A moment in time: capturing life in 2012
FOLLOWING similar projects carried out in Peel and Port Erin, Laxey and its workers have been the subject of a third photographic project, designed to preserve a snapshot of Manx working life as we are in 2012.
Sixty shops, businesses and organisations in the village were photographed and owners and staff interviewed, and the fruit of that labour has now been published online at www.laxey2012.com.
The project was supported jointly by the Manx Heritage Foundation and Laxey Commissioners, and was led by Chris Littler Webdesign.
The website is split into three geographic sections: Glen Road and Old Laxey, New Road and Mines Road. Everywhere from the football club to the laundrette is covered, each with a series of interior and exterior photographs and accompanying facts on the business, staff and premises, which makes for interesting reading. For example, the building now housing Laxey Dental Surgery was originally a gentleman’s outfitters.
Some of the information was gathered through a questionnaire, and organisers have requested that the a handful of businesses that have not supplied answers can now do so through the website itself.
All in all more than 200 photographs have been published on laxey2012.com, and will be preserved in the Manx Museum in Douglas.
Mr Littler said: ‘Once again, almost without exception, everyone was keen to take part in the project, and it was a joy to meet such a large portion of Laxey’s workforce over the course of two days.
‘I was made to feel very welcome. Most people don’t know in advance that it was happening, so to get such complete participation is wonderful, and it helps generate an authenticity and spontaneity that you would not get if everyone had pre-booked appointments.’
He added: ‘It also makes for some surprises: my last visit was to the New Inn, which I was sad to learn was to close for good the day after my visit. So I was able to photograph the landlady, Margaret Cowin, calling time on a pub that had been a part of Laxey for more than 150 years.’
Charles Guard of the Manx Heritage Foundation, whose father was a regular at the New Inn in the 60s and 70s, valued the opportunity to capture the pub in photographs before it closed.
Mr Guard said: ‘The foundation regards the project as very important in terms of recording the island and its way of life for future generations.
‘Chris is doing a remarkable job recording the people involved with the businesses and the interiors of the shops as well.’
He added: ‘In the decades to come these photographs will form a key collection, as important as any of the Victorian or Edwardian ones we rely on for our understanding of the past.’
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Weather for Isle of Man
Thursday 23 May 2013
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