[Taken from the Ramsey Courier 7 Feb 1930]
The last three vessels built at the Ship-yard in Mr T.C. Gibson's time were the three luggers, Hamilton, Cambria and Flyaway, the first two-named of which I owned myself later on in the seventies. After Mr Gibson left the Island the Shipyard was idle for some time, when it was taken over by Messrs Kermeen and Greaves.
Before leaving the earlier period, however, I might describe the Ramsey quay as it was in the fifties. From Bowring Road, as it is now called, to West Street there was not a building except the solitary store kept by Robert Teare, merchant, which was right on the corner opposite where Corrin's premises now stand, and, as a matter of fact, there were no buildings on the Sandy Road side between Derby Road and Parliament Square at that time.
Returning to the quay, between West Street and Christian Street there were only three houses situate at the top of West Street near Parliament Street, the land on the quayside being called "the Green". From Christian Street facing the quay to Harry Quilliam's public house, which was on the property adjoining the present Combine premises, there were no buildings except on the corner. Billie Garrett's smithy, later Cleator Bro's warehouse, and now that of the firm of Corlett and Cowley. (Billy Garrett afterwards moved to a smithy in the Cooperage) Beyond Quilliam's there were two houses and a stable-yard, and then the building at the corner now occupied by Dibb's which was erected by William Craine, builder, and brother of John Craine, saddler, father of the present Mr John Craine. This was occupied by John Chrystal, grocer, who afterwards founded the well-known autioneering firm, of which his son, Mr Alfred Chrystal, is now the head. Crossing East Street, we had Daniel Clarke's Stanley Inn, and next door another little public house, belonging to a man named Cowin, who hailed from Port-e-Vullen. Adjoining was William Cannell's(coal factor) shop and house, then a warehouse occupied by Cleator Bros., the stable yard of the Crown Inn, and Joe Curphey's yard and bakehouse. Thomas Radcliffe, coach-builder, lived where the Trafalgar Hotel is now, and cows were actually kept in the yard behind the premises.
After the lane came the house (Corkill and Kneale's) in which I lived, and my bedroom was at the top of the building overlooking the harbour. It is little wonder that thus early in life I began to be interested in the activities round the harbour, an interest which I have retained all my life. Adjoining our house was Cannell's yard, and the back of John Carran's premises. Next came a warehouse, the top flats of which were occupied by William Callow, the Leighany, who kept a provender store. After William Brown's ship chandlery, which extended from Parliament Street to the Quay, came the sail-making establishment of Cottier, "the Rigger". Then after the Mitre yard and stables was James Corlett's (painter) yard and stables, and the private house of Wm. Moore, carpenter, where Robt. Kerruish, afterwards of The Tower, lived as a boy. After the lane there was where Martin's shop is now, the only coal-yard in Ramsey, that of Charlie Teare, also harbour master. Next to this was the grocer's shop, later a bonded warehouse. After another private house came the Commercial Hotel, kept by Mrs Teare. Where the bar of the Commercial is situate at the present time, facing the Market Place, was the shoemaker's shop belonging to Mr John Robert Cowell's father.
On the east side of the Market Place, starting from King Street, was Mills, the tinsmith. Adjoining was a shop re-built by Edward Collins, of King Street, and next was Higgins, the draper, who removed to there from Market Hill. Then came Dale Street, which took its name from the dale which at that earlier period crossed the Market Place. In the corner premises which are now the shop occupied by Cowley Bros., was "Micky" Armroyd, a one-legged barber, who also dealt in fishing tackle etc. The next property was originally a big shop, because it included the premises which now comprise two chemists' shops and the Coronation Restaurant. The place was built by Thomas and Allan Christian. It was a drapery establishment, where my father served his time, and the firm also had shops in Peel and Douglas, being in a big way of business. A serious fire, at a time when there was no fire-fighting apparatus in the town whatever, destroyed the shop. It was re-built, but again burnt down. When the premises were restored this time, the three shops were built much as they are now, and as I remember them, were occupied by W. Teare, chemist, G. F. Mills, shoemaker, and James Kermode, brother of the Rev Wm. Kermode, Rector of Ballaugh, had a restaurant in the third. Mr Christian, by the ... [tba]