Customs observed at ‘wedding’ ceremony

WEDDING PARTY: 'Bride' Aimee Swift, 11, 'groom' Robin Birchall, 11, 'best man' Roan Gell, 10, and 'bridesmaid' Alisha Craine, 10.

WEDDING PARTY: 'Bride' Aimee Swift, 11, 'groom' Robin Birchall, 11, 'best man' Roan Gell, 10, and 'bridesmaid' Alisha Craine, 10.

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AT one time, it was the custom to throw an old shoe after newlyweds for good luck, but this was one custom not observed at Ramsey Heritage Trust’s ‘Manx Wedding’ concert.

In other ways, it closely followed tradition, with music, dancing and plenty of food! The Methodist Centre was laid out for a wedding breakfast. The windows featured displays by Joy Brew, Hilary Bruce and Catreeney Craine recalling previous Manx wedding re-enactments, including costumes worn at Ballure in 1965.

You could have heard a pin drop as the ‘bride’, Aimee Swift, and ‘groom’, Robin Birchall, and attendants Roan Gell and Alisha Craine (all from Footworks Dance School) made their way down the packed hall and took their seats.

Then the entertainment began. Toastmaster Alan Wilcocks, accompanied by Frank Woolley on piano, gave fine renditions of the ‘Manx Wedding’ and the ‘Pride of Purt le Murra’. Ny Fennee danced Car ny Phoosee and Girls’ Jig. Share na Veg gave a selection of instrumental pieces. Both groups had received North American Manx Association silver medals earlier that day for contributions to Manx culture.

The Cushag Choir, dressed in Victorian costume, sang Hush Little Darling and Gwendolyn from the Manx National Song Book. Clare Kilgallon, Margaid Bird and Fiona McArdle, under the name of Falga, sang arrangements from this year’s Pan Celtic competition.

Singing solo, Clare accompanied Paul Bradford’s Dirk Dance of the Kings of Mann.

A special highlight was the Chadsgrove Buskers, visiting from Worcester with their teacher, former Young Musician of Mann Stephanie Draper (nee Wellings).

As the finale, the wedding party danced ‘Peter O’ Tavy’, a slow piece traditionally performed near the end of the feast to test how steady they are on their feet!

A good appetite had been worked up for the refreshments that followed.

The cake, made by Jayne Corteen and prettily iced by Heather Ruffino, was auctioned and raised £30. The raffle was also very well supported. The evening ended with Ellan Vannin.

A grand total of £830 was raised for Praxis Care, which supports people with mental ill health.

On behalf of the organisers, Sue Woolley thanks everyone who contributed, especially the performers, Ramsey Bakery, Shoprite and the Co-op, all who donated and prepared food and all who gave raffle prizes. Special thanks go to Alan Wilcocks for being a wonderful host.

The displays and photo albums can still be seen at the Citizen’s Advice office in Bourne Concourse.

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