THE Manxies really do get everywhere!
The eagle-eyed among viewers of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Thames River Pageant at the weekend would have seen footage of a vessel flying the flag for the Isle of Man among the flotilla.
Thanks to self-confessed Isle of Man Steam Packet Company fanatic Matt Cain, the company and its heritage were represented on the Thames by No.8 lifeboat from the Lady of Mann I steamer.
Four years ago Matt, whose father is Manx and whose grandfather was a Dunkirk Veteran, bought the vessel, which was built as a lifeboat for the first Lady of Mann, launched as a centenary vessel for the company in 1930.
After taking part in the evacuation of Dunkirk as one of the ‘Little Ships’, the lifeboat had been sold to an oyster/shrimp fisherman from Malden in the Essex marshes after Lady of Mann 1 was broken up at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, in 1971.
Matt explained: ‘The new owner of the lifeboat constructed a cabin and installed a diesel engine, so while she is not quite in her original form, the lines of the hull give a clue as to her former life.
‘We renamed her Lady of Mann and her current home is on the Thames, and I sail her in the Runnymede and Windsor areas.’