[From William Cooper's Castletown]

Malew Street to Bank

Cooper's Text Notes by Eva Wilson
  Originally called Church Street, this was the main road out of Castletown
to Malew Church and Ballasalla.
Current numbering of houses in Malew Street treats the end house,
which faces Market Square, now Loyds Pharmacy, as no.1, including
the next house in Malew Street, which is now a part of the Pharmacy
premises. Cooper, however, begins with this house as no. 1. In an
attempt to avoid confusion, the current house number is placed in
brackets after Coopers numbering, and current house numbers are used
in the notes.
No. 1[3] and No. 3[5] were burnt out about 1885 when I
was still going to school. They were the draper's shop of
Wood Brothers. We were not allowed to go that way to
school the morning after the fire and had to go round by the
Castle. I remember seeing Mr. David Lace on a ladder
knocking down loose stones. They were afterwards rebuilt,
No. 1[3] by Mr. James Stowell and No. 3[5] by George
Collister, tailor and outfitter.
3 Malew Street is now part of Loyds Pharmacy premises and 5
Sunflower Diner, Part Two. They are both similar three-storeyed, three
bay buildings with dormers. No. 3 has, in addition, a rather elaborate
outshot from the first floor to an extended dormer at roof level.
No. 5[7] was the baker's shop of the Misses Clague, and is
still a baker's shop.
7 Malew Street. W. R. Holmes, bakers and confectioners, are
remembered here. Now Sandwich Deli.
No. 7[9] was a small shop kept by a Mr. Peter Daniels who
sold home-made toffees, etc. It was afterwards converted
into a confectioner's shop by Mr. J. Kermode Sr. for his
son. The son lived there until his father died when he
moved to Arbory St. and this shop was taken over by the
Misses Duggan. It is now kept by Mr. Quayle.
No. 9[11] was the shop of Mr. Collister until he moved to
no. 3. It was later bought by the Misses Duggan, who
converted it into a restaurant connected to the
confectioner's shop.
9-11 Malew Street, Jules, dress shop.
No.11[13] was the baker's shop of Mr. John Woods, father
of Wood Brothers, drapers. It was afterwards a boot shop
kept by Mr. Joe Bell who put in a window in the gable,
which projects past the next house.
J. K. M. Sutton, dentist. There is now also a door in the gable end with
a window above.
Market House. The top floor of this was the Custom
House, the Comptroller was Mr. R. C. Crellin of Westhill.
He had several men under him and was the last Comptroller
of Castletown. One of the men under him was Mr. Sutherst,
who married a Castletown girl, Sansbury. She died and he
afterwards married my cousin, Miss Eliza Cooper of
Douglas, who had been at his first wedding.
The arches were open in my young days, so that the market
people could have shelter on wet days, but were afterwards
built up. The shop on the right was always a butcher's shop
in my time kept by Mr. J. J. Gell until the Bank moved
there. Then Mr. Gell removed to the left hand, which is still
a butcher's shop kept by Mr. Turnbull. For some years,
when I was young, this was a butcher's shop kept by Mr.
W. Clague and afterwards by a man from Foxdale, who
came in at the end of the week.
I also remember Mr. Black, a Customs Officer who lived in
a house on the Crofts; the last officer here was Mr. John
Clague, who lived at Albert Terrace, the Crofts. In his time
the office was removed to its present position.
Barclays Bank. Built by subscription in 1830, on the site of the 'Baby
Tower, as public shambles (butchers' market). The architect was
Thomas Brine. The original intention may have been to use the upstairs
premises as a Town Hall, however, they appear to have been used for
various purposes - generally referred to as Assembly Rooms. This
included the use as the Customs House, remembered by Cooper.
No. 2. This was Mr. Thos. Boyd, Ironmonger's Shop. After
his death it was kept by his two daughters, until they
removed to the Bank, when it became a butcher's shop kept
by a Mr. Kennaugh. It is still a butcher's shop.
The Port Erin Gaslight and Aerated Water Company Ltd. Kennaugh's
business became a subsidiary of Cubbon, butchers of Arbory Street, run
by Florrie Cubbon, still remembered by many.

No. 4. 1 have heard that this was Mr. R. K. Kermode's
[Chemist] shop before he moved to the present shop, but
that was before my time of memory. The first tenant I
remember was Mr. Charles Prew, watchmaker, and after
him Mr. James Swales, watchmaker. It was afterwards
made into a plumber's shop by Mr. P. McHarrie and is still
a plumber's shop kept by his brother, Mr. T. A. McHarrie.

Swale's shop Castletown
Swale's Shop & Clock c.1900

4 Malew Street, Castledeli, delicatessen. The present owner, a son of
T. A. McHarrie demolished and rebuilt the house in the 1980, at which
time a well was discovered under the shop.
Mr Wilson, born in 1900 (see Queen Street) remembers: 'There once
was a clock on the street at no.4 Malew Street. In my young days and well
into my teens it was occupied by a man named Swales who was a
watchmaker. He had a clock on the outside front wall above the shop
window. The dial was the size of that of a grandfather clock and it was
surrounded by a wooden rim. It must have been wound up from inside the
building. In the five years of catching the first train to Douglas to go to Park
Road School I always looked at the clock; if it was 7.30 I could stroll to the
station, if it was 7.35 I could walk smartly, if it was 7.40 I had to put my
school bag under my arm and sprint! More days than most it was a sprint!
Mr Swales' clock was there a long time, I was into my teens anyway when
the clock stopped and Mr Swales appeared to be unable to get it going
again. Some wag in the town wrote a poem about the clock, I only
remember two lines to the effect that 'Our eggs will either be overcooked or
are not cooked at all'. Mr. Swales got very annoyed at this and took the
clock down.'
I have been told that Mr. McHarrie still has the clock.
No. 6. This was Mr. W. Kermode's, saddler, shop and is
still occupied by his daughter.
I. Radcliffe Butchers Ltd. In another context Cooper writes about
Kermode's saddlers shop: 'This shop was the meeting place of a lot of old
cronies, and when they were agitating to get Town Commissioners and
were going round for signatures to the petition they kept saying "The rates
will never be more than 2/- in the pound. No never!"
No. 8. This was the grocery shop of Mr. James Mylchreest,
who has warehouses and stables in the Castle Moat which
are now pulled down. It was afterwards kept by Mr. Philip
Kegg and Mr. Richard Cain and is now a grocer's shop still.
Photographs from the turn of the eighteenth[sic ?nineteenth] century show these
No. 10. I do not know if there were two shops here in my
young days, but Mr. Karran had a draper's shop and after
him Mr. Richard Qualtrough. Then it was burnt down, early
in 1886 1 think. The morning after the fire I passed it going
to work and it was hanging in icicles as the water was
frozen. It was rebuilt and was a baker's shop kept by a Mr.
R. Cooil when it was again burnt down. We were not
allowed to go down Malew St. and, as I was walking along
the Quay to go up the Bank, the roof fell in and the flames
burst up. It was again built up and is now a show room for
Messrs. Taggarts Ltd.
8 Malew Street, C.B.F. Technology Development Centre. 10 Malew
Street, The Vineyard Wine Merchant. This is today an imposing
building on three floors, now divided into two shop units. During recent
renovation work it was noted that the eighteenth-century building still
remains behind the Victorian façade. Charred timbers from past fires
demonstrate that the building was damaged but not destroyed during
these incidents.
In 1900, James Mylchreest, Grocer and Spirit Merchant, is described as
'..Being the finest business establishment in Castletown, Mylchreest & Co's
handsome retail department arrests attention of all passers-by along quaint
Malew Street ... Passing through the great storage warehouse in Market
Place (formerly the Barracks) ... Passing the coffee-roasting and grinding,
fruit cleaning and bottling machinery, we come across the firm's electrical
installation, the only one of the kind out of Douglas, we believe. The
dynamo is of great power, being used for lighting not only the warehouse,
but the whole of the Malew Street premises, and is driven by a Crossley's
6-h.p. gas engine.18
T. Punch, "Punch's Perfect Pictures', W. C. Backforth, jeweller and clock
repairer, G. H. Dobby Jones, grocer and W. Dee-Dee, Dee, butcher, are
among the businesses remembered in these premises,
In 1975 Taggarts Ltd. moved its furniture shop to Malew Street, as the
premises in 20 Arbory Street closed down. At this time the building was
further extended to provide large display show-rooms.19 Taggarts finally
closed down in the 1990s.
No. 12. This was Mr. J. Backwell's shop, printing and
stationery, and after his death kept by his son, Alfred. When
he retired it was taken by Mr. T. Cowell who had been an
apprentice there. It is now kept by Mr. J. Nash.
G. G. Corlett Newsagent.
No. 14. This was a watchmaker's shop kept by a Mr.Clucas,
and afterwards a tobacconist's kept by a Mr. Clarke, and is
still a tobacconist's kept by Mr. R. Oates.
14 Malew Street. The Oates's shop survived until the late 1960s, when
it was incorporated in Corletts as the Card Cabin. In 1999 it became a
hairdressers. Now, Castle Cutz.
No. 16. This was the house of Mrs. Jones and her two sons;
Dr. Rowley and Richard. Mrs. Jones was as good as a
doctor where women and children were concerned. Dr.
Rowley was rather fond of drink, but some people would
sooner have him than any other doctor, drunk or not. He
had an only son who went to sea; the ship was lost in the
English Channel on the return of his first voyage and he
was drowned. Dick kept cows in a house above the Brewery
and had a field or two on the Claddagh.
Castle Folly. The properties on the corner of Malew Street and Bank
Street have been very extensively renovated and converted to private
residences in recent years.
There is a rare account from the seventeenth century of a Castletown
merchant and his shop in this area. He was Jeffrey Galloway, and the
inventory of the stock in his shop attached to his will in 1610, lists a rich
variety of cloth and fabrics, shoes and stockings, as well as tools and
spices. He was a bit of a rogue - he and his wife were frequently before
the courts for slandering the governor, at this time Robert Molyneux. He
died in prison in Liverpool. 20


18 Mercantile Manxland Reviewed up-to-date 1900. MNH Library B240/8.

19 Dougles, Mona, op.cit.

20 Hampton, Geraldine et al. 2000 'Jeffrey Galloway - Merchant of Castletown, anyone's ancestor?', IOM Family History .Society, vol.xii, no.2 [?ref]

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