taking our culture forward

Derek Crellin, the Tynwald Day organist for over 52 years, reflects on his life in St. John's and beyond.

Some of the things covered in the interview include:

  • Growing up as the son of the St. John's Station Master, living in Station House, the former Foxdale line station
  • Attending St. John's School under George Sayle and enjoying the initiation of Junior Tynwald
  • Competing in the Guild with the school choir
  • Enjoying piano lessons in St. John's and then organ lessons in St. Ninian's Church during his secondary education
  • National Service from 1958, serving with the Royal medical Corps in Malta, where he acted as the garrison organist
  • Working for the Forestry Board in St. John's
  • Working as the Secretary of the Ramsey Cottage Hospital between 30 October 1969 and his retirement in 1994
  • 52 years as the organist at Tynwald Day and his experience of the Manx National Day from the organist's seat
  • Changes in Tynwald Day over the past 60 years

The interview finishes with a short performance of Gwendolen, one of the Manx voluntaries frequently performed on Tynwald Day, on his own organ at home.


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  • Interview with Derek Crellin

More Photos

  • Junior Tynwald c.1949
  • Derek Quilliam as a choirboy outside Tynwald Chapel
  • Derek Quilliam during his National Service
  • Derek Quilliam relaxing on the Tynwald fairfield
  • Derek Quilliam and wife, St. John's
  • Derek Crellin and sone
  • Derek Crellin at the organ in St. John's Church
  • Derek Crellin at the organ in St. John's Church
  • Inside St. John's church
  • Derek Crellin in 2012