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Manx Radio programme interview with Tommy Mylchreest of Castletown about his boyhood memories

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Date(s): early 1990s

Scope & Content: Tommy Mylchreest of Castletown (aged 95) talks to David Callister about his boyhood memories of Castletown. Tommy talks about going to school at St Mary’s on the harbour which was the infants, girls and Sunday School (closed in 1907); local parody of ‘there’s a bower of roses’ about the brewery in Parliament Square (original of which girls won the shield for in The Guild, annual Manx music festival); recites a Wordsworth poem which the boys choir sang at The Guild; working from the age of 14 at Ballakilpheric to William Lowey’s Ballarock farm and on the gardens at Lorne House; going to Hollantide Fair at Tromode to be hired by farmer from Sulby delivering milk to Douglas on a milk cart; coal carts in Douglas; hand-milking cows and measuring out milk into customers’ jugs from the tap on the cart; delivering to boarding houses in Douglas including The Metropole; Mr Christian and Charlie Teare, blacksmith in Castletown; going to the Michaelmas fair to be hired for work by farmer from Balladoole.

Tommy talks about and lists the numerous traders and shops in Castletown, by street, when he was young. He mentions visiting the waxwork convict ship in Douglas with his mother; Conor Circus in Douglas; milk carts that traded in Castletown; cows and cow houses in Castletown including those of James McCoughlin; prevalence of tuberculosis in Castletown including his father who died from it when he was 30.

He talks about how Castletown harbour was cleaned out between the wooden and the iron bridge by Mr Cooil ‘the windmill’ and the result used on the fields. He mentions the ‘silent picture house’ in Malew Street called ‘Punch’s Perfect Pictures’; lists the nine public houses he remembers in Castletown and the names of the publicans, and the four off licences; the first motorcar in Castletown owned by Dr Teare in 1910; how horse dung and dust was cleaned from the streets by Castletown Commissioners’ watercart in the summer; doctors in Castletown and his visiting Dr Clague about curing a boil with a hot potato.

Tommy recites the poem ‘Young Williams, a tale of the cold Crimea’.

He talks briefly about buying coal from the schooners. Tommy recites the poem by Robert W. Service, ‘The cremation of Sam McGee’. He recites a poem with the opening line, ‘Who says that the sons of old England…’ Tommy sings a comical Scottish song about ‘the old pawn shop’ and other comical songs, including final song that references Castletown.

Administration / Biographical History: Interviewed in four weekly programmes by Manx Radio.

Language: eng

Extent: 35 min. 4 sec.

Item name: cassette tape

Collection: Sound Archive

Level: ITEM

ID number: SA 0518

Access conditions: All reasonable attempt has been made by Manx National Heritage to trace and request permission (where needed) from the copyright holder(s) in this sound recording. If however you think you are a rights holder then please contact Manx National Heritage.

Subject tags : #UOSH


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