The formation of a heritage trust in the south of the Isle of Man took a big step forward after members of the public showed support of the proposal at a public meeting.
Despite it being a wet and windy evening, more than 100 people attended the meeting in Port St Mary town hall.
Professor Hugh Davidson and his wife Sandra first dreamt up the idea after Port Erin Commissioners asked residents to come up with suggestions.
Last October they formed a steering group, with Rushen MHKs Phil Gawne, Laurence Skelly and Juan Watterson and chairman of Port Erin Traders’ Association Steve George, and consulted widely about the idea.
Because enough people showed an interest, a heritage trust will be formed and a heritage manager recruited.
Beneath the steering group there will be 10 Heritage Action Teams (HATs) covering areas such as the land, sea, tourism and built environment. Each HAT will write up the topic in booklet form and online; interview older people; and organise one ‘pop-up’ museum or event each year. ‘Pop -up’ locations identified include railway stations, schools, empty shops, hotels, 7th Wave and church halls.
The long term aim is to open two new heritage centres by 2020 and continue with the ‘pop-ups’.
The steering group will investigate several areas raised at the meeting such as: oung people should be more involved; the trust should also focus on preservation of the local heritage; the draft name ‘Rushen and Twin Ports Heritage Trust’ should be reconsidered and perhaps replaced by ‘The Beautiful South’ or ‘The Deep South’; archaeology and railways are important areas.