ILLUMINATING EVENING: Peter Kelly MBE and his magic lantern,
which helped the historian provide a fascinating talk to the Ladies
Committee of the Ellan Vannin Home, raising more than
GBP600 for the charity in the process.
PICTURE: Steve Woodley
VICTORIAN slides presented by historian Peter Kelly — President of the World Manx Association — have revealed the people of Onchan as having been far less prudish more than a century ago than their neighbours in the capital.
The magic lantern show, held in aid of the Ladies’ Committee of the Ellan Vannin Home, showed that at one time men and women on the Douglas shore had to ensure a distance of 100 yards between them when bathing. The iron pier at the bottom of Broadway was used as a boundary, with the men on one side and the women on the other.
However, the by-law that enforced this didn’t apply in Onchan, so liberal mixed bathing was de rigueur at Port Jack!
The lantern show, held at the Promenade Methodist Church in Douglas, comprised a nostalgic trip around the Isle of Man during Victorian times and then further scenes up to the early 1930s, and it raised £650 for the home.
The committee were delighted to welcome Lieutenant Governor Adam Wood and Mayor of Douglas Ritchie McNicholl and Mayoress Julie McNicholl, together with a number of residents from the home.
Ladies’ Committee secretary Anne Minay said: ‘Peter Kelly’s narrative is fascinating, humorous and informative. We were very lucky to have secured his magic lantern show for the event, especially as he only does a handful each year.
‘The money we raised will be spent on replacing the soft furnishings in the dining room.’
The Ladies’ Committee thanked all those who supported the evening and the members of the Promenade Methodist Church for their help.
The Ellan Vannin Home is a Manx-registered charity which receives no government assistance and is entirely reliant upon public subscription.