History in Heels – Follow in the footsteps of the women who made Mann

History in Heels is now in full swing at seven Manx National Heritage locations. The yearlong women’s history project takes a fresh and surprising approach to some of the remarkable Isle of Man women and their personal histories through pop-up displays and events at seven venues around the Island – the Manx Museum, House of Manannan, Castle Rushen, The Old House of Keys, The Old Grammar School, Cregneash and The Grove.
History in Heels lets you follow in the footsteps of the women who made Mann beginning with the Pagan Lady to prisoners and a Civil War Countess at Castle Rushen to the era of Miss Isle of Man and the bathing beauties. Other themes covered are Political Women and Women Interned.
Co-curator of History in Heels, Jude Dicken said;
“History in Heels has already made an impression at our sites and there has been great interest in the stories, many which have never been told before. The project has encouraged people to reappraise the locations as the stories of the women associated with them have really brought them to life. Many of the stories are told in the words of the women themselves, and some are told in the very location they happened.
We have also been sharing stories via social media and remarkably when I posted the story of two sisters transported from Castle Rushen in 1823 – Jane Cowell and Margaret Quayle – onto our Facebook page, an ancestor now living in Australia identified the sisters as her great-great-great-great-great aunts.  History in Heels truly went global thanks to #historyinheels. We also have special History in Heels events throughout 2015.”
The next History in Heels event ‘Vintage Hair: The Queen of Mann’ takes place at the iMuseum in Douglas on Thursday 30 April, 10am – 12noon. The event sees the Isle of Man College’s Hair and Beauty Department recreate the glamour of the bathing beauty in their annual live styling challenge. Visitors are invited to come along and watch the students style their models and chat to them about how they achieve the vintage look.
Tickets are also now on sale for talks by Dr Avril Maddrell on ‘To the ends of the earth (and home again): The hidden histories of women geographers’ on Saturday 23 May and Rebecca Shawcross’ ‘The Shoe Must Go On!’ on the evening of Friday 26 June. Rebecca who is a Shoe Curator and author of Shoes: An Illustrated History will also lead an interactive workshop the following day exploring the history of the shoe, changing styles and the origins of the heel, with the rare opportunity to see shoes from the national collections.

For more details and to buy tickets visit or visit the Manx Museum Gallery Shop.
In time for TT week, the visual exhibition ‘Fast Women’ will open in the temporary gallery at the Manx Museum on Saturday 30 May. Celebrating women in Manx motorsport, this entirely visual exhibition will display images from the early trail blazers to the modern day heroines and supporters.
History in Heels proudly marks the centenary of the National Federation of Women’s institutes. A pop up for the Isle of Man WI is on display at the House of Manannan with an interactive WI display also coming soon. Standard admission charges to venues apply and please check site opening times before you visit.
We’ll be sharing more women’s stories on our Facebook page or join the Twitter conversation @manxheritage #historyinheels.
1.    Albert Moule, TT and MGP rider, on stage with the beauty contestants, Villa Marina, Douglas, 1940s
2.    Women Geographer Cuchlaine  King fieldwork Iceland 1953
3.    Rebecca Shawcross charts the history of shoes