Biography

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For the Love of Fire

For the Love of Fire

Author: Colin Kirkham

Pages: 242 Size: 15cm x 22cm Paperback ISBN 9781839756368

12.99

Murders, riots and rescues are only part of the unique memoirs shared by retired Station Officer Colin Kirkham. Destined to be an arsonist or firefighter he took the legal route to fulfill his passion to 'Dance with the Angels', collecting a lifetime of memories along the way.

This biography follows Colin's journey from probation to retirement, where he 'battles the beast' in two entirely different fire services (Tyne and Wear and the Isle of Man), whilst attending some exceptional incidients not normally encountered by firefighters. Adding an extra dimension to his career, he also spent time as a Special Constable on the Isle of Man.

Recollecting notable fire and police incidents, including a serial killer loose in the community and a devastating motorcycle crash during the TT Races, the stories are told with honesty, emotion and a good dose of humour.


Prison Governor's Journal

Prison Governor's Journal

Author: Brendan O'Friel

Pages: 256 Size: 17cm x 24cm Paperback ISBN 9781526208477

17.99

Prisons in England and Wales have weathered a succession of crises since 1947. The author considers the impact of cell overcrowding and regime destruction on both staff and prisoners. He argues that the consequential inability to reduce re-offending generates continuing threats to public safety.

Drawing on his decades of service as a Governor at various Prison's throughout the British Isles, Manxman Brendan O'Friel explores some "unanswered questions" arising from the chronic prison crises. He provides insights into life within the seven penal establishments in which he served including the "explosion of evil" (his story of the 1990 Strangeways riot).

He was involved in the formation of the Prison Governors Association in 1987 and describes the work of the Association to influence and improve penal policy and practice.

The 2020 Covid 19 Pandemic has added substantially to the prisons crisis but the author suggests it may also offer a surprising opportunity for radical change.

Born in the Isle of Man, Brendan O'Friel was educated at Stonyhurst College and Liverpool University. He joined the Prison Service in 1963 as an Assistant Governor and served at Lowdham Grange, Nottinghamshire, Manchester Prison, Onley Borstal Recall Centre, Preston Prison and Birmingham Prisons. He was appointed to take charge of Featherstone Prison, near Wolverhampton in 1980 and became Governor of Strangeways in 1986. His final command was Risley Prison near Warrington from 1990-1995. In addition, he served in a number of posts at Regional Office and Headquarters. Between 1977 and 1984, he was Chairman of the Governors representative organisation and was elected Chairman of the Prison Governors Association in 1990, a post he held until 1995. Since retirement, he has returned to live on the Isle of Man. He has been Chair of the North West Rail Passengers Committee and a founder member of Travel Watch Isle of Man.


Illustrated throughout with photographs, verse, drawings and cartoons, this book captures the realities of the prison crisis.


Sir Frank Gill - The Unique Story of a Manx Telecommunications Pioneer

Sir Frank Gill - The Unique Story of a Manx Telecommunications Pioneer

Author: Robert Stimpson

Pages: 200 Size: 21cm x 28cm Paperback ISBN 9781911177708

19.95

This is the story of an exceptional Manxman who was born in Castletown and went on to become one of the most respected telephone engineers outside the United States. In the 1930s he was probably the highest authority on telephone engineeering throughout the world and had many honours conferred upon him by his fellow engineers. No matter what country he visited, he left it richer in the means and know-how of human intercommunications.


Gaelg as Fishig - Skeeal my vea

Gaelg as Fishig - Skeeal my vea

Author: Brian Stowell

Pages: 199 Size: 20cm x 13cm Paperback ISBN 9781912668038

12.00

***PLEASE NOTE, THIS BOOK IS WRITTEN IN MANX***

Brian Stowell, more than anyone of his generation, worked tirelessly and enthusiastically for the language and the cultural identity of this country and his autobiography takes us on a journey, of not only the author's cultural and political awakening, but that of this Island nation.

Born and educated in Douglas, Brian worked as a lecturer in Physics at Liverpool John Moore University before returning to the Island in 1991 to take up the new position of Manx Language Officer with the Department of Education. The title of his autobiography, Gaelg as Fishig, reflects these two elements to his life and work: Manx and Physics.

Brian, who received the Reih Bleeaney Vanannan Award in 2008 and the Tynwald Honour Medal in 2010 for his work for the language, is sadly missed but fondly remembered by many people both here and abroad and this book is a testament to a life well lived.



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Sophia Morrison, Mona Douglas and Their Enchanted Isle

Sophia Morrison, Mona Douglas and Their Enchanted Isle

Author: Derek Winterbottom

Pages: 232 Size 25cm x 18cm Paperback ISBN 9780956754059

12.50

Sophia Morrison and Mona Douglas devoted their lives to the preservation of the Manx Gaelic language and traditional Manx life, especially the Island's folklore. Sophia's Manx Fairy Tales is still a famous book while Mona Douglas was an outstanding poet from an early age and throughout her long life also made an impact as a prolific journalist, a novelist, a collector of folklore, folk music and folk dancing and a producer of pageants and plays and organiser of many Celtic congresses and festivals. She was also a lifelong buttress of the Manx language and flag-bearer for the Manx nation. On top of all of this she found time to be a hill farmer and to conduct a long romance with a handsome Italian former internee.

This book is a short biography of Sophia and a longer one of Mona, who it claims to be the most influential Manx woman of the twentieth century


Henry Bloom Noble - A Life and Work of His Trust

Henry Bloom Noble - A Life and Work of His Trust

Author: Derek Winterbottom

Pages: 63 Size 15cm x 23cm Paperback ISBN 0954718038

8.00

Henry Bloom Noble is still easily the Isle of Man's most generous benefactor. He came to the Island from Cumberland in 1835 at the age of nineteen with few possessions, yet in the 1860s he was considered the richest man in Douglas. In 1903 he died a widowerer without children and left nearly all his money and estate for charitable purposes.

As a resuult, his trustees were able to finance a new hospital in Douglas, St Ninian's Church, Noble's Park and Noble's Baths, and a cottage hospital in Ramsey. This account traces the often contoversial story of how Noble became rich and how his trustees spent his money after his death.


The Anglo-Manxman: A Life of A.W.Moore

The Anglo-Manxman: A Life of A.W.Moore

Author: Robert Fyson

Pages: 176 Size 18cm x 24cm Paperback ISBN 9780956206428

12.00

Although he died at the early age of 56, Moore was a lifelong whirlwind of energy. Born in 1853, the heir to Moore’s sailcloth works at Tromode and to the grand house of Cronkbourne, he had extensive connections in London’s high society and was educated at Rugby and Cambridge. It’s this side of his life which has led Robert Fyson to choose the title The Anglo-Manxman, but despite his cosmopolitan background and indefatigable travelling, Moore chose to base his life in the Isle of Man.

He became not only Speaker of the House of Keys but also an extraordinarily prolific author on Manx subjects, and was involved in numerous aspects of local life. As well as history he wrote on Manx folklore, climate, archaeology, place names, ballads and music as well as producing an Anglo-Manx dictionary, and a history of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Meanwhile his travels took him frequently to Europe, and as far afield as Egypt and the Holy Land in the east and the USA, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean in the west.


Charles Kerruish: Manx Politician Commonwealth Parliamentarian

Charles Kerruish: Manx Politician Commonwealth Parliamentarian

Author: Derek Winterbottom

Pages: 271 Size: 16x25cm Paperback ISBN 0952401983

14.99

Readily acknowledged as the most dominant Manx politician of the second half of the twentieth century the story of Sir Charles Kerruish and that of the Island during this period are closely intertwined. Throughout his political career he worked tirelessly and aggressively towards achieving far greater self-governemnt for the Island and this was done against his background of family man and hard working farmer.


Lucky Little Devil

Lucky Little Devil

Author: Sir Norman Wisdom

Pages: 104 Size: 30x21cm Hardback ISBN 9781907945038

9.99

In this book which includes previously unpublished photographs from his own treasured collection Sir Norman Wisdom proudly welcomes the reader into the Isle of Man home he designed himself and takes you on a round-island tour to some of his favourite places.Lavishly illustrated with stunning photographs of the Island and Sir Norman's career the book also tells the amazing rise of one of Britain's greatest comedy legends


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