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Fairy tales?

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16 minutes ago, Andy Onchan said:

You might think the amount is minuscule but it's public money and needs justifying.   

It can be justified - 

  • It was a nice thing to do
  • Was popular with locals - going out looking for them
  • It generated some off island coverage
  • It adds to the range of things that you can do and see here
  • It supports an alternative tourist proposition than simply motorcycling, one drawing on the uniqueness of the Island's culture and folklore

Essentially, it was an inexpensive addition to the Island's tourist offering, that generated publicity. It would have been naive to expect people to visit just for them. 

And it was inexpensive - less than a year's salary for a fairly junior civil servant (and no pension liability), a quarter of what they pay Manx Radio to broadcast the TT. 

We spend millions to support the TT because it supports the tourist industry. This is a few thousand, it brought joy to locals, raised the islands profile and made the island a slightly nicer place to live and visit and no one died, no one was late to work, no one danced erratically in Jaks or set up a fund raising page to cover fines for crossing a road. 

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4 minutes ago, Declan said:

It can be justified - 

  • It was a nice thing to do
  • Was popular with locals - going out looking for them
  • It generated some off island coverage
  • It adds to the range of things that you can do and see here
  • It supports an alternative tourist proposition than simply motorcycling, one drawing on the uniqueness of the Island's culture and folklore

Essentially, it was an inexpensive addition to the Island's tourist offering, that generated publicity. It would have been naive to expect people to visit just for them. 

And it was inexpensive - less than a year's salary for a fairly junior civil servant (and no pension liability), a quarter of what they pay Manx Radio to broadcast the TT. 

We spend millions to support the TT because it supports the tourist industry. This is a few thousand, it brought joy to locals, raised the islands profile and made the island a slightly nicer place to live and visit and no one died, no one was late to work, no one danced erratically in Jaks or set up a fund raising page to cover fines for crossing a road. 

You really have fallen for the DfE bullcrap.

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Posted (edited)

Declan is Laurence Skelly or Rob Callister and I claim my £5.

1. As a tax payer I'm not paying people to have "nice things to do". I want to see positive, well-thought out strategy. Not things cobbled up on the hoof.

2. They were £6500-odd each

3. One has lasted approximately a year before being trashed to the point of needing repair

4. "Giving locals something to do" is not part of the tourist economy in respect of attracting said tourists here. And having done it once they then revert to what they were doing before or find something else to do.

Edited by Non-Believer
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7 minutes ago, Non-Believer said:

Declan is Laurence Skelly or Rob Callister and I claim my £5.

1. As a tax payer I'm not paying people to have "nice things to do". I want to see positive, well-thought out strategy. Not things cobbled up on the hoof.

2. They were £6500-odd each

3. One has lasted approximately a year before being trashed to the point of needing repair

4. "Giving locals something to do" is not part of the tourist economy in respect of attracting said tourists here. And having done it once they then revert to what they were doing before or find something else to do.

I would like to give Government something to do, and that would be to act responsibly with money which we give them to act responsibly with ! The whole bloody shower wouldn't last five minutes in a boardroom where the money has an owner, not as perceived by our elected and CS braindead !!

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8 minutes ago, Non-Believer said:

4. "Giving locals something to do" is not part of the tourist economy in respect of attracting said tourists here. And having done it once they then revert to what they were doing before or find something else to do.

The problem with most tourist spend is it focuses solely on the tourist. But why shouldn't it benefit the locals too? Make the place a better place to spend your leisure time - it becomes a better place to visit. 

It's like all the moaning about the regeneration money spent a few years ago. But now Castletown, Douglas Quay etc are much more pleasant places to visit for tourists and locals. Yet I bet no-one came to the Island simply because of the granite in Castletown Square. It all adds up. 

And while we're stamping our feet about £28k that has had an obvious tangible positive impact, what trivial bureaucratic things are the spending far more on? 

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3 hours ago, Declan said:

The degree of stupidity in Tynwald, the press, here and in social media about this is staggering. All focusing on the cost (which is minuscule, compared to other tourist projects like the TT or Heritage Railways) or why they weren't knocked up locally by cub scouts or pensioners in sheds. 

There's a bit of truth in that, in that far too often too much time can be spent discussing small, understandable items rather than where the actual money goes - Parkinson's Law of Triviality is always a strong influence in politics and the media and not just on the Isle of Man[1].  But such thing can become important when they epitomise larger structural problems in an organisation.  In fact they can often work as a metaphor for how big projects are tackled.

In this case Skelly's rambling answer filled with tired jargon illuminates how poor and out-of-date the DfE is at assessing whether marketing and PR work.  They just repeat whatever guff they're fed by the PR people when modern media give far more nuanced ways of seeing how your message is getting out.  The attitude is that you throw money at something and hope (or at least pretend) that some of it has stuck.  We all know that doesn't just apply to fairy houses and highlighting it might make help restrain similar attitudes elsewhere in government.  Or not, because there seems little sense of responsibility there at the moment.

It also shows how government tends to ignore stuff generated for free by locals while happy to spend loads to replicate it.  I pointed out on a previous thread that a lot of this just repeats stuff done in Castletown the year before.  Though it didn't take them an extra year to produce a leaflet advertising it[2].  Again the attitude seems to be that such things are only worth doing if a lot of money is spent doing them - which in turn then justifies the jobs and level of earnings of those making the decisions.

There are also other areas that this illuminates such as the way procurement methods are ignored whenever those in charge feel live it.  Sometimes such concerns are easier to show in 'trivial' cases than in bigger ones.  So providing critics don't restrict themselves to such examples, but use them to show up systemic errors, such questions can be very useful.  The real problem is that many politicians don't even start with the small stuff never mind move on to more important things.

 

[1]  Parkinson lived here in the Eighties, but we can't claim to have inspired him as this appears in his first book on the subject in 1957.

[2]  Obviously nowadays most such things are read electronically which should make production even quicker.

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3 hours ago, Declan said:

It's like all the moaning about the regeneration money spent a few years ago. But now Castletown, Douglas Quay etc are much more pleasant places to visit for tourists and locals. Yet I bet no-one came to the Island simply because of the granite in Castletown Square. It all adds up. 

But the moaning wasn't about the idea of regeneration, it was the way it was done.  Large amounts of money was spent on changes dictated by the DoI's supply contracts and which tended to reduce the distinctiveness of the Island's different areas by giving them the same look.  And it's the variety that the Island offers that tends to attract and surprise visitors and which locals enjoy.  They don't want places to end up looking like every urban regeneration scheme in England.  What benefits there have been could have been achieved at much less expense, sometimes very little.

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I like the fairy houses; we spent a few nice afternoons tracking them down and have subsequently been back with visiting friends and family; patronising cafes and pubs that we wouldn’t otherwise have gone to.

If I had the time I’d be tempted to make one of my own and put it somewhere just to confuse people.

But………

They really ought to have been manufactured locally.

A guide to sites of folklore interest should have been produced ready to go when they appeared; tie it in with a series of walks that go past pubs and cafes.

The visit Isle of Man site is generally poor at raising awareness of the less well known sites of interest on the Island; I only recently discovered that there are the remains of a Norman motte and bailey in Ballafesson and a civil war fort somewhere on the Island; both sites I’d like to visit; I’m sure there are more.

DfE seem to like throwing money at the grand projects but neglect the cheaper, easier basics.

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20 minutes ago, Max Power said:

1999 are on the phone, they want their websites back!

https://www.visitisleofman.com/

https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/

A bit similar aren't they? No wonder people get confused as to where we are.

A bit harsh, they're responsive sites, reformatting for different sized device screens and have those lovely floaty social media icons on the RHS.  Not really 1999.

Same template and produced by the same agency, though.

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Posted (edited)

An issue I have is that the Fairy Castles 'story' (as such) is totally manufactured, as in it has no basis in folklore on Mann per se. I can't even find a mention of it in the visitisleofman website at all.

IMHO it's a typical IOMG misuse of resources. If it was built around a specific aim to get visitors to parts of the Island that they probably wouldn't get to or know about, even offer an award/prize with pix in the paper/website etc, that sort of thing. In simple terms a wasted opportunity.   

 

Edited by Andy Onchan

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, The Lurker said:

I only recently discovered that there are the remains of a Norman motte and bailey in Ballafesson and a civil war fort somewhere on the Island; both sites I’d like to visit; I’m sure there are more.

The motte and bailey (Fairy Hill) is/are visible from the public road but are situated on private land, although a public footpath runs close by. However, I’m pretty sure that there’s an annual visit on to the motte and bailey as part of the Heritage Weekends run by MNH each October.

The civil war fort at Kerroogarroo is featured in one of Charles Guard’s “curiosity” DVDs and clips about the fort, from his video, are on YouTube.

Edited to add - Ballafesson is built in the style of, and using the same techniques as, the Normans, but was not built by Normans - it’s from the Island’s Norse era.

Edited by Uhtred
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8 minutes ago, Uhtred said:

The motte and bailey (Fairy Hill) is/are visible from the public road but are situated on private land, although a public footpath runs close by. However, I’m pretty sure that there’s an annual visit on to the motte and bailey as part of the Heritage Weekends run by MNH each October.

The civil war fort at Kerroogarroo is featured in one of Charles Guard’s “curiosity” DVDs and clips about the fort, from his video, are on YouTube.

Edited to add - Ballafesson is built in the style of, and using the same techniques as, the Normans, but was not built by Normans - it’s from the Island’s Norse era.

I thought it might be on private land which is a bit of a shame; my point though is that for the last ten years I assumed it was a spoil heap from when they built the golf course!

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Posted (edited)

Culture Vannin have a description of Cronk Howe Mooar (Fairy Hill) with a video tour by Charles Guard and similarly one for Kerroogarroo Civil War Fort again with video tour by him.  Both are also on YouTube: here and here. Either being on private land didn't seem to worry Guard and I think the landowners don't mind, providing you don't disturb livestock or damage anything.  You might find Fairy Hill being too overgrown more of a problem.

Edited to add:  There's a good and recent (2017) Guide to the Archaeological Sites on the Isle of Man by Andrew Johnson and Allison Fox which is worth getting (though it's probably over-cautious about access).  It's £14.99 and available from the Manx Museum Shop and local bookshops such as the Lexicon in Douglas and the Bridge Bookshops in Port Erin and Ramsey.  It only covers sites up to 1500 though, so Karroogarroo won't be in it.

Edited by Roger Mexico
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5 hours ago, The Lurker said:

I thought it might be on private land which is a bit of a shame; my point though is that for the last ten years I assumed it was a spoil heap from when they built the golf course!

The Vikings had an entirely different interpretation of clubs!

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