Cream and Cake!

by Bill Quine.

Whilst I sit here and ruminate (every pun intended) about how I should put together this article in the absence of our usual scribe – Mr John Slater – many headings passed through my normally vacuous brain –  gags, quotes and sayings that I thought had been lost in my acceleration towards senility.

At this point in my wanderings I should quickly point out that the header refers to the two trips that Peel Heritage Trust undertook this month (April) – a visit to the milking parlour (cream) of Ballaterson Moar Farm at Ballaugh on Saturday 9th, followed by a trip to Tynwald (wedding cake) on Thursday 14th .

I will apologise in advance to any of our Honourable Members who may take offence for the way in which my mind conjures up similarities and thus titles for me; ‘Chewing the Cud’ and ‘Winds of Change’ are just a couple of cheesy ideas; but I must be serious and tell you of our visits.

Ballaterson Moar Farm is run by Edgar Cowin C.P., his wife Linda, and his son Barry; I am very grateful that whenever I have approached them to request a visit to their computerised milking parlour they have always been very accommodating. For anyone who thinks of milking in terms of the three legged stool and bucket, this is as distant as the Wright Bros are to space travel.

The cows turn up to be milked as and when they want, the computer identifies them from their ear tag, attaches itself to their quarters, having first sterilised them, monitors and samples their output and sends them happily on their way back to their well-padded bed. Edgar explained that there are always a couple of bullies in the herd and upon their arrival the other cows will just stand aside and let them through (that’s life folks!)

I find the new born calves in the barn alongside a great attraction, as do the children (my second childhood?).  Thanks very much to Linda, Edgar and Barry for a great morning.

On to Thursday and our visit to Tynwald; unfortunately, our figures were down for this trip – perhaps this was because of the day and time (5pm) – but those of us who attended had an interesting tour with our Heritage Chairman and Peel’s local MHK Mr Ray Harmer. We visited the Chamber and here to my wandering brain I could find similarities with Saturday’s visit; the latest high-tech information gathering perhaps, the thought of bullies, who knows? Maybe it was just the well-padded seats, or perhaps it was just that I had the same feeling as looking at the equipment at the farm thinking this costs one h–l of a lot!

On behalf of those who visited, I would like to thank both Ray and the charming young lady who conducted us around for giving of their valuable time – it was appreciated.

Please note our next event will be held on Wednesday 18th May at the Centenary Centre at 7:30pm when Mr Tony Pass will be telling us all about the ill-fated Lusitania and its Manx connections – don’t miss it!