[Taken from the Ramsey Courier 7 Mar 1930]

Ramsey Seventy Years Ago

No X Cardle (or Waterloo) Road

Taking the east side of Cardle (or Waterloo) Road, the first house was that of Dr. Clucas, now the Britannia Hotel. In Chapel lane adjoining lived a member of the crew of the Bahama Lightship named Johns the father of the late Capt. David Johns, and another member of the crew of the lightship lived in the same lane. The corner house, across the lane, was that of John Killip, tailor, whose daughter married John Robert Cowell. After one or two small houses, whose occupants I can't recall, came a terrace, in the houses of which lived Miss Kaighen, Mrs Cruickshank, mother of the late High-Bailiff, some people named Garrett, Miss Lace, and then Miss Joughin., who afterwards married Mr W. Ellis, assistant manager of the Bank of Mona, Douglas. After Miss Joughin's house and stables attached, which were on the site of the house now occupied by Miss Cannell, Waterloo Road came the Lough, which was a field extending from that point to the Vicar-General's gardens and stables, and after the Vicar-General's house there were no buildings whatever on that side right up to Ballure Road, with the exception of one small house at Waterloo Lane, adjoining Maughold Street, where Mr Quayle lived. He was the father of blind Quayle, the draper (previously referred to) who left the money to build [corrected in later instalment to buy and refurbish] Quayle's Hall and provide alms houses in Albert Road.

On the west side of the road, starting again from Peel Street, the first place was Elm Cottage and gardens, which have since been replaced by the Palace. Elm Cottage was occupied from 1858 by my father's partner, Mr J. J. Corkill, one of the leading business men in the town. Parsonage Road in those days did not extend further than Mr Allan McWhannell's garden, just behind the Wesleyan Chapel, and to reach May Hill one had to go over a stile and follow a pathway along the headland. The road below, now called Tower Road, was known as Stoney Road, and was always in a dreadful state, for the simple reason that all the stone that was used to build Ramsey was carted down it from the Claughbane quarry. Where Summerland houses are built there were two gardens running from May Hill to McWhannell's garden. These gardens were tenanted by Deemster Stephen and Mr Thos. Kneale. Where the gardens now fronting Summerland houses are situate was simply a field. The only houses in May Hill were the Parsonage and a small terrace just above the part now called Maycroft, and there were no buildings on the other side except the cottage at the White Gate, occupied by Mr Corkill, grandfather of Mr A. Corkill. To return to Waterloo Road, after the Wesleyan Chapel came the double house occupied by Mr Buck and family, whose sons I went to school with. Then came the Wilders, Capt. Bennet, Chief of the Police, E. Harrison (Cooilbane), and Miss Horsfall, who afterwards married Mr Chas Midwood, the father of T. H. Midwood. Then came the Lough again. It was a large waste of land extending on both sides with the roadway running through. Further up there was another terrace of houses, the occupants of which included Robert Teare, banker, Mrs Robertson, Mrs Drummond, Mrs Boardman, Mr R. Mark, "Bob" Paisley. Mrs Teare whose son was later a chemist in Ramsey), Capt Heywood. After the lane came the double house (now Mr G B. Cowen's studio), where the Howitt family lived. Then the Craine's house, next there lived a man named Cubbon, then Southwards, and Mr Davies. After a lane came "Robin Sam's" orchard, which extended up to the Bog Road, now Queen's Drive. Fields extended from here right up to Ballure Cottage.

I was reminded the other day of the remarkable practice which existed in Ramsey some years later than the period I have been dealing with, of individual policemen who apprehended offenders participating in the proceeds of the fines imposed by the High-Bailiff. It was, as a matter of fact the custom for the policeman proving the offence to get for himself half the fine collected from defendants as petty offenders. One member of the force, I remember, who had an eye for the main chance, was particularly active in getting prosecutions for such offences as leaving horses and carts without anyone in charge. The law provided that a horse and cart had to be in charge of a person over 14 years, and this person had not to be further away from the horse than the tailboard of the cart. I recall this especially energetic police officer one day finding eight horses and carts in a row on the Quay, with only one man in charge, the others probably having adjourned to assuage their thirst in an nearby inn, as was the habit in those days for the merchants to stand the men from the country a drink. He promptly "booked" seven of them, and pocketed a nice sum out of the fines of 10s apiece.On another occasion the same policeman "booked" the Archdeacon because he left his phaeton in charge of a youth who was not quite fourteen years of age, and the worthy cleric was fined 1 and costs.

The quayside was the scene of many sanguinary exhibitions of fisticuffs in my early days. One occasion stands out in my memory when two hawkers, noted characters, "peeled off" and engaged in a desperate fight on the quay just near the back of our own premises. A number of inhabitants followed the encounter, including two policemen who were content to look on and let the battle go the full distance, until after about ten minutes one of the contestants was knocked out. The officers then prompted marched both men off to the police station, and they were later accommodated for a period in Castle Rushen. One of these men, by the way, frequently repaired to the Castle as a result of his taste for pugilism, and he never failed to thank the High-Bailiff after receiving his sentence for sending him back to what he regarded as his "home from home".


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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2004