[From The Manxman, #4 1911]

Oldest Manx Passengers and their Quaint Reminiscences

"I hope you will succeed in unearthing the old brigade."-Mr. John Sugden.

Dr. Banning tells us how, in 1839

The present detailed list of O.M.P.'s is a corrected one, containing several new names. In particular I regret having previously overlooked that of Mr. John McLaren (1838). I trust he is still well and hearty and hope to hear from him. He first crossed on the " Queen of the Isle," of which a picture has appeared and frequent mention made. Dr. Robert J. Banning, M.D., writes:-- My father, the late Mr. Joseph Banning, deputy postmaster of Liverpool, took his family-including myself, then a small boy-for an almost annual holiday to the Island. I went in 1839, and from thence onwards to the 40's and 50's I made many pleasant trips there. The earliest boats that I seem to remember were the 'Mona's Isle ' and, later on, the 'King Orry' and ' Ben-my-Chree.' I fancy Captain Quayle was the name of an early commander. The sailings were, I think, bi-weekly, and we did not look forward in those days to a very happy passage. The boats were small, the seas often rough, and the passage generally lasted seven hours or longer. I remember we frequently waited for the tide outside Douglas Harbour and landed in small boats. Douglas was a little town of old houses and narrow, badly paved streets, with one large open space in which was held an open-air market. There was standing room for a few ramshackle vehicles. I think there was no proper hotel, only small inns. We generally stayed at a boarding house kept by Mr. Maxwell, but none of the lodging houses then faced the bay. The sea was gloriously clear and the beach charming.

he collected carnelians and agates -and has got them yet.

Much of our time was spent in searching for carnelians, agates, etc., and I have still many large and beautiful specimens. Sometimes we stayed at Ramsey, then a very small place. Heelis's Hotel, an old-fashioned one, was kept by the reputed son, or grandson, of a Scottish peer. He always presided at the early table d'h6te dinner. As my last visit to the Island was in 1866, my recollections may have got a little mixed." For so long a time back the recollections are quite good. But there were hotels in Douglas, the "Royal" being then, as it is now, first class. I hope Dr. Banning will send me his photo. By the way, can any old resident tell me what shores were famous for such stones as Dr. Banning has mentioned?

Started going early.

Mr. John Young (1840) sends a pleasant, homely letter : " I was born on December 20th, 1840, at No. 3, Montague Mews, London, my father being coachman for Lord Kenyon, whom he left to enter the service, in the same capacity, of Dr. Short, Lord Bishop of- Sodor and Man. This was in the spring of 1841, so that I went to the Isle of Man a baby in my mother's arms. Afterwards my father went to work for Squire Willoughby, the owner of Birkenhead Ferry, but I got back to the Island, in 1860, as carrier at the brick works over which Mr. Edward Cain Baker, Strand Street, was the manager. We had a very rough passage, being thirteen hours in crossing and given up as lost. I think the ship was the 'Mona's Queen.' " Even this second experience was fifty-one years ago. What wonderfully long-lived people our old Manx passengers are, to be sure!

Three days at sea.

Mr. John Allen (1841), whom we recently had the pleasure of meeting on board the " Mona's Queen," on one of the successful Morecambe Bay trips, and whose photo. appeared in the June number, wrote us:-- I was born on September 10th, 1840, at No. 1, Leather Lane, off Dale Street, Liverpool, and christened at the Old Church. I was sent to the Isle of Man, to a relative, when a few months old, and stayed there about four years. My mother came from the Island, in 1825, on a schooner and she told me she was three days on the passage, having very bad weather off the Calf of Man. Since my first visit I have been again about fifty times and still go regularly." These charming letters go to show one thing very clearly, namely, that when one sees the Island they scarcely ever again lose their love for it.

Mr. F. T. Luckman,
Mr. F. T. Luckman, 1856.

Mr Isaiah Nelson
Mr Isaiah Nelson 1857

 

No Boarding Houses then.

Mr. F. Boardman (1842), of Bolton, says that he remembers crossing with three others, in 1842, and that the " party stayed at the house of the steam-packet firemen, near to the Hotel." In those days the b:;arding )usiness as we know it now did not exist, -e cretins of the steamers often, obliged by taking them home, generally to but clean and neat houses. By the way, ere " twelve hours on the journey " on !anion named above, sufficient time for esent " Ben-inn-Chree " to make two to voyages, there and back.

Douglas: Three Days.

T. Rushton, writing on behalf of 'Mr. T. Evans (1844), a gentleman now 87 years of age said that, " he thinks it was the ' Tynwald' he went over in. It took him three days from the Potteries. He drove in a coach from Stoke-on-Trent to Northwich and went by boat from there to Runcorn, where he stayed all night. He proceeded to Liverpool by boat next day and there he also spent a night, the Isle of Man steamer on the following morning; the passage took ten hours." Just fancy ! in these progressive times tourists can easily get from Stoke to Douglas and back in the same day ! I wonder what the tripper of 1844 would have thought of a Manxman published for his convenience? or of the ' Ben.," the " Snaefell, or " Viking "?

The "Lazy Lassie," is slow-was always sure.

Here is an exceedingly interesting letter from Mr. F. W. Marshall (1844), of Shipley, Yorks. :-" In July, 1844, my parents, then resident in Manchester, took me to the Isle of Man. We left the Liverpool landing stage at noon, by the 'Mona's Isle,' then humorously called the'Lazy Lassie.' All went well till we got out into a choppy sea when most of us were very sick. We made such poor progress that, at about the time we should have landed, the Commander, Capt. Kermode, gave his passengers to understand that they were then about as far off the Island as when they started ! Not long after this we were also informed by the steward that we were eaten up-aye, and drunk up, too-with 'nothing left but coffee.' which was soon in great demand. I well remember it, such coffee ! The storm increased but the 'Lassie ' behaved well, for all believed that if she was slow she was sure. Eventually, there came a change, the storm had spent its power and just past midnight the lights of Douglas were seen. What a joyous sight. At two o'clock a.m. we came to a stop and the passengers were taken ashore in small boats and then carried on to the shingle by the sailors. While the ladies thought this very infra fig., they were glad to feel the land after fourteen hours of the sea. How most of them fared in these early hours I do not remember, but my parents and myself and several others were very shortly afterwards comfortably nestled in the captain's domain. Before retiring to rest, so hungry were we all, that every particle of food in the ho ,se had been consumed, but everyone felt as jolly as jolly could he. Comparing these days with sixty-seven years ago, one cannot help admiring the change which has taken place both in regard to railway and sea travelling. Most wonderful ! The quickness, the comfort (even luxury) with which Britain's beauty spot can be reached to-day." But more wonderful still, all said and done, is the marvellous response we have had from our old passengers.

Lines to Douglas Bay.

Oh, emerald waves ! to me your music cometh
Like the dim music in an ocean shell,
Calling me back, with fond, familiar voices,
To tread again the shores, beloved, alas! too well.

No fairer scenes may to the poet's spirit
Beneath the blue skies of Italia smile
Than these, oh lovely bay, that fondly guardest
With thy far-spreading waves, dear Mona's Isle.

Fair shores of Mona ! fond remembrance hallows
Your changing scenes thro' mist and sun and shade
A cherished dream of beauty, unforgotten
Till life itself shall from your minstrel fade !

(The first poetical tribute of admiration for the beautiful and romantic scenery of the Island ever published. The authoress being Eliza Craven Green; the sender of the lines being Mrrs. Imrie, one of the oldest Manx passengers).

Corrected List of O.M.P.S

1827-(before the Steampacket Co. started) Mr. John Woolcock, Claremont House, Marshlane, Bootle.
1830-Mr. William Hetherington, 218, North Hill-street, Liverpool.
1832-Mr. Leonard Wild, 1, Bradford-terrace, Haulgh, Bolton.
1834-Mr. J. H. Tattersall, 35, Henrietta-street, Old Trafford.
1835-Mrs. F. Burton, Broad Elms, Alexandragrove, North Finchley, London, N.
1835-Mr. A. Lewthwaite, Market Hill, Douglas, Isle of Man,
1836-Miss Shimmin, Douglas-street, Peel, Isle of Man.
1838-Mrs. Sarah J. Shakespeare, Ashurst, Twyford, Winchester.
1838-Mrs. Annie E. Imrie, Grewbon, 23, Cornwall-avenue, Finchley, London, N.
1835-Professor J. Logan Lobley, F.G.S., F.R.G.S., 36, Palace-street, Buckingham-gate, London.
1838-Rev. R. Noble Jackson, Rector of Sudeley Manor, Rathmore, Winchcombe.
1839-Dr. R. J. Banning, Helidon House, Shoeburyness, Essex.
1840-Mr. John Hutchinson, Dullatur House. Hereford.
1840-Mr. Joseph Manger, 35, Gorsehill-road, New Brighton, Cheshire.
1840--Mr. John Young, 16, Hawthorne-grove, Seaforth, Liverpool.
1841--Sir Charles Santley, 67, Carlton-hill, London, -NAY .
1841-Mr. John Allen, 5, Beaconsfield-terrace, Garston, Lancashire.
1842-Mr. I . Boardman, 75, Church-tce Little Lever, Bolton.
1844-Mr. T. Evans, c/o 110, Thornton-road, Stoke-on-Trent.
1844-Mr. Edward Mills, 6, Buccleuch-terrace, Edinburgh.
1844-Mr. F'. tiV. Marshall, 57, Bradford-road, Shipley, Yorksnire.
1844-Mr. M. Walsh, 26, Cubbin-street, Liverpool.
1845-Mr. P. Parkinson, 110, Bank Top, Blackburn.
1845-Mrs. Harriet Young, 54, Enville-street, Stourbridge.
1846-Mr. J. Roberts, 979, Eccleshall-road, Sheffield.
1847-Mrs. Clayton, 24:3, Duke-street, Park, Sheffield.
1847-Mr. T. W. Roome, Public Library, Rawmarsh.
1848-Mrs. Emily C. Russell, 124, Unthank-road, Norwich.
1848-Mr. J. W. Hincks, 46, Watergate-street, Chester.
1848-Mr. A. Fenton, sen., 74, Leicester-road, Higher Broughton, -Manchester.
1848-Field-Marshal Sir George White, V.C., White Hall, Ballymena, Co. Antrim.
1848-Mr. S. E, Wilson, The Tree;, North Parkroad, Bradford.
1849-Mr. J. Dunnatt, 2, Harold's-terrace, Scarborough-street, Hull.
1849-Mr. John Taylor, 186, Green acres-road, Oldham.
1849-Mr. Henry Elliott, c/o Thornhurst, Oughtibridge, near Sheffield.
1849-Mrs. Crook (of Brighton), c/o 1, Kemblestreet, Kingsway, London, W.C.
1850-Mr. James Laycock, 20, Trinity-road, Scarborough.
1850-Mr. R. Turner, senior, 6, Reedley-terrace, near Burnley.
1850-Mr. Watson, senior, P.O., Spring Vale, Darwen.
1850-Mr. John Jackson, 112, Moorbottom-road, Thornton Lodge, Huddersfield.
1850-Mr. J. Emery, 174, Ashley-road, Altrincham.
1850-Mr. S. H. Abson, 156, Russell-avenue, Noel Park, Wood Green, London, N.
1850-Mr Richard Williams, 20 Art-street, Wolverhampton.
1850-Mr. Arthur Bunting, The Cliff, Seaton Cartw, West Hartlepool.
1851-Mr. I. R. Wood, 82, George-street, Manchester.
1852-Mr. L. Bullock, 22, Villiers-st., Dresden, Longton, Staffordshire.
1853-Mr. T. E. Dickman, 50, Westborne-road, Birkenhead.
1853-Mr. James Barras, Harcourt Mill, Weststreet, Yorkshire (town not stated).
1853-Mr. Alex. Collins, solicitor, Harringtonstreet, Liverpool.
1853-Mrs. Hopkins, 91, Wade-street, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.
1854-Mrs. Atkinson, 253, Birchfield-road, Perry Barr, Birmingham.
1854-Mr. T. Coupe, Collin House, Norden, Rochdale.
1854-Mr. T. Carter, Market-street, Paddock, Huddersfield.
1855-Mr. J. Phillips, Barrington-road, Liverpool.
1855-Mr. Wm. Vaughan, Wave Crest, Selsey Beach, Sussex.
1855-Mr. R. Palmer, 130, Droop-street, Queen's Park Estate, London, W.
1856-Mr. F. T. Luckman, 68, St. Andrew's-road, St. Annes-on-Sea.
1856-Mr. W. Lawson, 2, King-street, South Bank, Yorkshire (town not stated).
1856-Mr. Whittaker, 908, Hollins-road, Hollinwood, Oldham.
1856-Mr. Thomas Clegg, 110, Smedley, P.O., Cheetham, Manchester.
1857-Mr. I. Nelson, 35, Cranmer-street, Long Eaton, Derbyshire.
1858-Mr. William Tipping, The Hollies, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire.
1858-Mr. Herbert Ward, 34, Crescent-road, Birley Carr, near Sheffield.
1859-Mr. J. White, 67, Broughton-lane, Carbrook, Sheffield.
1859-Mr. R. A. Matthews, 9, Oldgate, Nottingham.
1859-Mr. J. Paget, 10, Spring Gardens, Bradford.
1860-Mr. W. Nuttall, Rose Cottage, Welshampton, near Ellesmere, Salop.
1860-Mr. J. Sugden, Laurel Bank.
1860-Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, 29, Greek-street, Stockport.
1860-Mr. F. King, 11, Russell-gardens, Fensington, London.
1860-Mr. C. H. Jones, 55, Newton-street, Manchester.
1860-Mr. S. Ash, 28, Gasgil-street, Newton Heath, Manchester.
1860-Mr. H. J. Allen, 85, Ashburnham-road, Kensal Rise, London, N.W.
1861-Mr. Houlden, senior, 28, Church Hillstreet, Burton-on-Trent.
1861-Mr. I. W. Thompson, 105, Cavendishstreet, Ashton-under-Lyne.

All the above hold at least a 50 years' record.

WILLIAM HEATHERINGTON

Mr. WILLIAM HEATHERINGTON, 'The oldest Manx Passenger, who had also crossed in August, 1830, embarking on board the " Ben-my-Chree."

 


 

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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
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