taking our culture forward

A conversation about St John's in the 1940s and 50s with Ned Kennaugh and Joyce Oates.

Ned Kennaugh was born in Doalish Ard, over Foxdale, on 29/08/1940, but moved to Slieau Whallian Farm at the age of two, where he remained until moving away only when he was 26.
Joyce Oates, nee Kneen, was born at California Cottage on Slieau Whallian Road in St John's, on 08/04/1938, where she lived until she got married at the age of 24.
Both attended St John's School and took full part in the St John's community throughout the 1940s and 50s.

The following topics were discussed in the conversation:

  • St John's School under George Sayle as Headmaster
  • Ballroom dancing
  • Football and badminton
  • The Railway, including Joyce's father's role as signalman
  • The mart
  • The pin-pound and its operation
  • A number of blacksmiths around the village
  • The shops around the village, including the Post Office and photography shop
  • The pubs: the Tynwald Inn, the Junction, the Central and Ballacraine
  • The police station and a run-in with them after youthful mischief about the village
  • Village characters, including the man who would 'wink' with the tattoos on his bottom
  • Activities through the year, including Burn the Buitch, Tynwald Day, Hop tu Naa, Christmas and the Quaaltagh.

This oral history interview with Ned Kennaugh and Joyce Oates was recorded by James Franklin in Green's Cafe, St John's, on 21 February 2023.


When you click play on one of the interviews below there will be a slight delay as the audio file is downloaded. Large files or slow internet connections will increase the length of this delay.

  • Ned Kennaugh & Joyce Oates interviewed by James Franklin (21 February 2023)

More Photos

  • St John's School Choir, 1949
  • St John's School, Christmas 1948
  • School play, c.1948-50
  • Empire Day, c.1948
  • School play, c.1948
  • St John's Women's Football Team
  • Pretoria Terrace residents
  • St. John's residents in the 1940s