A.G.M. and a special presentation on Peel Clothworkers School

report by John Slater

This AGM was one to remember. As we arrived at the Centenary Centre just after 7.00pm, we were directed over the road to the Methodist Guild Room, kindly made available for us at no notice. All we knew was that there was a possible Covid 19 connection in the Centenary Centre A second surprise awaited in the second half of the evening.

Once again, we had a goodly sized gathering of members for our AGM. Whether they had been drawn by the formal part of the evening or a mixture of curiosity and disbelief that two teachers from the Clothworkers. School of 1910 would be addressing us ‘live’ is uncertain.

Our splendid chairman welcomed us all, the minutes from 2020 were available on the seats and we were off. All was well, even Matters Arising. No splenetic outbursts, no blood on the floor – just warmest thanks. That’s PHT!

Tony Quirk opened his Chairman’s Report by saying, “ It might be an understatement to describe last year as challenging but there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel now.” Little did he suspect that we would be subjected to a further ‘lockdown’.

We were back in the Centenary Centre by September when Nigel Wood gave us a fascinating talk on his voyage as a crew member on the Odin’s Raven, an accurate replica of a Viking ship, sailed and rowed from Norway to Peel. In October, Peter Cannell spoke on the part women played in the’ Manx Civil War’ and subsequent legislation.

In November, James Franklin spoke on Sophia Morrison and her invaluable work on Manx heritage and coincidentally, the further liberation and empowerment of women. The December Christmas dinner was in the Marine Hotel and hugely successful.

The January meeting was cancelled because of Covid 19. Special thanks were expressed to Vicki Gillings for re-jigging the programme. Little did we know that Covid would strike again!

The committee has spent time looking at the proposals for the regeneration of Michael Street and suggestions submitted as to how it might be uplifted but retain its traditional sandstone and granite kerbs.

The Leece Museum has been closed for some time and this has prompted us to hold meetings with the Commissioners as to how we might assist them.

Treasurer’s report was fine and the two committee members standing down were re-elected.

The awaited appearance of two teachers from the Clothworkers School of 1910 was memorable. The figures of Misses Moore and Christian appeared before us in Victorian apparel. They started as they meant to go on.” Sit up straight – pay attention!” We were doing that alright. I looked in vain for a trail of soil behind them. We were taken on a remarkable journey from 1654 to the present then they faded away. Was there a resemblance to Jo’ Dalgleish and Vicki Gillings?

Our next meeting is in the Centenary Centre on 19th May at 7.00 for 7.30 pm for an historic film show on Peel. Tickets from Vicki Gillings,  844891.