A new theatrical tour to be staged this weekend at The Grove in Ramsey will look at the impact of the Great War on island life.
Stories and ‘gossip’ taken from the Ramsey Courier and the Gibb family archives from 1910 to 1919 will be brought to life in Labyrinth: History in Action Players.
The tour, which will take place on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, aims to reveal stories from Ramsey life, including the excitement of the 1914 army recruitment drives, how the sinking of the HMS Goliath in 1915 threw the town into chaos, the tragic death of Ramsey war hero Lieutenant Colonel William Crellin from Andreas, and how the persistent rooks at St Paul’s Church proved tiresome for the community.
In 1910 there were three women resident at the Grove: the family matriarch, Auntie Janet, and her two nieces, Janet and Alice.
The Edwardian ladies lived a happy and peaceful life at their home in Ramsey until the outbreak of the First World War, when their lives were turned upside down.
In 1973 Janet spoke of the time, revealing: ‘There wasn’t a man or boy of fighting age left in Ramsey.
‘The whole male population had gone. Ramsey came second to a place in Scotland for the highest proportion of its men serving with the armed forces.
‘Ramsey men and girls all went.’
Alice Gibb, the younger of the two neices, was awarded a medal for bravery when she worked as a supervisor in a shell-filling factory in Chilwell, near Nottingham, after there was a major explosion killing many girls.
Event co-ordinator Katie King said: ‘The historic house is a great stage to bring to life the local stories throughout this momentous decade of change.
‘There’s some fascinating source material in the newspapers, from the onset of the Great War to the day-to-day happenings and hearsay.
‘It has also given us a wonderful opportunity to reveal more about the lives of Janet and Alice Gibb.
‘We are delighted that our talented Labyrinth Players will be bringing the stories to life.
‘The tours will be an interesting mix of guided tour and theatrical interpretation – which we think everyone will enjoy.’
Tours will take place at midday, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm on each day and numbers are limited.
Tickets are £6 and available from the Manx Museum Gallery Shop or at www.manxnationalheritage.im