Ballaugh Heritage Trust

Treisht Eiraght Valley Ny Loghey

Ballaugh’s Living History, 19th November 2011

The TTs, Ballaugh railway station, the Bowling Club, and the many societies and groups that use the Village Hall: all these are some of the happenings that are part of the fabric of the village and parish of Ballaugh. As well as the parish church in the village and the Old Church at the Cronk, there were several Methodist chapels, all now closed and mostly used for other purposes. There was a golden opportunity to come together to talk about these, and lots of other topics, on Saturday 19 November. Ballaugh Heritage Trust held an afternoon of Living History, an event intended to stimulate memories over a cup of tea and a cake.

At the centre of the afternoon was the idea that we are all part of a living history. Major events are recorded in newspapers but the stuff of every day life is often unrecorded, although as important as the more public happenings. It was always intended to be an event that would stimulate ideas, rather than just present material for visitors to absorb. So there were a small number of exhibitions and, scattered around the hall, notepads and pens for people to jot down their memories.

As well as the exhibits, there were two talks. The first was a book launch at 3.30pm, when Sarah Christian gave an entertaining talk about her Ballaugh research, which resulted in the publication of From Travail to Tranquillity: social history of Glen Dhoo. This has been selling well and has encouraged many people to explore this picturesque but little known area of the parish. Before that, at 2pm, Marie Radcliffe had spoken movingly about the Roses from the Heart project, inspired in Tasmania by the stories of the transportation of 40 Manx women convicts to prison colonies in Van Diemens Land. Out of these heart-breaking accounts has come a remarkable international project, which has led to the embroidering of exquisite bonnets made in their memory. Many of these were on display, along with the stories of the women in whose memory they have been embroidered. Worldwide, an astonishing 25,266 bonnets have been made to commemorate the convict women who endured much received so little recognition. Their economic and social contribution was enormous, yet the ‘stigma’ shrouding their existence always precluded discussion of their value.

Some of the bonnets on display

Some of the bonnets on display

So, we hope we might have stirred memories of social gatherings, elections, the Northern railway, the school, church and chapel events.


Categorised as: Events