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This Is Summer: Manx Press Pictures

Live music, bustling beaches and celebrity sightings are the order of the day in the thousands of photographs captured by Manx Press Pictures during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s summer season and which now feature in a new exhibition at the House of Manannan, Peel.

From 1956 through to 1980, Bill Peters and his team at Manx Press Pictures covered all corners of the Island, capturing the events that took place over summer, from Tynwald Day through to the sporting calendar, visiting celebrities, breaking news and entertainment.

Image ref: PG/13633/1/1967/531/1 Peel Viking Festival, July 1967

The Manx Press Pictures Archive is now held by Manx National Heritage  consisting of tens of thousands of negatives. For This Is Summer 1,000 of these images have for the first time been digitised and made available online at www.imuseum.im/thisissummer/ and in the free exhibition on now until September at the House of Manannan.

The Island, as captured through the lens of Bill Peters and his team will no doubt invoke a sense of nostalgia for visitors as they spend time in the exhibition with the delight of trying to spot people they know or events they were at during those heady summer days of the swinging sixties and glam 70s.

Image ref: PG/13633/1/1958/79/1 Lambretta hire scooters, Port Erin, July 1958

Katie King, curator of the exhibition says;

“I have loved curating this exhibition to get the chance dig a bit deeper to find out the stories behind the photos. They evoke powerful memories for many people and it is wonderful to see the Island’s tourist industry in full swing. I have especially enjoyed trying to match the photographs with their original newspaper story or captions, it has been great fun. There is an opportunity for visitors to the exhibition to share their own memories about the photographs on display which will help us interpret the archive for future generations. ”

Image ref: PG/13633/1/1961/296/3 Bank holiday holidaymakers, Douglas, August 1961

Manx Press Pictures and Peters Photography Ltd were owned and run by William (Bill) George Peters and based at Prospect Hill, Douglas. Owner, Bill joined the  Isle of Man Examiner newspaper photographic department as an apprentice photographer in March 1938 and was subsequently contracted to supply press pictures for both the Examiner andthe Isle of Man Times.

In 1964 he was joined by John Maddrell and between them they have created a fabulous photographic legacy.  Bill and his team photographed thousands of events and captured key moments in the Island’s recent past, anything from Tynwald Day, sporting events, visiting celebrities, news, to social occasions and weddings.

Image ref: PG/13633/1/1962/257/1 Veteran cars at Creg ny Baa, June 1962

During the exhibition launch evening for This Is Summer, which saw an audience with Bill Dale, Valerie Cottle and Charles Guard, stories were regaled of a ‘golden age of journalism’.

Entertaining and insightful anecdotes of the fledgling financial sector, famous musicians boarding Radio Caroline and the formation of the Manx Independent captivated the audience.

Image ref: PG/13633/1/1977/552/1 Douglas Lifeboat Day, July 1977

Exhibition runs until 10 September 2017, House of Manannan. Exhibition is free, donations welcome.