The official launch of Rushen Heritage Trust – The Beautiful South – may take place at 7pm in Port St Mary Town Hall this evening (Friday), but projects are already firmly under way
One of those starts this weekend, when a week in the life of Rushen Parish (including Port Erin and Port St Mary) will be captured by a team of photographers. Anyone interested in taking part can contact the Southern Photographic Society’s John Keelan, who is co-ordinating the scheme, for information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The speed with which the trust is gaining momentum has impressed new trust manager Graham Hall.
‘It’s starting to take off,’ he said. ‘We formed Heritage Action Teams (HATS) to explore different specialist areas two weeks ago. The groups are coming up with ideas. One of them covers internment, it’s a fascinating story, people keep giving me wonderful pieces of information … It’s gaining momentum and is quite exciting. We are picking up lots of stories. The trouble is there’s so much stuff coming out, there is just a fabulous richness of knowledge, it’s going to be very special if we do it right.’
At tomorrow’s launch there will be a display of images by the Southern Photographic Society showing Port St Mary Then and Now, 1979 and Today, video footage of Culture Vannin’s tour of Cregneash and the 1931 winner of the Kodak Best in the World Photograph Competition – a shot of a woman sitting on Bradda Head taken in July of that year – which triumphed out of three million entries that year.
The trust wants to rerun the Kodak competition. More details will be firmed up in due course, but one thing it has already established is it will not match the prize money! The winner of the Kodak competition in 1931 received £4,000, which in today’s money equates to over £200,000.
Graham said an element of the competition is for people to guess exactly how much £4,000 in 1931 would be worth in today’s money.
On Tuesday, Port Erin Commissioners agreed to co-ordinate the administration of the competition.
Commissioners’ chairman Ged Power said: ‘If we could take responsibility for that it would be an excellent gesture for the village.’
The local authority will also help to collate material by scanning images for electronic storage.
Graham said it was ‘nice’ the commissioners were picking up projects and showed ‘good commitment’.
‘The trust has to be good news for both towns, it’s going to give heritage order and with a bit of luck should bring people down here,’ he added.