taking our culture forward

Burning of the buitch’ is an old Manx tradition which was thought to have died out many years ago.  Not only do Mona and Lenny remember the carrying out of this practice by their fathers when they were younger but Mona continues to carry out the burning of the gorse on the last day of April each year, keeping the ancient custom alive. This enthusiasm for Manx culture and appreciation of the importance of local traditions sets the tone for this interview.

Lenny was born in 1934 and brought up as one of nine in a two bedroom cottage at Lanjaghan, Abbeylands, Mona was born Mona Caine in 1937 at Little London, different parts of the Island but both isolated rural communities. They talk of their own memories of tradition, superstitions and Manx calendar customs, including the Hollantide and Michaelmas Fairs, Hop-tu-Naa, the Quaaltagh, harvest festivals, fairies, Boxing Day fun at Barregarrow, Christmas and local folklore. Also of the Braaid and Cronk y Voddy Eistedfodds where they have both competed for many years, of Lenny being described as a ‘Mhelliah King’ in the local press from his years as an auctioneer at local mhelliahs, ploughing matches, Lenny working on a milk round and then for Leece Bros haulage. Mona and Lenny are from the last generation who will have experienced these customs first hand and this interview is an important record for the future.


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  • Interview with Lenny & Mona Kerruish