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Tuesday May 27th


TomGlassey

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8.17 a.m. I’m just back from my morning walk. Today we have a stiff North-easterly blow which is gusting up to about force 6. Well today was the first of the commuter steam trains, which are running from Port Erin to Douglas for the next two weeks. I’m glad to say the first train came through Castletown with a reasonable amount of passengers onboard. Yesterday, as usually on Mondays, off we went to Peel. Now then, I did set something of a record here as it’s the first time I can remember ever going to Peel and not calling at the chippie. No, after visiting Mother at the hospital we continued on our merry way to Peel and dined at Moore’s Kipper house. We sat outside and I had a very nice kipper bap and Barbara had a crab bap, both served with a cup of tea. What a nice chap Paul Desmond is, the proprietor of Moore’s kippers. His kipper house must be one of the very few places left now where you can smoke indoors. That is if you are a herring of course.

 

I have just enjoyed three pancakes for my breakfast. So, the diet is on course and I am doing well. Even when I was a kid I used to get very excited about going to Peel. It was so far away from Castletown for one thing. We didn’t have a car, so we only got to Peel when a car owning person called. Just the very name Peel to us kids meant ice cream, sandy beaches and kippers. Being the other side of the Island made it more exciting. The only place that was further away was Ramsey, and of course Ramsey had Radio Caroline, and the Mooragh Park, which made it a very exciting place to visit. As a youngster I was always going out in boats with the boatmen of Castletown. However, there was something a bit special about taking a boat on the Mooragh Lake. Surely back in those days, no one visited Ramsey without taking a boat out on the Mooragh, just as you wouldn’t visit Peel without having ice cream or a visit to the beach.

 

I bought my first boat in Peel, called ‘Sea Dancer. On our maiden voyage back to Castletown, our starboard engine over heated. This meant we had to continue with only the port engine and as the port engine was new, she could only be run at about a quarter revs, in order to run her in. The trip took around four hours in total to reach Castletown. ‘Sea Dancer’ turned out to be a disastrous purchase. As we stood looking at her from the quayside bits dropped off her. As fast as we repaired one thing, something else would fall off her or breakdown. I sold her to an engineering chap in Ramsey who did completely rebuild her. However, the last I heard was that, just like an old dog, she had made her way home again, and was now back in Peel.

 

When I lived in St. Johns, I used to walk in to Peel most days to do the shopping. Sometimes I would return on the bus if the weather was bad. I got to know the bus drivers, and one driver by the name of Jack Quayle who I think lived in Kirk Michael, became a really good pal. One day I had ordered a new pair of binoculars from Douglas as a surprise for my wife Barbara. I had asked the shop to put the binoculars on the Peel bus and I would meet the bus at St Johns. I made my way out to the bus stop at St Johns at the agreed time to collect the binoculars. I stood waiting at the bus stop and eventually along came the bus. The door opened, and Jack called out. “Tom, they tried to give me a pair of binoculars in Douglas for you, so I told them I didn’t think it was very funny, and told them to shove the binoculars where the sun doesn’t shine!” As soon as Jack saw my name, Tom Glassey on the parcel containing the binoculars, and Jack knowing that I am totally blind, he must have thought it was some kind of practical joke. I did manage to get the binoculars eventually; a bus came out to the cottage especially and delivered them to the door.

 

Well people, until tomorrow then, this is Tom Glassey with news at 9.55, enjoying my breakfast of pancakes on the banks of the Silverburn River.

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