taking our culture forward

Colin Watterson was brought up on a smallholding at Shenvalley on the road between Cregneash and The Sound.
The acreage of the farm was small enough that his father, a joiner by trade (although farming at Shenvalley), wasn’t in a reserved occupation and was called up to fight in WW2. During this time, Colin and his mother lived across with family on The Wirral, sailing back to the Island for visits to their home which was being used as part of an Army training ground at the time - meaning they had to ask permission to leave so the soldiers could ‘hold fire’ until they had left the property!
Colin’s father was injured in the war and spent time at Ballamona, the harrowing description Colin gives of visits there tells much of the impact it had both on his father and their future.
His parents ran two cafes, one above the ‘Druid’s Circle’ and later the cafe at The Sound, Colin talks of the cafe and also of time spent in the area as a child including some interesting items washed up over the years.
Colin’s great grandmother, Eleanor Karran, lived in Cregneash and was one of the last native Manx speakers, she played a large role in his childhood and Colin has many stories of life in Cregneash which had only just been opened as a ‘Folk Museum’ in 1938, also stories of The Calf, where his great grandmother had been in service.
A fascinating insight in to life growing up in a particularly isolated and insular part of the Island.


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  • Interview with Colin Watterson