[From IoM Examiner Annual 1921]

Principal Events of 1920


16.— In Tynwald, Mr Norris proposes that the Governor be requested to associate with himself an Advisory Council consisting of five members of Tynwald. Proposal carried in Keys, but defeated in Council.
18.— Election of Mr A. Ball as a Town Commissioner of Peel declared void by the High Court. [Dr. Delman, whose nomination the Returning-Officer had rejected, subsequently defeated Mr Ball at a poll.]
18 to 23.— House of Keys' bye-elections caused by the elevation to the Legislative Council of Messrs Jos. Qualtrough, J. R. Kerruish, W. C. Southward and J. Cunningham. Results as follows :-




W. Moore 973 C.

Arthur Cormode (Labour)... 826

Majority 147




W. Kermeen 736

Elijah Oliver 580

Majority 156




Richard Cain 789

T. E. Kneen 639

Majority 148




Ramsey B. Moore 1,715

W. T. Pickett (Labour) 399

Majority 1,316

27.— Balance-sheet published of Manx Electric Railway Co. Gross profit shown of 31,500 15s 8d; debit balance from previous years reduced to -8,910 6s 3d.
27.— Return published by Lieutenant-Governor, at the instance of Mr S. Norris, H.K., of salaries of Manx civil servants, with increases since commencement of the war.
27.— " Examiner" announces the purchase by the I.O.M. Steam Packet Co. of the steamers Viking, Manxman, and Onward.
29.— Performance of " The Cingalee" by Douglas Choral Union.
31.— Death of ex-Councillor Peter Milne, of "'The Waverley," Douglas.


1.— Messrs C. T. W. Hughes-Games (Vicar-General) and H. Percy Kelly, two prominent members of the Manx Bar, commence practice in partnership.
1.— Mr C. J. Stevenson Moore (Indian Civil Service), brother of Deemster Moore, appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
4.— Death of Dr. Edmund Crosby Quiggin, Professor of Celtic in Cambridge University, and a member of the Manx Society.
8.— Mr R. A. Collister (Port St. Mary) elected Provincial Grand Master in the Independent Order of Oddfellows.
13.— In Tynwald, Mr Norris moves resolution of protest against increases of official salaries, amounting to thousands of pounds, having been made during the war without the consent of Tynwald.
15.— Mr C. Copeland Smith, managing director of Manx Industries, Ltd., announces the reconstruction of the Company, with a capital of 30,000.
17.— " Examiner" announces Mr Fred Buxton's disposal of the Grand Theatre and of Buxton's Amusement Resort to Mr R. D. Bralli, a director of The Palace and Derby Castle Co., for 50,000.
18.— Rev. R. B. Jolly, Vicar of St. Thomas's, Douglas, announces his resignation consequent on his appointment as Metropolitan Secretary of the Church Missionary Society.
20.— Discussion resumed in Tynwald on increases in Civil List. Governor accepts responsibility, holding that under the Home Secretary's decision on the Reform petition he was precluded from consulting Tynwald. Keys, as a protest against the defeat of Mr Norris's motion, resolve not to meet in Tynwald.
24.— Return published of new scales of Manx police, showing a commencing scale of 70/- for constables, plus numerous allowances. Publication of these figures causes great unrest throughout the Island.
26.— Annual meeting of I.O.M. Banking Co., Ltd. Dividend declared of 20 per cent., with 5 per cent. bonus.
28.— Public meeting in Douglas Town Hall declares for the holding of a Victory Carnival. Lieut.-Governor also asked to invite the King to the Island.
28.— Death of Mr A. E. Rothwell, for many years chief reporter on "Isle of Man Examiner."
28.— Douglas Town Council appoints a committee to consider the housing question.


2.— At annual meeting of the House of Industry, the character of the institution was severely criticised, and a reform committee appointed.
5.— Death at South Shields of Rev. H. Williams, for previous five years Wesleyan superintendent minister at Douglas.
9.— Proposals laid before a public meeting for the erection of a Manx National War Memorial on Tynwald Hill.
13.— Keys appoint deputation to interview Home Secretary concerning the rights of Tynwald to financial control.
17.— Death at Brockley, London, of Mr W. Clucas Kinley, author of the Manx dialect play " Ellie's Stranger."
21.— Arbitration Committee consisting of representatives of employers and workmen, and three Government nominees, awards a 49-hour week at 1/6 per hour to building trade operatives.
24.— Annual meeting of Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Dividend of 10 per cent. on newly-increased capital declared.
26.— Farewell meeting at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Douglas, in honour of Rev. John Davidson, who retires after a 25 years' pastorate.


2.— Annual meeting of I.O.M. Railway Co. Dividend declared of 5 per cent., with 2 per cent. bonus.
3.— Death of Mr R. H. Cooil, principal of wholesale drapery firm of Marshall & Aston, and a prominent Manchester Manxman.
4.— Disgraceful termination to a foot-ball match at Ramsey, the referee and several players being assaulted.
5.— First Old Age Pensions paid in the Island. Over 1,000 people receive postal orders for ten shillings.
5.— Alfred Clague (53), a Douglas municipal employee, killed on Prospect Hill, Douglas, as the result of a violent collision between a lorry and a stiff cart.
15-20:-Mr Sydney Poulter, son of the late Mr F. C. Poulter, of Douglas, produces and takes the leading role m " The Freedom of the Seas.," at the Gaiety Theatre.
19.— Douglas borough rates increased by 1/8 in the .
19.— Douglas Licensing Court. Seventy boarding-house licences granted, but eight refused.
26.— Death of Mr T. Elgie Jefferson, of Ballahot Malew.
27.— Elderly lady, never sufficiently identified, found drowned on beach at Onchan Harbour. Twenty-nine torn Treasury notes found not far from the body.
27.— Steam Packet Co.'s latest acquisition, the s.s. Viper (since re-christened Snaefell), arrives in Douglas.


8.— Public meeting at. Peel to bid fare-well to Mrs Laughton, who gives up residence in the Island.
12.— Price of bread raised to 1/1 per 41b. loaf.
13.— Legislative Council reject Vaccination Bill (the " conscientious objector clause") and Auctioneers Bill, passed by Keys.
13-14-15.— 29th Annual Manx Music Festival. 1,990 Entrants. Adjudicators, Messrs H. Campbell Stewart (choral classes), F. C. Field Hyde (solo classes), and Frederick Dawson (pianoforte classes). At the Thursday concert, Miss M. L. Wood, Mr C. Copeland Smith, and Mr J. L. Goldie-Taubman, H.K., were presented with medals which were awarded by the Manchester Manx Society to those Manx persons who in their opinion did most service to the Island during the war. Soloists at the concert: Miss Phyllis Lett, Mr Gervase Elwes, and Mr Frederick Dawson (piano).
20.— Mr Thomas Anderton, a Douglas bookseller, disappears mysteriously from his home.
20.— Death of Mr D. F. Putt, share-broker, Douglas.
22.— Mr Joseph Allen (Douglas) elected District Chief Ruler in the Independent Order of Rechabites.
23.— Assessment Board restores nearly all Douglas properties to pre-war valuation.
24.— Death of Mr John Hattersley Clarke, Douglas.
26.— Douglas Corporation restrained from erecting a pavilion in Villa Marina grounds, at the instance of Mr H. H Crippin, a large share-holder in The Palace Co.
28.— Strike of Douglas Gasworkers averted at the eleventh hour, by re-instatement of an employee who had been summarily dismissed.
29.— Liverpool District Primitive Methodist Synod held in Douglas.


3.— Death of Mr John Holland, a well-known Manx artist.
4.— Keys abandon their "strike" and decide to meet in Tynwald to take up urgent public business.
6.— Wanderers defeat Ramsey in the football final for the Railway Cup.
9.— Unveiling at Santon of first War Memorial in the Island.
10.— Death of Mr Edward Killey, Foxdale, a well-known Wesleyan local preacher, and member of Patrick School Board, at the age of 80 years.
11.— First Tynwald Court since Keys' " strike." Governor announces that revenue has so greatly exceeded estimates that he proposes to ask Court to establish free breakfast table.
12.— Royal Liver Friendly Society, meeting at Bournemouth, decides to hold its annual meeting in Douglas, owing to the advocacy of Councillor Frank Gale.
17.— Home Secretary communicates his decision on Tynwald's claim for increased financial control. He proposes that Governor shall submit outlines of intended taxation and expenditure to secret sittings of Keys and of Council, and that in cases of dispute the Imperial Government shall arbitrate.
18.— Old Age Pensions and National Health Insurance Bill passed.
20.— Numerous applications to High Court under Rent Restrictions Act for possession of houses.
21.— Special grant of 14,000 for repair of Manx highways. Statement made in Tynwald that the bank had refused to allow Highway Board's overdraft to continue.
22.— Arrival of another vessel for Isle of Man Steam Packet Co., the s.s. Onward (since re-christened Mona's Isle).
25.— Aeroplane falls into sea while giving passenger flights over Douglas bay. Passengers escape unhurt.
26.— Death of Mr Thomas Corkill, Hawarden-avenue, Douglas.
31.— Official practices for the T.T. motor-cycle races commence.


1.— Marriage in London of Miss May Proctor and Mr Andrew Keenan, both well-known Manx vocalists.
1.— First committee of House of Keys appointed to confer with Governor in the preparation of the Budget.
4.— The Celtic Union, meeting at Edinburgh, decides to hold its next Congress in Douglas.
5.— Tynwald overrules a decision of the Highway Board permitting motoring m the Island on the Sun-days preceding and following the motor-cycle races.
14.— Douglas Victory Carnival commences and continues for a week. Among other athletic events, J. Delaney wins the 100 yards flat race championship, in 11 6-16th sees.
15.— Junior T.T. Race. Cyril Williams, riding on an A.J.S., wins after pushing his machine over last five miles of ground.
17.— Senior T.T. Race. T. C. Delahay (Sunbeam) wins, after maintaining an average speed of 51.79 m.p.h. D. M. Brown (Norton), a local competitor, secures second place, being only four minutes behind the winner. G. Dance (Sunbeam) establishes new record by circuiting the course in 40 mins. 30 secs.
18.— Flying kilometre motor-cycle race on Douglas Promenade. G. Dance creates the new world's record of 29 4-5th sees., or 75.07 m.p.h.
22.— Motor ambulance formally presented to Noble's Hospital. Miss Bridson, matron of the Hospital, decorated with war-service badge awarded by the St. John Ambulance Association.
23.— Mr J. Leigh Goldie-Taubman, H.K. elected President of the World Manx Association, in succession to Mrs Laughton.
25.— Arbitration Board awards Douglas shop assistants 20 per cent. advance in wages. At the same period, labourers' wages are increased by 7/9 per week.
28.— Rev. N. J. Poole, formerly Vicar of Crawshawbarton [sic Crawshaw Booth ?], Lancashire, inducted Vicar of St. Thomas's, Douglas.
29.— Judicature Bill, which would have abolished the civil duties of the Vicar-General, lost in the Keys.
29.— Governor presents his annual financial statement, showing a realised surplus of 172,800, and an Accumulated Fund (including this realised surplus) of 258,420. Governor makes proposal to give 150,000 in cash as a war-contribution to the Imperial Government, and to take over 50,000 of the Imperial war debt.


4.— Service in Manx language held at Kirk Braddan. The Ven. Archdeacon officiated, assisted by Rev. Ernest U. Savage, of Milnthorpe, Westmoreland (son of the late Canon Savage), who preached the sermon.
5.— Tynwald Day. Thirteen Acts promulgated at St. John's. World Manx Association's annual festival held at Rushen Abbey.
6.— Tynwald rejects Governor's proposal to abolish all taxes on tea, coffee, and cocoa, preferring a proposal that the proceeds of those taxes should be applied towards increasing the bread subsidy in the winter. Duty of 4d. per lb. on tea, and a small duty on coffee, which cannot be removed except by Imperial statute, alone remain. Tynwald also defers Governor's proposed war-contribution to Imperial Government until a committee has reported what new public works are necessary.
13.— Palace ballroom destroyed by fire.
14-15.— Visit of their Majesties the King and Queen, and her Royal Highness Princess Mary. Visits made to various towns and villages throughout the Island, and to the ancient Tynwald Hill. Knighthood conferred upon the Governor, and the Government Secretary (Mr B. E. Sargeaunt) and the Chief Constable (Col. H. W. Madoc) made Members of the Victorian Order. Mrs Fry, wife of the Governor, receives the Order of the British Empire.
17.— " Examiner" describes an exhibition in London of paintings of Manx scenery by Mr W. Hoggatt, of Port St. Mary.
17.— Arrival in Douglas for exhibition of the celebrated German commercial submarine Deutschland.
28.— Induction of Rev. Peter Campbell, M.A., &.D., hitherto of Doncaster, to the pastorate of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Douglas.


7.— A young lady named Eveline Fox, resident in Bootle, swims across Douglas Bay.
9.— Suicide of Mr George Henry Clare, general manager of the " Chu Chin Chow" theatrical company, which was performing in Douglas.
12.— Southern District Agricultural Society holds its first show since the war.
13.— Death of Rev. Francis Carr. assistant priest of the Roman Catholic Church, Douglas.
17.— Port St. Mary annual regatta revived.
21.— " Examiner" announces decision of the National Veterinary Medical Association to hold its next conference at Douglas.
22.— Rev. C. Forrington, Wesleyan minister, assists the Lord Bishop in the usual Sunday open-air service at Kirk Braddan.
26.— Exhibition given of cinema film depicting Manx scenery, to be shown throughout the British Isles at. the instance of the I.O.M. Advertising Board.
30.— Visit of Councillor Donald Clark, of Tonbridge, to enquire into the conditions attending sea-bathing at Douglas. Mr Clark, writing in the " Daily Mail," describes the conditions at Douglas as the worst he has ever seen, but this allegation is promptly repudiated by the Chief Constable.
31.— Death at Ramsey of Mr Robert Watson, a famous painter of Highland cattle.


5.— Unveiling of a War Memorial at St. Mark's.
4.— Mr H. C. Granville Clague appointed librarian of Douglas, in place of Miss Annie Fick, resigned.
9.— Manx steam-drifter Chance wrecked off Langness.
14.— Death at Douglas of Mr Frederick John Buxton, entertainment manager.
25.— Thomas Boswell, a well-known gipsy, who for many years lived in an encampment on Douglas Head, falls into Douglas harbour and is drowned.
30.— War Memorial unveiled at Ramsey.


1.— The small steamer "George L. Munro," of Banff, wrecked off Douglas. Crew of three rescued by Douglas boatmen.
1.— Elementary teachers throughout the Island give notice to cease their employment, as the result of a salaries dispute.
3.— Mr George Alfred Ring, H.M. Attorney-General, resigns on account of ill-health. Mr Ring had occupied this position for 23 years.
4.— Portrait unveiled in Keys' Chamber of the late Mr D. Maitland, Speaker from 1909 to 1919. Portrait painted by Mr R. E. Morrison, the Liverpool-Manx artist.
5.— Tynwald, departing from the policy of the English Government, continues the entire bread subsidy until March 31st following. The effect of this is that the price of bread is advanced in Isle of Man by a penny per 41b. loaf, as compared with threepence in England.
5.— Tynwald considers scheme of the Fisheries Board to advance moneys to assist the fishing industry by financing the building of steam drifters. Court holds that. the proposed terms of interest and repayment are too severe, and refers the question back.
7.— Mr F. M. LaMothe, High-Bailiff of Ramsey and Peel, installed Grand Master of the I.O.M. Provincial Lodge of Freemasons.
12.— Mr W. McAdam, builder, of Douglas, drops dead while attending a meeting connected with St. Ninian's Church, where he had been church-warden.
13.— Resignation of Mr Jas. Caugherty, for thirty years water manager to the Douglas Corporation. 13.— Death of Mr T. H. Cormode, formerly a leading member of the House of Keys from 1903 to 1919.
19.— Election of first directors of Manx National Heal h Insurance Society, created by the Insurance Act passed this year. Persons elected :-Messrs James B. Cowley, Walter C. Craine (Douglas High-Bailiff's district), J. W. Strickett (Ramsey district), W. P. Clucas (Peel district), and J. A. Woods (Castletown district). Five candidates were nominated by the Friendly Societies, five by the Workers' Union, and two by the Douglas Trades and Labour Council, but with the exception of Mr Strickett, wbo is' a Y.C.R. in the Ancient Order of Foresters, all the successful candidates belonged to the Workers' Union. Mrs E. H. Cunningham and Mr W. Percy Cowley have been nominated by the Governor to act as directors of the Society, and .Dr. H. E. Kitchen by the I.O.M. Medical Association.
24.— Death of Rev. J. Robinson Gregory, a theological writer of distinction, who was formerly a Wesleyan minister in Douglas, and whose son, the Rev. G. Osborn Gregory, is at present stationed in Douglas.
25.— Death of Capt. Thomas Garland, former manager of the Snaefell Mines.
27.— Mass meeting of unemployed, mainly ex-service men, sends deputation to Governor to urge the provision of public works.
31.— Mr J. T. Quilliam, Deputy Chief Constable, retires after 33 years' service.
31.— Douglas building trade operatives go on strike.
31.— Mr H. E. Fielding, headmaster of Demesne-road Board School, Douglas, retires after over 40 years' service.


1.— Douglas Town Council elections. Contests in two wards. Labour candidate defeated in each case.
2.— House of Keys adopts the principle of Payment of Members.
2.— Shop Hours Bill passes the Keys. Statutory hours fixed for the winter; summer hours to be decided by vote among the separate trades.
3.— Death of Mr T. C. S. Moore, oldest surviving ex-member of the House of Keys, and formerly Captain of the Parish of German.
3-20.— Committee of Tynwald inquires into administration of poor relief in various districts in the Island.
7.— Sunday preceding Armistice Day (Nov. 11th). Memorial and thanks-giving service in St. George's Church, Douglas, attended by the Lieut.-Governor and the Mayor of Douglas, and public officials. Rev. W. C. Jordan, M.A., preached the sermon.
9.— Councillor T. G. Kelly elected Mayor of Douglas.
9.— Tynwald agrees to pay school teachers according to the " Burnham Scale" until March 31st next, after which date salaries are to be fixed by the new Central Education Authority.
9.— Tynwald votes 10,000 for the repair of certain main roads as a means of relieving unemployment.
9.— The Great Laxey Mining Company goes into liquidation.
9.— Report presented to Tynwald show-ing that the Customs receipts (exclusive of those obtained under the " common purse" arrangement) for the months April-September inclusive were greater in 1920 than in 1919 by 17,340 14s.
16.— Tynwald resolves to inquire into the comparative cost of living in the Isle of Man and in Great Britain.
16.— Douglas Corporation granted powers to provide electricity supply for the borough. Application by the Douglas Electric Light Company for similar powers refused, but Corporation ordered to pay the Company 500 as compensation for preliminary expenses.
21.— Mayor and officials of pubic bodies attend St. Matthew's Church. Sermon preached by the Mayor's Chaplain (Rev. H. S. Taggart).
23.— Annual meeting of The Palace & Derby Castle, Ltd. Four years' dividend on preference shares, at 6 per cent., paid, and 10 per cent. on ordinary shares. Capital increased by 40,000, in order to finance purchases of the Grand Theatre and the Buxton's Pierrot Village property.
23.— Victor Lionel Buchanan, a prisoner at the I.O.M. Gaol, stabs Patrick Keenan, another prisoner, with a knife.
25.— Palace and Derby Castle annual meeting. Dividend declared of 5 per cent. on preference shares for the past four years, and 10 per cent. on ordinaries for the current year. Creation of 40,000 new capital authorised, in order to finance the purchase of the Grand Theatre and of the Buxton's Village property.
26.— Committee of Tynwald inquires into the offer by Noble's Trustees of the Old Hospital for the purposes of a National Museum and Library.
28.— Death of Mr F. J. Caparn, J.P., of Port St. Mary.
29.— Footballer awarded 14 damages against another player who had assaulted him in the course of the game
30 to Dec. 3.— Elections throughout the Island of members of the Central Authority created by the newly-passed Education Act. Results will be found on page 67.


1.— At a meeting of the Peel Town Commissioners, a letter received from the Local Government Board threatening a public inquiry if the proceedings of the Commissioners continue to be of a disorderly character.
8.— The Manx Dairies, Ltd., brought before the Douglas Profiteering Committee for alleged overcharging in the price of milk, which they had advanced the previous week from 7d to 8d per quart.
13.— Manx bakers reduce the price of the 41b. loaf by a penny, as the result of a drop in the price of wheat and flour.
18.— Issue of EXAMINER ANNUAL.


Back index next


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2003