the land and recognise joy, revelry, courtship, romance and the potential for new life. An opportunity to cast off the shadow of darkness and enjoy the light. The use of fire was an important custom at this time of year in order to fend off witches and evil spirits, but was also acknowledged as a purifier and healer. Winter gorse was burnt away in anticipation of new growth, and farmers would drive livestock between bonfires in order to cleanse and protect them before release into the fields.

This year’s festival, however, was a re-interpretation and modernisation of the old Manx customs associated with the eve of May Day – which quickly captured the imagination of visitors to the occasion.

Spokesperson for the festival, John Shakespeare, commented “We soon recognised there was a real desire to revive some of our unique Manx customs. We don’t intend to recreate ancient practices, but to continue in the spirit of our forebears and create our own connection to the cycles of the seasons. Oie Voaldyn celebrates the traditions of the past with an eye on the future, but the aim of the festival is to bring people together to acknowledge and celebrate the return of summer.”

The event itself presented a spectacular performance, with the excitement of torchlight processions, inspiring music, dancing and roaring bonfires. Additionally, there was a dramatic interpretation of the traditional, mock battle between summer and winter during the evening. It was a fully costumed event, including such intriguing characters as the Gorseman, the Boneman, the Phynodderree and a flock of Loaghtan sheep, as well as the two main stars of the event – The Queen of Summer and the Queen of Winter.

It was a fully choreographed and narrated event, concluding with fire poi, fire spinning and a fabulous firework display against the dramatic, historical backdrop of Peel Castle.

Entertainment during the afternoon included live bands on stage, dancing and speciality food producers down by the quayside, with Viking Games on the beach, guided tours of Peel in Manx Gaelic and an opportunity to make a traditional Crosh Cuirn (rowan cross) to keep away those evil spirits which may be lurking nearby.

Valerie Caine

© May 2019

(Courtesy of Manx Life

WE’RE EXCITED!!!! Mark the Date! 7th-9thAugust 2020

Plans are progressing for the 2020 North American Manx Association Convention. It will be held at Hotel 1620 right on Plymouth Harbor and will run from 7th-9thAugust 2020. We picked  Plymouth as it is the 400th Anniversary of the landing of the settlers aboard The Mayflower, who included Myles Standish, a Manxman. Plymouth will be a hosting a year long celebration. This is a great opportunity to celebrate being Manx AND American!

We are planning a two-site visit with guided tours during the weekend to the world famous Plimoth Plantation and a replica of Mayflower. This is definitely one for the children and grand-children!

We have blocked off rooms and you should quote NAMA2020 when reserving your room. Only book the hotel directly by phone or on their own website. Please, please, please do not book in any other way, as we could be financially liable if we fail to hit our room allocation. Our specially negotiated rate at this busy harbor hotel is $229 per night.

This is an American celebration and we have some fun events planned. We will also reacquaint ourselves with Captain Myles Standish, the militia man aboard the vessel, who is of Manx descent, and delightfully links our American and Manx heritages.

While flights to Boston are plentiful, the bus link to Plymouth stops short of the town and will require a taxi pick up from a drop-off point. You might want to consider renting a car. The hotel has lots of parking spaces. Please mention any disabilities when you reserve your room. Quote: NAMA2020. Hotel Phone Number: +1 (508) 747-4900 Website: 

 Note to the BOARD: When reserving rooms for the Board meeting on August 10th this year, please quote NAMA2019



Isle of Man

Fear agus deithe (Men and Gods)

A fictional novel, written by John and Lottie Christian

Cincinnati residents, John and Lottie Christian, recently donated copies of their new novel, Isle of Man – Fear agus deithe (Men and Gods), to the Irish Heritage Center of Cincinnati. Their novel is already part of the Henry Bloom Noble public library collection in Douglas, Isle of Man, and is sold in bookshops across the Island.

Isle of Man – Fear agus deithe (Men and Gods)combines two fictional stories into a single work, mixing medieval Manx with modern times. This is an intriguing philosophical novel about tenacity, resilience, vengeance, and empathy of humankind in an ever-changing world—and how political and religious revisionism may have affected and influenced civilizations throughout the ages.

The two stories intertwine, addressing man’s feeling of resentment and isolation when faced with life changing events, causing him to feel he is an island unto himself; creating a literary double entendre. Both stories contain vivid dream sequences and poetry allowing for multiple interpretations of meaning. In the end, the human spirit is enriched despite dire circumstances. The combination of these two stories will captivate the reader’s imagination, showing how love and understanding can transcend the hands of time.

The novel represents years of research into Island history, customs, culture, language, and folklore of the Isle of Man, and was designed and written for the reader. Copies can be purchased at The Booksellers on Fountain Square, 505 Vine St, Cincinnati, or online from Lily Publications Limited(, PO Box 33, Ramsey, Isle of Man, British Isles, IM99 4LP.

John and Lottie Christian


I’m a Welsh artist based in Cardiff and Pontypridd. I’m a Fine Art MA student, and my work is currently centred around where people of Celtic heritage have historically and contemporaneously emigrated to.
Part of my current practice involves sending small pieces of artwork to members of the Celtic diaspora anywhere in the world, with a request that they photograph it somewhere where they live and send the picture back to me – the work is theirs to keep afterwards. I’m hoping to build a collection of images that illustrate the variety of places Celtic peoples of any generation now live, whilst providing an opportunity for participants to speak about those places. In turn I hope to explore and foster discussion around the reasons for emigration, and the imprint our cultures and languages have left in small corners of the globe.
Each piece is about the size of a postcard, I’ve sent out around 50 so far and have had a few images back – you can follow the results on Twitter via @Arlunydd and #CelticDiaspora.
Please get in touch if you are interested in participating!
Ellwyn Male
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Pat Boehne’s Condo – Saturday, May 4, 2019 from 11:30 am-2:30 pm

Address for the next meeting:

Applewood Point (near south town)

8100 Russell #212

Bloomington, MN, 55431

Downstairs Party Room

This meeting we will be celebrating the 40th year anniversary of the Manx Society of Minnesota!

We will be partying down with giveaways, trivia, games, and drawings for prizes. There with be presentations on the history of the society the flora of the island.

We will have a TEA with coffee, tea, water, low sugar juice, tea cakes/cookies, and Manx broth soup w/bonnag provided and please also bring a dish to share.

At your earliest convenience RSVP to both Sally Dahlquist at salgrl @ and Amy amyrudnitski @ we look forward to seeing you!

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The late Nigel Kneale is considered to be the Island’s most successful radio, television and film scriptwriter, subsequently immortalised by his creation of the cult BBC TV science fiction series Quatermass during the 1950s. But a rarely heard play entitled The Road, recently aired on BBC Radio 4, revealed another side of his work.

He was born in Dalton in Furness in 1922, but the Kneale family returned to the Isle of Man six years later, when his father, a journalist, joined his brother to run the Mona’s Herald.

Upon leaving Douglas High School for Boys he initially studied law, but soon realised that his talents lay elsewhere, writing several short stories reflecting upon Island rural life and published in 1949 under the title Tomato Cain and Other Stories. He ultimately left the Isle of Man to study acting at RADA. and was presented with the Somerset Maugham Award, but then concentrated on writing for the burgeoning television industry.

Voted Manxman of the Year in 1957, Nigel Kneale soon formed an impressive reputation as an innovative screenplay writer, although he did decline the early James Bond films.

Adapted by Toby Hadoke, who kept as close as possible to the original script, he described The Road, last seen on television more than fifty years ago, as a lost classic. It centres upon the ghostly activity of a country wood in 1768, but playing against the backdrop of this story is the dichotomy between the scientist and the philosopher who jockey for position throughout this narrative of the supernatural; which ultimately becomes a tale of futuristic horror. The main players in this formidable production (played by Mark Gatiss and Adrian Scarborough) remain at odds with each others’ beliefs throughout the story, but there’s a terrifying realisation for one of them in the closing moments of the play.

Unfortunately the original televised broadcast was systematically wiped, along with countless other programmes at the BBC during the 1960s/1970s, but the script, described as ‘one of the greatest missing masterpieces’, survived. A 1964 Australian TV version was also lost.

Recorded at Maida Vale Studios in London and Salford’s Media City, Hadoke’s contemporary version benefited from some of the original radiophonic sound effects and the talent of actor Hattie Morahan, whose late father, Christopher, directed the original adaptation. The recording was also attended by Nigel Kneale’s widow, Judith Kerr. A successful writer herself (Mog, The Tiger Who Came To Tea), she spoke fondly about her late husband and his work.

A study of Nigel Kneale’s productions reveal a tendency for prophecy, but look closely and you’ll also find a trail of subtle Manx references. One of the main characters in The Road, Squire Hassall, may well be named after the man who lies in Malew churchyard, better known these days under the sobriquet of the Vampire Grave. Additionally, in the story, unseen people walk upon cobbles beneath the road on Michaelmas Eve and strange cries rent the air – a parallel, perhaps, with the ‘little people’ travelling to and from an ancient barrow (burial mound) to Maughold churchyard using underground passageways, and the sound of angry voices at a hill fort in Castletown.

He also introduced Manx topics into his radio drama The Long Stairs (based on the Snaefell mining disaster) and his only stage play Crow, centring on the life of the Manx slave trader Captain Hugh Crow of Maughold, which regrettably never went into production.

Nigel Kneale died in 2006.

(Images courtesy of Isle of Man Stamps and Coins and Pip Phillips)

Valerie Caine

© March 2019

(Courtesy of Manx Life)