Some ideas to go with our ‘masterplan’

Terry Cringle

Terry Cringle

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The idea, according to the story in last week’s Examiner, is to demolish a whole lot of Douglas in order to re-build it looking different.

It’s in a draft masterplan drawn up for the Manx government by consultants in Manchester, where they should be safe from Manx public reprisals.

One idea is to demolish the Sea Terminal and replace it with what is called a new ‘state-of-the-art facility’.

Well, just so long as it’s not state-of-the-Ark.

Also, if they have no further use for that smashing scale model of the Laxey Wheel which is in the Sea Terminal, can I have it please? It would look well in the bijou residence.

The plan includes building a six-screen multiplex cinema at Bath Place.

This works on the assumption that there will be six films out all at once which are all worth seeing.

It goes on with an idea for retail and residential development on the wretched Villiers site.

Why not re-build the frontages of the original Victorian private hotels which used to be there and restore the sweeping integrity of the Victorian seafront of Loch Promenade?

It also has proposals for places in Douglas which it calls ‘character areas.’

I assume this means the haunts of old town characters (although how people in Manchester have heard of them I can’t imagine) like Ted the Tramp; Peg-Leg Caley; Putty-Nose Cubbon, the newspaper street seller who used to cry ‘Big Boat in the Bay’ when he had nothing else to shout about; Fat Jack Skillicorn; and Police Sergeant Hands Kinrade.

And what about the crazed old gent who used stand on street corners shouting ‘Bah’ at passing traffic? Let’s put him back on the scene.

The draft plan (no, draft I said, with an R) is now on public show at the Strand Shopping Centre.

You’d better get there to see it as soon as you can.

They’ll be knocking down the Strand Shopping Centre next.

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This week’s Manx celebrities are: Yessir Arafat; Sean Conrhenny; Gawne French; Bonnag and Clyde; Ursula Andreas; Malew Costello (think back a bit); and Bretney Spears.

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With regard to my toilet seat which now stays upright of its own accord after previously refusing to do so, I have had an email saying: ‘If you had to put the seat down for ladies to use, then surely they should put the seat back up when finished for you.’

You tell ‘em buddy. I’m not going to.

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On the subject of encroaching Manxness, I had a call from John Hawkins in Port St Mary saying he knew a couple who moved to the Isle of Man to live and after 40 years began to get fed up with being called Comeovers and they turned on their Manx tormentors by saying: ‘If you’re so Manx do you remember Tossy Cowin’s?’

And they couldn’t

That was really giving them a dressing down.

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In Times Past in the Examiner I wrote about a Manxman called John Caren who fought in the American Civil War and later settled in Liverpool ‘where he died and was buried several years later.’

Dr Linda Cottier has been on from Port St Mary to ask: ‘Where did they keep him before burying him?’

Inter-resting question.

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This week’s Manx crossword clue from Karl Campbell was in the Sunday Times Cryptic as follows: ‘Explorer goes south of Isle for medicinal plant (8) – MANDRAKE.

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Church notice: ‘Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.’

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