A Manx historian and film maker has blasted ‘dreadful’ proposals for a new visitor hub at the site of the famous Laxey Wheel.

Charles Guard has released a video on YouTube slamming the plans that were unveiled in November 2023.

It isn’t the first time the historian has used his platform and shared a video criticising some aspects of the island.

His previous video called ‘Welcome to the Isle of Man’ which criticised the lack of care he felt some Manx landmarks were receiving went viral on the internet.

A sequel uploaded last year explored whether any improvements had been made since the original video was uploaded.

With more than 170,000 subscribers, his latest upload has questioned plans for a new wooden kiosk which is set to be placed at the entrance to the famous Laxey Wheel.

According to Manx National Heritage the current kiosk provides a ‘poor visitor welcome with no opportunity for shelter and limited retail opportunities’.

Charles Guard's take on the visitor hub plans

Garff Commissioners objected to the new design when it was first announced and have asked Manx National Heritage to redesign their plans.

A spokesperson for the Commissioners said that the design and quality of the structure is ‘not appropriate for a site of cultural importance’.

It added: ‘The board will be requesting that Manx National Heritage bring forward a new proposal that more appropriately respects the heritage of the Laxey Wheel in terms of both construction materials and design’.

In Mr Guard’s video, which has 2,800 views at the time the Examiner went to press, he sarcastically mocks the midnight blue design, stating that it looks like a ‘plastic’ portable cabin or a ‘container in a carpark’.

He adds: ‘If you see the elevations of the existing kiosk, which has been there for 30 years, you might say it’s rather attractive.

‘It’s got a Victorian feel about it, built with Manx stone, an interesting roof and it compliments the wheel beyond. But this replacement does look like a posh (portable toilet), or a mobile classroom!

‘The worry is, if this catches on people might be tempted to install these cabins elsewhere.’

The Laxey Wheel, also known as Lady Isabella, was built in 1854. It was designed to pump water from the mines in Laxey and is the largest working water wheel in the world.

The wheel reopened last year following a major restoration and repair project to ensure the structure’s future.

It was shut for around two years while work took place and scaffolding completely covered the wheel at one stage in the project.

The official re-opening of the Laxey Wheel following major conservation work -