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Kevin, Fundraising Manager, new to MNH but not to our heritage

Posted on 04.03.2019

I have been fundraising for 16 years now, having first become involved when I joined Greggs the Bakers and took to the streets bucket in hand, dressed as a sausage roll!

My career since then has seen me work for several different charities, from small independent local ones to a well-known national charity.  Along the way I also picked up experience working in the NHS. Every organisation has given me some great experiences and I have been blessed to meet and work with some truly remarkable service users and members who access the charities.


Enjoying the view at the Calf Sound

Manx National Heritage (MNH) represents my first role within a heritage organisation and probably represents a great challenge as I am breaking new ground as the first Fundraiser within MNH.  Although, I’m new to living on the Isle of Man, my affinity stretches back to when I was 10 and much loved family holidays here on the Island. It remains the only place I’ve ever been away with my mum and dad.

At Mooragh Park, Ramsey, aged 10

I always enjoyed strolling along Douglas Prom and playing on the beach, I even remember buying a great blue skateboard here that had massive red wheels. Awesome!

My favourite heritage site was, and still is, the Great Laxey Wheel. It just looked enormous and unlike anything else I’d ever seen before or since. As the world’s largest working water wheel, it is truly unique, a great attraction and magnificent piece of Victorian engineering and ingenuity to have on the Island.

Visiting the Great Laxey Wheel

Owing to my love of the Wheel – my favourite pieces from our collections often contain the Lady Isabella in some shape or form. I love the old photos from the late 19th century showing her in all her glory and the historic portrait of her official unveiling in 1854.

Starting of the Laxey Wheel in 1854
(© Manx National Heritage, Isle of Man registered charity no. 603.  Image ref: PG/6971)

I also, always smile when I see a picture from 1970 of a model posing beside the Wheel to promote an electric heater. What a marketing campaign!   I also like the Wheel model on display at the sea terminal.


Woman in bikini advertising portable electric heater, Laxey Wheel
(© Manx National Heritage, Isle of Man registered charity no. 603.  Image ref:
PG/13633/1/1970/406/1 )

Over time I hope to build lasting contacts and friendships on the Island and help fundraising become an integral part of MNH enabling it to continue to look after the Islands fabulous natural and cultural heritage for today and for always.

Manx National Heritage is an Isle of Man registered charity no. 603. To donate, please go to http://donate.manxnationalheritage.im.

To get involved with fundraising or find out more please contact Kevin at fundraising@mnh.im.

Kevin Byrne (Manx National Heritage Fundraising Manager)

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