taking our culture forward

Two interviews with Dudley Butt, about his early years in the Isle of Man Constabulary, and about his professional involvement investigating the Summerland Fire in 1973.

In the first interview, Dudley speaks to Ged Power about his early career in the police, from his boyhood on a farm at Ballaragh interrupted by his mother reading an advert in the newspaper in 1962, through to the his early years of policing as the force emerged from the shadow of the War into the swinging 60s, with the Island's first casino, bands like the Rolling Stones performing on the Island and the beginning of more serious crimes on the horizon.

This interview covers Butt's early years in the Isle of Man Constabulary, establishing the guiding forces behind his career which would see him through some of the Isle of Man's most famous, iconic and important police investigations to become Detective Chief Inspector.

This interview was conducted by Ged Power as a part of Treisht2020.


In the second interview, Dudley speaks to Dollin Mercer about his experience of the Summerland fire and his central involvement in the aftermath of the fire on 2 August 1973.

A police officer specialising in 'scenes of crime' at the time, Dudley was off-duty and at a family meal at the other side of Douglas Bay as the fire broke out. Called into work, he describes the 'all hands to the pump' scenario in the hours immediately after the fire. Then came the task of his having to photograph, document, and forensically examine what was left of the scene, including the bodies of those who had lost their lives. He talks in detail about the events of the days following the fire, and about the response of the emergency services. More generally, Dudley gives a detailed insight into the nature of policing on the Isle of Man in days gone by and about his experiences and memories.

This interview was conducted as a part of the Summerland Remembered project commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Summerland Fire on 2nd August 1973.


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.

  • Dudley Butt interviewed by Ged Power (2020)

  • Dudley Butt interviewed by Dollin Mercer (2022)