Manx Workshop for the Disabled commissioned to build plinth

President of Tynwald Clare Christian and Geoff Corkish MLC with the Manx Workshop for the Disabled's deputy manager Dave Kershaw, second left, and Brian Watterson. Photo: Paul Dougherty, Tynwald Seneschal

President of Tynwald Clare Christian and Geoff Corkish MLC with the Manx Workshop for the Disabled's deputy manager Dave Kershaw, second left, and Brian Watterson. Photo: Paul Dougherty, Tynwald Seneschal

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The Manx Workshop for the Disabled has been commissioned by the Office of the Clerk of Tynwald to make a plinth for the maquette donated to Tynwald by Professor Michael Sandle.

Located in the main entrance to the Legislative Buildings, the plinth is made of beech to match the other fittings and was crafted by the workshop’s Brian Watterson.

Manager Peter Hindley said: ‘It was an honour to receive the commission to create a piece that would be housed in such a landmark building and be viewed by so many distinguished visitors from across the world.

‘The Manx Workshop for the Disabled is a long-standing local charity of some 30 years. We aim to offer meaningful and appropriate work to individuals who, for whatever reason, find it difficult to secure conventional employment.

‘Brian is a time-served local joiner currently recovering from a period of alcohol dependency, so the plinth was a great job for him to get stuck into as it really stretched his ability as a craftsman.

‘When Brian first came to the workshop his confidence in his own abilities was low and he was struggling to use basic tools. Over the last nine months his confidence has improved vastly, and the workshop has endeavoured to push his abilities just that little bit more with each job. I would argue that with the support of the workshop, Brian’s abilities are back to where they were a few years ago.’

The other members of the team involved in the project were Dave Kershaw who laser cut the acrylic case and Kimmy Sayle who assisted in the design of the inlay panels which replicate the carpet in the Tynwald chamber.

Atop the plinth sits Professor Sandle’s maquette, a proposal for a sculpture of Godred Crovan to be sited in Cooil y Ree in St John’s which has yet to be realised.

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