As a child growing up on the IOM everything was rather decayed and defunct. Remnants of the war were everywhere, from the ration books (still going in the 50s) to the Nissen hut we had our Girl Guides meetings in. The only factory I’d ever seen was Martin Bakers at Ronaldsway and the scallop cleaning “fish factory” on the breakwater in Port St. Mary. Lawyers handled conveyancing and wills, and accountants — well, who knows what they did. How times have changed. Now the IOM hosts some of the world’s most sophisticated businesses, including a significant aerospace industry, a top ranked shipping register, aircraft register (and soon to be spacecraft register). Our lawyers, bankers and accountants oversee one of the world’s most dynamic (and sound) financial centers. Our infrastructure has had a “Root & Branch” overall, our schools are leaders in the UK rankings and our heritage has been preserved in a way that brings worldwide kudos.
For people who are interested in such things I am going to start including links that relate to the Modern Mann so you can see for yourselves how far we have come in the last 40 years. As nostalgic exiles we may not always approve of the changes but no one can argue that the Manx ecomony today is better than it was in my childhood when working men had to travel to pick beets in Lancashire to feed their families back home. Today’s example of a net contributor to the Island’s wealth is AvioTech who got in the news this week for landing a contract with Virgin Nigeria.
Oh, and Martin Bakers is still there. And the fish factory, too, although I understand that there are two years worth of scallops in the freezer due to a lack of international demand.