From milk bottles to demolition- a Kelly’s Eye View of the Isle of Man.

Bill Quine opened the evening, standing in for our Chairman John Slater who had been seconded to attend another important meeting being held in Peel at the same time. Fortunately that meeting did not affect numbers and the Centenary Centre was very busy with everyone ready to see and hear what delights Peter Kelly could bring.

He opened the programme with a photograph of Douglas Bay and the Tower of Refuge, which for us Gobbags was not our usual evening view. Then we headed to St Judes and a now disappeared thatch cottage. Although looking very sad and in need of a haircut the cottage did reflect times gone by and Peter has, at least captured that time in a slide photograph.

We travelled around the Island and what became very apparent was the loss of many buildings. The audience appreciated this and there were many exclamations of remembrance of Gores Rock Shop, Athol Garage in Athol Street and The Mannin Infirmary once the Island’s Poor House. Alongside the old Strand Cinema most noticeably were the adverts posted on next door’s shop; Bacardi and coke, cigarettes at cut price, very’ of the period.’ Another days gone by advertisement was of Manx Ices on the wall of the old Westminster Garage shop.

Another set of slides reminded us other sights we no longer see; the row of phone boxes outside the Villa Marina at the bottom of Broadway and of The Douglas Head Hotel, the Lido and the Rendezvous café, that are all demolished now.

For us Gobbag’s a poignant photograph of Fred Palmer at his newspaper letter blocks desk recalled, with fondness, the upside down or back to front typesetting days of the Peel City Guardian. Fred’s fingers were always covered in ink!

Throughout Peter kept us amused with his wit and amusing signs he had collated; ‘SLOW LAMBS-DEAD SLOW DOGS’, ‘CHILDREN DRIVE SLOWLY’ and ‘PLEASE KEEP DOGS ON A LEASE’. This added to a thoroughly enjoyable evening and the Trust would welcome a return visit by Peter.

Our next meeting is Gardeners’ Question Time on April 17th at 7.30 at the Centenary Centre. We would like to have your gardening question now for the panel to prepare the answers. You can email them to or by post to Brottby,Peveril Road, Peel IM5 1JP.

On the evening you can also bring along plants to identify or diagnose- please put them in a zip locked bag. Everyone is welcome.

Don’t forget to look at our Facebook page where you can also send a gardening question in a message. By liking the Facebook page you can keep up to date with all things Peel Heritage Trust.