[From Merchantile Manxland, 1900]
Although Ramsey, in point of commerce and population, ranks as second town of the island, she certainly is second to none in respect to up-to-dateness and progressiveness. In such an active port and distributing centre, the requirements of the building, farming, mining, and other trades must of necessity be of extensive proportions. The most prominent firm engaged in the timber and cognate trades in the northern capital is that of Cowell and Wattleworth, as may easily be seen on passing through their extensive yards, stores, and steam saw mills, which are most conveniently situated adjoining the railway station, with which they have siding connection, and contiguous to the harbour, facilitating the handling of the heavy cargoes which are imported by the firm from various ports. Timber-American, Baltic, hard woods, such as oak, ash, elm, native and foreign-most of it finely seasoned ready for immediate use, forms the mainstay of the business, in conjunction with all manner of modern building materials. The firm are noted as holding the largest stock of sanitary ware, tiles, and similar goods on the island. There is, on the whole, a most comprehensive and interesting supply for all, coincident with the activity of the building and other local industries, a sound reputation for straightforward business methods having been achieved by this go-a-head firm. Incidentally we may mention that the senior member of the firm has always identified himself with all movements affecting the welfare of the island and its inhabitants, as his valuable public services testify. As a Justice of the Peace for the Northern District, and as the honoured member for Ramsey in the House of Keys, Mr. J. R. Cowell is justly held in the highest esteem in public, social, and business circles. Mr. Robert Wattleworth, the junior member of the firm, is known for his wide business experience, and is an able coadjutor. Telephone No. r.
Ramsey-home of refinement and rest-gains in popularity year after year as a favourite retreat for the convalescent, and as a shelter for those who wish to enjoy at their ease the pleasures of the seaside, combined with the restfulness and quiet of a perfect sanatorium. Corresponding efforts have been made to supply fitting accommodation for visitors and residents, building operations being briskly carried on in all directions. A very old-established firm-who have always taken a leading hand in the expansion of the town-is that of James Callow & Sons, whose yards, workshops, and offices stand upon the West Quay at Ramsey. Space will not permit us to describe at length the various fine buildings which have been erected by this well-known firm, but we may cite as a few samples the Mooragh Hydro, the handsome Wesleyan schools in Albert Road, the Infectious Hospital, Dumbell's Bank, the fine block of which the Saddle Hotel forms the centre, besides villas and company houses in great numbers. From the foregoing it will be seen that this firm have largely contributed to the adornment of the town, and there is every evidence that no firm is better able to represent the building trade in Ramsey, in point of equipment and capability of -performing whatever they undertake to do.
In the northern portion of the island, the art of marble-working is carried on very extensively by the old-established firm of Edward Christian, whose works are situated in Parliament Square, Ramsey. Here some very fine and substantial monumental work is turned out from time to time, comprising cleverly-designed specimens of Manx and Celtic crosses, plain and foliated crosses, memorial tablets, and tombstones in Aberdeen and native granite, slate and other native stone, besides imported ones.
Specimens of the work of this firm form prominent objects in all the insular burial places, all notable for careful and accurate workmanship and for soundness and durability of material. The show of finished work on view always at Parliament Square sufficiently indicates that Mr. Christian is at the head of his craft-the designs are all well-devised, afid the most modern style of treatment is observable on all hands. The insertion of lead letters, which have been found to be absolutely imperishable when properly fixed, is largely engaged in, and a staff of competent men is engaged renovating and brightening up memorials of all kinds. On the whole, we may safely say that the ancient craft of marble-working, both monumental and architectural, has no abler exponent in the- district than in Edward Christian, of Ramsey.
Owing to the steady demand for coal for domestic purposes, and for the supply of trading and fishing vessels using the harbour, also for industrial purposes, it is naturally one of the most important commodities handled in the port of Ramsey. Probably, the oldest firm engaged in the importation and supply of coal in the district is that of Alex. H. Brown, whose office is conveniently situated on the West Quay (No. 25). This firm have been engaged in the coal trade here for nearly a century, the business being handed from father to son. Best Whitehaven and Lancashire coal are imported in large quantities, as well as the pick of Scotch and North Wales coal. A sound reputation for the general supply of coal of reliable quality at moderate price has been built up, and a very thriving trade is being conducted. Special additional features are the general supply of ships' chandlery, and of a wellselected tackle for deep sea fishing, for both of which Mr. Brown has acquired a large and valuable connection.
Modern Peel stands pre-eminent as the fishing port of the Island, par excellence, having good safe anchorage ground, well sheltered from every wind, and the finest breakwater round the coast. To this busy port during the fishing season flock boats from England, Scotland, and Ireland ; which, with those belonging to the island, make up what is popularly known as the "herring fleet." Being so widely renowned as a fishing port, Peel is naturally the chief home of the net-making industry on the Island, and thousands are the trains of herring and mackerel fishing nets produced here every year, exclusive of a fair amount of salmon, pilchard, and other kinds of nets. In connection with this important industry no name stands out more prominently than that of Messrs. Corrin Brothers, the successors of the late Robert Corrin. Of this latter well known and highly respected townsman, who was called to his rest only at the beginning of this year (1899), it may justly be said, that he was the life and soul of the fishing industry of the port, fostering it in times of despondency and depression, imparting fresh vigour, and inspiring by his personal courage the drooping spirits of the weary seekers after the fish that were not.
In his case all was fish that came to the net, and when he could not get herring he went for mackerel ; so, when his keen observation showed him that the herring fishing off the coast was gradually becoming less and less remunerative, he it was who, some thirty-five years ago, it will ever be -remembered, became the pioneer of the successful mackerel fishing off Kinsale and the west coast of Ireland ; and when that source of income became temporarily exhausted, as most fishing grounds do, he sought pastures new, following the mackerel as far as Smerwick and Ventry. Indeed, had it not been for Robert Corrin standing up in the breach and stimulating the flagging spirits of the fishermen, the glory of Peel as a fishing port would have departed years ago. However, the pluck he manifested showed the others how to persevere ; and at the present day there are happily signs of increasing prosperity to the industry looming in the distance, the current year having been so far one of the best seasons known for a long period. Of the active part he took in developing thë town as a residential resort, the noble promenade bears silent witness, and his unselfish public services, extending over many years, as a Member of the House of Keys, a Justice of the Peace, as a Harbour Commissioner, and as Captain of the Parish of St. Patrick, etc., will ever be held in remembrance. As a large manufacturer of fishing nets, none knew better than he the sort that lasted and gave satisfaction, and the quality that could always be relied upon in any weather. The factory he established over half a century ago for that purpose still exists, though now very much extended to compete with the increasing trade. The weaving sheds have been specially designed, and are of spacious proportions. Altogether some forty or fifty looms of the newest type are regularly engaged, affording employment to a large number of skilled weavers. These fine net-weaving looms are very ingenious in their construction, and weave nets of various sizes of mesh with a facility and precision that is simply admirable, mostly, of course, for the herring and mackerel fishing, though -nets for the taking of salmon, pilchard, sprats, etc. are also supplied to order. After weaving, the nets must perforce pass through various preservative processes, such as " barking" with the finest cutch, and " tarring." The pieces are afterwards joined end to end till a train of sufficient length is completed, and are then buoyed and provided with hauling and foot-ropes. The nets are now ready for despatch, and away they go to most of the fishing centres all over the United Kingdom-not, of course forgetting home demands. In reviewing this important branch of Manx industry, it is only just to add that the two present principals have for years been identified with the business, which they have cultivated with enterprise and energy. Mr. John George Corrin was for some time a Town Commissioner; his brother, Mr. Thomas Caesar Corrin, being now an active member of the same body. Both members of the firm of Corrin Brothers are noted for their support of all philanthropical and social movements tending to the welfare of their fellow townsmen. As large employers of labour they take an active part in developing the industrial resources of the town, thus, by extending trade in all directions, contributing to the material prosperity of the Island in no small degree.
After a long spell of dulness, the ancient port of Peel seems to be waking up; at any rate, the prospects of the fishing, on which the town mostly depends, are now considerably brighter than they have been for some time. As most of the fishing fleet use steam hauling gear, from its immense superiority over hand labour, it follows, of necessity, that some one should be convenient to undertake the repairs, alterations, and additions that are required from time to time. Such a place is taken by Philip Moore, the machinist, whose workshops are conveniently situated on the Quay, handy for everybody, and, it must be admitted, his services are always in great request whenever the fleet are in the harbour. As the manufacture of fishing nets is also largely carried on in Peel, he devotes considerable attention to net-making machinery of all kinds, making and repairing every variety of these useful aids to in dustry. Engines, boilers, capstans, and all other gear for the fishing fleet are also supplied to order promptly and satisfactorily, together with all kinds of agricultural implements. An experience of over twenty years is utilised for the benefit of his many customers, and whenever he is entrusted with a job he finishes it off in a workmanlike manner.
Although the coasting trade of Peel is not what it once was when several vessels of large build, owned in the port, were employed far and near, still, the fishing industrythe sheet-anchor of Peel-happily shows signs of renewed vitality and consequent prosperity, the present year being one of the most favourable seasons the fishermen have had for a long period.
The more fishing the more wear and tear, and new boats must take the place of old ones from time to time. Only the other day we paid a flying visit to Watson's boat-building yard, just by the station at Peel. The oldest boat builder in the place, Mr. Thomas Watson, has turned out hundreds of fishing smacks, schooners, and small boats in his time, and on the occasion of our visit we found him busy superintending the erection of a pair of stout nickies and a taut little nobby for local customers. Smartly yet stoutly built, they looked as if they would last a lifetime; for, like a good builder, Mr. Watson uses only specially-selected timber, which enables him to give the greatest lightness as well as strength, for every ounce of unnecessary timber is cut away. Nearing completion in another shop was a smart punt and a comfortable looking pleasure boat-big-bellied for safety-built on graceful lines, in a style that few firms know how to produce. A handsome yacht was just being laid down for an English owner, Mr. Watson supplying similar vessels frequently for foreign owners, one recommending another, and so on. The different workshops are all conveniently arranged and well equipped with labour-saving, steam-sawing, bending, and other apparatus, and are well and substantially built, and, with Mr. Watson's long experience and a well-trained and skilled staff, we should say are capable of turning out anything in the way of boats, smacks, or anything that floats, against any competitor on the island.
Old Peel is rapidly becoming modernised and improved generally, so much so that, as a residential resort and bracing sanatorium, the place gains in popularity year by year. Building operations are, therefore, being extensively carried on in the old town, Mr. Edward Anderson, the principal builder and contractor, being responsible for by far the greater portion of the handsome buildings we see on all hands. The noble promenade and many of thefinest houses overlooking it, including those belonging to the late Robert Corrin, Esq. to whom Peel owes so much were the results of his handiwork. A great amount of general work of a high class has been produced all over the district by Mr. Anderson, including new schools at St. John's (which have recently been completed), extensive additions to the Strang Lunatic Asylum and the Peel Wesleyan Chapel. Special mention ought to be made of the new Parish Church of Peel, dedicated to St. German. This handsome fane, of which the architects were the well-known Liverpool firm of T. D. Berry and Sons, is constructed of red sandstone intermixed with local stone, and is undoubtedly the finest ecclesiastical edifice on the island. Years ago, Mr. Daniel Anderson (Mr. Edward Anderson's father), the leading builder of his day, amongst a host of other works erected what are known as the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers' Schools, on the higher part of the town. We mention this fact as, by an interesting coincidence, Mr. Edward Anderson is at the present moment engaged in erecting some handsome schools on an adjoining site for the same philanthropic company ! As is usual with contractors of note in all places, every facility exists for the speedy execution of repairs. A vast amount of practical experience is brought to bear on every contract undertaken, and this has had a distinct bearing on the estimation in which Mr. Anderson is held, both in private and business circles.
The timber trade of the town of Peel is necessarily rather limited, but in the hands of the old-established and well-known firm of the Messrs. Graves shows every sign of active vitality, coincident with the requirements of the town, both as regards the fishing industry-of which Peel is the chief centre-and as a rising residential summer visiting resort.
The timber yard of the Messrs. Graves runs alongside the Peel railway station, and, being also adjacent to the harbour, the firm possess every facility for landing cargoes of timber (principally from the Baltic), slates, bricks, pipes, and other building materials from British ports, etc. Passing through the well-equipped modern steam saw-mill, with its capital plant of wood-working machinery driven by one of Crossley's powerful " ° Otto " gas engines, it will be seen that this old-established firm is quite as up-to-date as any of its more recent competitors. The timber stores contain a most comprehensive assortment of fine oak, ash, elm, sycamore, best pitch and yellow pine, deals, flooring boards, battens, scantlings, plastering laths, etc., for the use of the building and other local trades.
Their connection with the port being of such long standing, it is not surprising that as general ships' chandlers, sailmakers, and coal merchants the operations of the firm are most extensive and comprehensive, their importation of coal alone aggregating some 2,000 tons a year. Sound and straightforward methods of business always answer best in the end, and as that of the Messrs. Graves is worked on these lines, it must always stand in the forefront among the mercantile houses of the day in the Isle of Man. It may be added that the senior member of the firm, Mr. H. T. Graves, has all his life identified himself with every movement tending to promote the social and material welfare of the town and its inhabitants, and is a respected member of the bench of magistrates for the district.
Very pleasant it is to have to record that the ancient city of Peel is decidedly on the up-grade. The prospects of the fishing are rosier than they have been for a long time, and, besides this, the place is rapidly gaining in popularity as a residential resort, owing to the wise expenditure of its administrators on various improvements. The population must also feel the benefit of the wave of prosperity which has undoubtedly struck the town ; and, as a result, the homes of to-day, as far as the household furnishing goes, are far ahead in comfort of the homes of not many years ago.
As any person can see for her or himself, on taking a walk through Kermode's modern furnishing establishment in Athol Place, Peel, there is now no reason why the comforts of home may not be fully enjoyed by every person, no matter what their position in life may be. We must admit to feeling a trifle surprised at the vastness and variety of the furnishing goods which are found on view at Kermode's, the unassuming exterior of the place being rather deceptive. Here, at any rate, can be had a full equipment for every grade of life and for every style of building, from the homely cot of the hardy fisherman, the villa of the professional or business man, to the stately mansion. Great taste was manifested in the selection which Kermode's display, soundness of construction and material and beauty of workmanship being as conspicuous as excellence of design. We were rather struck with the extreme moderation of the prices marked on each piece, which were considerably below what is usually charged at many of the leading stores who do not manufacture anything they sell. Kermode's have an advantage there, and the public benefit by it ; so that when anyone is in want of any particular article of furniture, or desires to furnish his home, he cannot do better than first pay a visit to that useful emporium presided over by Mr. G. B. Kermode, in Athol Place, Peel.
The growing popularity of Peel the city of gorgeous sunsets as a sanatorium and a residential resort, has necessitated a great increase in suitable lodging accommodation, thus giving a great impetus to the building and auxiliary trades of the locality. To the latter category belongs that of the art decorator, and, as his work must necessarily be prominent, it is essential that improved styles of decoration, adapted to the more cultivated tastes of the present generation, must be adopted in accordance. We may mention, as one of the most active exponents of the modern style of decorating, Mr. George Sayle, of the Market Place, Peel. From specimens of artistic work done by this rising young firm, it is evident that they are equally able to impart increased grace and dignity to the church or the mansion, as repose, cheerfulness, and brightness to the villa, the company house or the cot, making each a thing of beauty and a joy for-as long as the best of workmanship, paint, and paper will last, so we cannot do better than recommend this energetic young fellow to the notice of all desiring to have their houses or their shops decorated on up-to-date lines at inexpensive rates, which will be found to compare favourably with the charges of similar good class all-round decorators residing out of Peel, as will be seen on applying for an estimate whenever the first opportunity arrives. Attracted by the picturesque scenery of the district, many ladies and gentlemen of artistic tastes take up their residence in Peel from springtime to autumn, during which period the place looks its best. A demand has consequently arisen for all sorts of artists' materials, and we may assert with safety that at no place in the district is this want catered for better than at Sayle's art emporium in the Market Place, Peel, a tasteful selection being held of the productions of such eminent firms as Windsor & Newton, Rowney, Reeves, &c.
Laxey is known far and wide, commercially, as being the centre of an extensive lead mining district; for its famous wheel and fine flour mill, the largest in the island. But it is also noteworthy as being the home of one of the most interesting industries of modern days. We refer to the St. George's Woollen Mill, where the "Ruskin Homespuns " known in every corner of the globe to which English literature has penetrated are woven. The St. George's Mill "the first achievement of the St. George's Company in Romantic Architecture," as it was playfully described by the Master, John Ruskin, in 1881 is a strongly-built structure composed of the local grey limestone, and stands close by the meeting of the waters of the Glen Roy and Laxey Rivers, here spanned by a quaint stone bridge.
In the fair land of Mona, where every glen has its tumbling brook, such as anglers love, the natives never seem to have lost an opportunity of utilising the gifts which Nature has bestowed on them with such a lavish hand. Almost every mountain stream, however insignificant, works a mill of some kind, the powerful water-wheel of the St. George's Mill being driven by a stream issuing from the Laxey mines.
On a recent visit to Laxey, we were courteously conducted through every department of this little hive of industry by the genial proprietor, Mr. Egbert Rydings. We traced the wool from the pelt of the sheep, step by step, until at last we found it in the form of finished goods in the warehouse. The place of honour must be assigned to the " Ruskin Homespuns," beloved of the elite of the artistic and esthetic world by reason of their beauty of make, colour, and texture, fastness of dye, and unshrinkableness, causing them to be considered, justly, to be the finest ladies' dress fabrics par excellence. Heavier homespuns are made for men's wear, besides great store of domestic goods, such as flannels, blankets, hose, etc., large quantities of all goods being distributed every year to all parts. We can only recommend our readers, if they have not already done so, to write for some samples of these genuine homespuns, which are alike a credit to the island and to their maker. As many of our readers will no doubt be aware, Mr. Egbert Rydings is a litterateur of no mean ability, having written a number of Manx tales in the Anglo-Manx dialect, which have achieved a certain amount of popularity. He was also an early member of the St. George's Society, founded by John Ruskin, whose personal friendship he has had the privilege of enjoying for many years. The mill was really founded under the auspices of the St. George's Society, and here are the fundamental rules so characteristically laid down by the Master for the guidance of the venturers :
I. All material used in the manufacture must be of the best and purest.
II. The goods when made must be as perfect as fingers can make them.
III. An open market to all. If a girl wants a new frock, or a young man cloth for a new suit of clothes, they shall be able to buy direct from the mill, and have the Guild's guarantee that they are getting good, honest woollen cloth.
IV. No credit; it will save sleepless nights.
Later on he wrote in "Fors Clavigera," vol. vi., p. 391 "I mean the square yard of Laxey homespun of a given weight to be one of the standards of value in St. George's currency."
These rules, so far, have never been deviated from ; and that is why the St. George's Mill is gradually building up a flourishing trade, which will some time form one of the most popular and useful industries of Manxland.
Signs of renewed vigour are noticeable in the industrial life of the ancient town of Castletown. In connection with the supply of the building, fishing, and other local trades, no firm takes a more important part than that of Messrs. Joseph Qualtrough & Co. The extensive yards of this well-known firm are situated quite close to the harbour, affording every facility for the rapid handling of cargoes of timber, slates, pipes, and other building materials. A modern steam sawmill, well equipped with powerful wood-working machinery of all kinds, is kept in operation. Judging from the heavy ctocks one sees on all bands, we should say that the interests of the community are in all respects well studied by the energetic proprietor. Here, in well-seasoned condition, are very large quantities of builders' stuff, and selected foreign timber of all kinds, besides an array of cements, slates, pipes, and other building materials. The firm, we understand, hold the agency for Peacock and Buchan's ready mixed paints, which are the means of saving both time and money to builders, decorators, etc., and are very popular. A thriving fishing-net factory turning out large quantities of herring, mackerel, pilchard, and other nets of recognised quality-is also carried on. The business may on the whole be regarded as a useful auxiliary to the building, fishing, mining, farming, and other industries of the district. It is pleasant to notice the public spirit which is shown by some of our leading merchants, whose time is naturally of the utmost value. Mr. Joseph Qualtrough, we may observe, is one of these, as he has always taken a large amount of interest in local affairs, working on the School Commission Board for over eight years, and as a member of the House of Keys, representing Rushen Sheading since 1897. The telephone number of the firm is No.10, and the telegraphic address, "Qualtrough, Timber, Castletown."
It is generally admitted that no industrial community has suffered more from outside competition than the insular farming class. It is, in fact, only the enterprising members of this class who have adopted the use of all kinds of laboür-saving implements, that have been able to hold their own at all. The well-known implement maker on the Quay at Castletown, Charles Teare, takes an active part in the supply of up-to-date agricultural implements of all kinds, representing the wellknown firm of Richard Hornsby & Sons, Ltd., Grantham, many of whose noted self-binders, rakers, ploughs, corn drills, &c. are now in use all over the island, and giving great satisfaction. In a district such as that of which Castletown is the centre, the smith must always be an all-round man, capable of making or mending anything made of metal. This is what the large smithy on the Quay is noted for, so that Teare's establishment may be considered one of the most useful business institutions in Castletown.
Castletown, being the market town, and the distributing centre for a very wide district, the coal supply is rather an important matter. In the hands of the old firm of E. Cannell & Son, the demands of the public are evidently carefully and fully met on most moderate terms. In the firm's large new shed on the top harbour exists storage capacity for eight or nine hundred tons of best screened coals, adapted both for household and business purposes. Slack and coke are also supplied in any quantity at closest market rates, lists of which may be had on application at the office in Victoria Road, Castletown.
To the traveller standing upon the viaduct at Laxey, Corlett's lofty stone built mill, embowered in verdant foliage, with the dark background of Peen-y-Pot in the distance, forms a striking and prominent feature in the lovely landscape.
The Laxey Glen Corn Mill is, structurally, undoubtedly the finest mill of its class on the island, whilst its internal arrangement and equipment-the result of an intelligent adoption of modern ideas in connection with scientific millingis of the most perfect char.,cter, and unexcelled by any of the largest mills across the water.
Manxland is a land of streams, and Manxmen, as a rule, are shrewd and keen, which is manifested by their quickness to utilise all available water power. Every glen has its little torrent, and at the Laxey Mill the Glen Roy stream is harnessed to a turbine, from which as much as 40-h.p. is derived. This force, however, has long been found insufficient to cope with the heavy machinery, and a powerful steam-engine by the late noted firm of McAdams, of Belfast, is also put in requisition. This engine, we may remark, was originally intended for pumping water for irrigation purposes on the Nile, but owing to the pressing necessity of the mill it is now, as we see, quietly grinding flour for food in Mona. The capacity of the mill-which has been fitted up by Harrison Carter's, of London, with a plant second to none in the kingdom, on their improved roller system-is very large. All the floors are lofty, airy, spacious, spotlessly- clean, and free from dust. Altogether, with its brightly polished rows of machines, each quietly and automatically performing its proper function, Corlett's may truly be described as quite a pattern mill of the period, and one of the busiest hives of industry on the island.
We think we have said sufficient to show the up-to-date principles on which the mill is conducted. With such perfect arrangements, the products of the mill must naturally be of a very superior grade, and a valuable connection, extending to every part of the island, is maintained amongst bakers, grocers, provision merchants, farmers, etc. for flour and corn of all kinds. Corlett's manufacture three grades of baking flour, their "Choice Patent Flour" being a great speciality. This flour is made from specially selected wheats, and, for colour, strength, and flavour, compares very favourably with the finest Hungarian flour, so that it is becoming extremely popular amongst high-class bakers for making Vienna bread, pastry, and confectionery of all kinds.
The island, being noted as a grazing district, the wants of the agricultural community receive very particular attention, and the output of all kinds of corn for feeding purposes, especially of crushed barley, is most extensive, and daily increases in volume.
As will be understood, the position of the Laxey Mill, in the forefront of the trade of the island, has not been attained without the aid of energy, enterprise, and conspicuous ability on the part of the proprietor, Mr. Thomas Corlett, M.H.K., and his two sons, Mr. T. S. Corlett, who represents the firm commercially, and Mr. R. T. Corlett, who so ably presides over the internal operations of the mill. In reviewing the present progressive position of the insular industries, we may freely assert that Manx milling has no finer or abler exponent than Mr. T. Corlett, of the Laxey Glen Mill. Whilst being justly regarded on all hands as one of the most successful and energetic business men of the period, few men have done more in their private capacity to further the moral and material interests of their fellow- men than Mr. Thomas Corlett, the senior member for Garff in the Insular Legislature.
Port St. Mary seems to be thriving, like most other enterprising parts of the island. A prominent business man, who has been connected with the trade of the port for half a century or more, is Mr. Edward Qualtrough, whose fishing net factory is the principal industrial establishment in the village. Here, we understand, large quantities of herring, mackerel, salmon, pilchard, and other nets are turned out year by year for local use and for shipment to other fishing centres. Added to this is a wide and flourishing general grocery business the principal one of its kind in Port St. Mary both businesses being conducted on up-to-date and enterprising lines.
The rising and picturesque village of Port St. Mary is gradually extending her arms around Poolvash Bay, as she yearly becomesmore and more popular asahealth resort. With the increase of the population. both permanent and temporary, many articles of daily consumption must enjoy a correspondingly greater demand, and coal is perhaps one of the most essential of these, more especially in the chilly spring and winter days. Manxmen, and Manxwomen too, for the matter of that, like to see a glowing red fire, and nowhere in the district are thëir wants catered for better than at Keig's old-established coal stores, on the New Quay, at Port St. Mary. ' This place has always been held in good repute ever since its inception, over half a century ago, by the father of Mr. Richard Keig, the present proprietor. We may truly state that here a large and varied stock of Lancashire, Whitehaven, and Scotch coal and good useful slack are always available for household use or business purposes, as Mr. Keig's smart 140 ton schooner, the " Capricorn," is constantly engaged in carrying coal from the principal centres of the trade in England. " The yard being so well situated on the New Quay, within a few yards from the vessel's side, rapid and cheap unloading is effected, of which his customers obtain the benefit, as a glance at his moderate price list shows. We may add that Mr. Keig makes a feature of a special house coal, bright and clear in burning, and remarkably free from ash, which, owing to his large contracts, he can supply at less price than is often charged for inferior coal. On the whole, we may fairly assume that so long as Mr. Richard Keig carries on his coal and salt business on the New Quay, the district may rely on being well and honestly served.
In the populous district of which Castletown is the centre, the services of the skilled mason must of necessity be in fair demand. A well-known and thoroughly reliable exponent of this ancient craft is John Quilliam, of the Victoria Road Marble Works, by the Park entrance. Here, from time to time, are turned out memorial crosses, headstones, &c. in marble, granite, and stone, which now ornament the various resting places of the departed all over the island. Imperishable lead letters are fixed to order, and great care is exercised in restoring memorials of all kinds, whether by contract or otherwise. On passing through his works recently, we found several handsome jobs in hand, including one or two beautifully moulded Irish and Manx crosses, the characteristic ornamentation being cleverly designed and admirably executed. Judging from the sound and durable nature of the material we saw on all hands, and the skilful workmanship expended upon it, we consider that, as far as marble working is concerned, whether monumental or architectural, it could not be placed in more capable hands.