Paddy’s festive market is a big hit

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THE Christmas market, held outside Paddy’s market in Port St Mary on December 21 was a huge success, said organiser Tim Croft from Paddy’s.

‘You could not move in Port St Mary for cars,’ he said. ‘There was a fine array of produce down there – all sorts of festive produce in the quad area. There was standing room only, they were squashed in like sardines.

‘I was surprised by the number of people who came out to support it.’

The market was preceded by a lantern parade from Scoill Phurt le Moirrey (lantern workshops held over several weekends were supported by the Isle of Man Arts Council), and the parade to Paddy’s was led by Santa in his sleigh. The weather was mild and still – in stark contrast to the previous year when freezing conditions led to its cancellation – attracting large crowds.

A charity benefited too, as 475 measures of Gluwein were sold by Bushy’s boss Martin Brunnschweiler, all the proceeds going to Sport Erin and raising £1,400 for the charity devoted to supporting sport in the south.

‘It shows if something is put on, people will come out,’ said Tim. ‘Paddy’s is only too pleased to put on a community-based event. We’ve got the Queenie Festival and the Easter Market coming up. We feel we are trying to do something.

‘Port St Mary is just not regenerating, it’s getting worse. It is very difficult to see where Port St Mary will spring up and regenerate its identity. It is very hard to see where it is going to come from, especially in the current environment of no government spending. In terms of regeneration, I do not think the funding really has come through as it was thought it would. The marina is pretty well dead – I cannot see it happening in my lifetime.

‘Port St Mary needs events – it’s about just trying to keep the influx of people coming through the village.’

Tim thanked the Arts Council, Rushen Silver Band, Southern Nomads and all those who helped to make it a success including Santa: ‘He knows who he is’, said Tim.

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