[Taken from the Ramsey Courier 14 Mar 1930]

Ramsey Seventy Years Ago

No XI -Church Street

Church Street was a centre of no little importance in Ramsey in the fifties. Detailing the street as it was in those days, we had commencing on the west side, Billy Sayle's butcher's shop, situate where Alldritt's is now, and in Market Lane which adjoined, and facing the street was a little public house kept by a man named Ferrish. The next building in the street, the corner premises - now Edmondson's, belonged to John Kissack, blacksmith, whose daughter kept a tobacco shop there, the smithy being behind. John Kissack was afterwards town clerk of Ramsey, and he was the father of Harry Kissack, a well known local man in is day. Another town clerk of Ramsey in the earliest days was James Wood, who made an atlas of the Isle of man. Next to Kissack's came the shop and house of Clucas Cannan's baker, and then the Highlander Inn, kept by Robert Christian, of Ballaterson. Douglas Lane which adjoined, was called after a local policeman, and the premises beyond were those of Boyde, the builder, father of the late Messrs John T. Boyde and William Boyde, who in addition to his building activities, kept a grocery shop on these premises. Then there was a store, belonging to Southwards, of the Woollen Mills, Sulby, which opened on Saturdays for the reception of wool and the sale of cloth etc. Next came Ned Cubbon's (butcher), Mrs Kneale's small shop, and after a little house there was Cain's bakers, adjoining the National Schools - a shop now occupied by Mr Rome. Two houses, whose occupants I can't recall, but which belonged to Miss Kermode, Parliament Street, were followed by Kneale Cowle's restaurant ; then Lord's house, and the Sprigger's Lane leading into College Street came next. The house at the corner was tennanted by Miss Stowell, and then there was a biggish house, where George Preston, fisherman, lived. Next to Preston's was a small shop kept by Morrison's and after that the lane leading into College Street. Then there was Moore, the carpenter's and some further small houses, until Robin Sam's public house was reached.

Robin's nest and the Old Swan

It was known by the name "Robin's Nest" Robin Sam's daughter, Kitty, some years later married a man named Hampton, and they had the licence transferred from the "Robin's Nest" to Mr LaMothe's old house, which was then christened the "Old Swan".

Taking the East side of the street from the Church end, the first house was that of Thos Vondy, of Dunluce, and then came the entrance to James Callow's dwelling house, workshops and timber yards. Adjoining that were the dwelling house and cow-sheds of Thomas Rothwell, shoemaker, who also kept cows ; and next came a small shop, followed by the double fronted premises occupied by Cammeron and Co. drapers, and then came Thos. Corkish's. There was another house before we came to Corrin's Lane, called after Ed Corrin who had a house and tan yard at the top end of the lane. Further on there were some more small houses until the grocer's shop of James Teare was reached. Here Philip Quayle (afterwards of the old Cross) served his time. Then came the house of William Quayle, Custom's House Officer, and next the house and shop of T.A. Fargher, and adjoining lived Thomas Caley, the father of Messrs Robert Caley, T.C., and Chas Caley. Then came the property of Fd. Gawne.

Church Street was in those days, notorious for the floods which often submerged the street at high tide. As lads we frequently built rafts which we used to get to and from the Grammar School, in College Street, by way of Sprigger's Lane.


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