Spacemen in town for national week

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STAR Spangled Spacemen are coming to Ramsey.

On Monday, July 4, there will be an opportunity to share American Independence Day with NASA astronauts who flew on the historic final mission of the space shuttle Discovery.

The astronauts and their families will be on the island as Tynwald guests. There will be an informal opportunity to meet them when they visit Mooragh Park between 12.30pm and 2pm.

The visit is part of the Ramsey National Week, which aims to get people out, celebrating all things Manx.

One of the town’s MHKs, Anne Craine, who coordinated the visit, said the Isle of Man had developed ‘a niche market’ in the space industry.

She said: ‘Whoever would have dreamt that we would be a centre of expertise for satellite communications, orbital filings and the manufacturing of high tech goods and materials for the space market place? Or that we would have the International Institute of Space Commerce operate from the Isle of Man and our students take up places annually at the Space School in Houston?’

‘To go to space has never been more in the reach of our young people and now they can hear what it’s like to experience space travel first hand from the NASA astronauts who flew on the historic final mission of the space shuttle.

‘Nicole Stott is a good friend to the Isle of Man and it is through her husband, Manxman Chris Stott that we had the opportunity for students to talk to her while she was on board Discovery. It was a memorable moment. I’m looking forward to meeting Nicole on terra firma and thanking her for giving us that opportunity and even better to thank her for visiting the Isle of Man with the entire crew. These extraordinary astronauts are hugely in demand and I was delighted that they should accept my invitation to visit Ramsey while on the island for Tynwald Week.’

Meanwhile, a feast of traditional music and dance is promised in the town, along with refreshments at the ‘Manx Wedding’ concert in the Methodist hall, Waterloo Road at 7.30pm on Wednesday, July 6. Admission is £6. A raffle will be held and proceeds will go to Praxis Care. People do not have to wear Victorian costume, but anyone who wishes to dress up will be made especially welcome.

Ramsey Heritage Trust hopes it will evoke happy memories for many people who have taken part in traditional wedding re-enactments in the past. The pageant held at Ballure Church in the summer of 1965 attracted 2,000 spectators.

From July 2 to 9, Ramsey Town Hall will host ‘A Moment in Time’, an exhibition of work by press photographer, Dennis Reed, whose pictures from the 1970s captured the spirit of the age. People are invited to go along and see who they can recognise.

Also throughout the week, The Grove is holding a Victorian Week, with Shetland ponies, butter-making and rural crafts.

Some other highlights of the week are, Saturday, July 2: 11am, Lifeboat Day with guided tours around the boat and tractor, slide and film shows; 3pm, Summer Fayre at Cummal Mooar; 7- 9pm, Live bands at the Lifeboat House.

Sunday, July 3: 10.30am, Songs of Praise and Blessing of the Lifeboat at the Market Square (if wet in St Paul’s Church); 11am-5pm, Cherished Car Show at Mooragh Park; 3pm, Sheean Prash brass quintet in Mooragh Park.

Monday, July 4: 11.30am, Walk & Ride. Take a bus ride with Joy Brew and walk through some of the neighbouring countryside. Meet at Ramsey Bus Station. Approximate walking distance five miles. Bring a packed lunch and money for fare (or bus pass) and sturdy shoes. No dogs; 7pm, Hike & Hot Dogs to Albert Tower, leaves from Albert Road car park.

Wednesday, July 6: 7.30pm: Manx Wedding concert, Methodist Centre, Waterloo Road.

Thursday, July 7: 11.30am, Kids on the Corner. Chadsgrove Buskers from Worcestershire will entertain at West Street bench area; 7pm, Chruinnaght Aeg Final Concert in Scoill Ree Gorree Hall. Admission free.

Friday, July 8: 2.30pm, Town Walk with Marinda Fargher. Meet at the Manx Electric Railway Station; 7-11pm, Ramsey Rocks! Street Party with live bands, Hediya dancers, street performers, climbing wall, beat the goalie, food stalls and fireworks!

Saturday, July 9: 10am-4pm, Cup Cakes to Curry food fest in the street and surrounds of the Courthouse, with food tastings, live music and entertainment.

Leaflets giving full details of the week’s events are at the town hall and www.ramseynationalweek.com

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