[From Manx Reminiscences, 1911]




REN ny Manninee rheynn yn vlein ayns daa ayrn, sourey as geurey.

Sourey ghoaill toshiaght er Laa Boaldyn, as geurey er Laa Hauiney.

Va’n tourey as yn gheurey rheynnit ayns yn arragh ny traa correy, as yn ouyr, ny traa vuinney. Va ec dagh imbagh three meeghyn, yn chied vee, yn vee veanagh, as yn vee s’jerree.

Va freilt feaillysyn as laghyn feailley soit liorish yn agglish. Va margey freilt er laa feailley, as hug sleih lesh yn chooid oc gys yn vargey dy chreck. Ta cooinaghtyn aym pene er ollan, snaie ollan, eggaghyn eaddee, yeeast chirrym, skeddan hailjey, as lhiare, creckit er yn daa laa as feed jeh’n vee veanagh jeh’n tourey, er Laa Colum, ayns Skeerey Chairbre.




THE Manx divided the year into two parts, summer and winter.

Summer began on May Day and winter on Hollantide Day.

The summer and the winter were divided into spring or sowing time, and harvest or reaping time. Each season had three months, the first month, the middle month, and the last month.

Feasts and feast days were kept, set by the church. A fair was kept (held) on a feast day, and people brought their goods to the fair to sell. I remember myself wool, woollen thread, webs of cloth, dried fish, salt herrings, and leather, sold on the twenty-second day of the middle month of the summer, on St. Columba’s Day, in the parish of Arbory.

Er y feailley Laa Colum ec yn Vallabeg, ta mee er n’akin whilleen as feed bwaag son creck lhune eddyr y daa ghroghad, as myrgeddin er yn hoghtoo laa as feed jeh’n vee s’jerree jeh’n ouyr, feailley Laa Simon as Jude.

Ta ny bwaagyn as ny buird arran-ginger ooilley ny ta er mayrn jeh’n chenn eailley, as cha vel bwaag er ye ayns yn nabooys shoh son bleeantyn.


Va shenn skeeal mychione Katriney, eirey jeh Colby Mooar. Cha row ee poost, as v’ee geearree yn ennym eck dy ye cooinit son traaghyn dy ry-heet, as dy yannoo shoh hug ee meer dy vagher son grunt margee, son y Feaill Katriney, va’n cheeill eck er yn thalloo eck, as va kiark dy ye er ny marroo, as palchey dy lhune dy ve iut ec yn feaillys.

Ta skeeal elley, roish my row veg dy hurneyryn ayn, va’n sleih jeh Colby Mooar cur dy lhiattee ooiliey ny tuittymyn magh va eddyr oc ec y Feaill Katriney, as dy jinnagh dagh sheshaght speeney paart jeh ny fedjagyn as goanluckey ad, as va’n chooish reaghit.

At the feast of St. Columba’s Day at the Ballabeg, I have seen as many as twenty tents for selling ale between the two bridges, and also on the twenty-eighth day of the last month of the harvest (Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude).

The tents and ginger-bread tables are all that remain of the old feast, and a tent has not been in this neighbourhood for years.


There was an old story about Katherine, heiress of Colby Mooar. She was not married, and she wished her name to be remembered in times to come, and to do this she gave a piece of a field for a fair-ground for the feast of St. Katherine, whose church was on her estate, and a hen was to be killed, and plenty of ale to be drunk at the feast.

There is another story, that before there were any attorneys, the people of Colby Mooar put aside all their fallings out that were between them at the feast of St. Katherine, and that each party would peel (pluck) some of the feathers and bury them, and the case was settled.

Ta mee er chlashtyn shenn ghooinney gra dy ren yn vummig echey freayll thie-oast, as t’ee er gra rish dy jinnagh ny deiney as guillyn aegey jeh’n nabooys marroo kiark, as yinnagh ad shooyi jees as jees, cummal yn chiark eddyr ad, as yinnagh yn feallagh elley shooyl jees as jees trooid yn vargey lesh ny idd jeu, myr dy veagh ad ec oanluckey, as va’d kiaulleeagh,

" Kiark Katriney marroo.

Gow uss y chione, as goym’s ny cassyn, As ver mayd ee fo halloo."

Harragh ad eisht hug yn thie oast, as geddyn palchey dy lhune.

Va farrar freaylt harrish yn chiark, as moghey laa ny vairagh hie ny deiney dy "speeiney yn chiark."

Va’n chione as ny cassyn giarrit j'ee, as va’d oanluckit. Hug eh caa daue dy gheddyn bine beg er laa ny vairagh. Pyagh erbee va goll gys yn thie oast er yn laa lurg da’n vargey, va sleih gra "T’eh goll dy speeiney yn chiark,"

I have heard an old man say that his mother kept a public-house, and she had told him that the men and young boys of the neighbourhood would kill a hen, and they would walk two and two, holding the hen between them, and other persons would walk two and two through the fair with their hats off, as if they would be at a funeral, and sing,

" Katherine’s hen is dead.

You take the head, and I shall take the feet, And we shall put her under the ground."

They would then go to the public-house and get plenty of ale.

A wake was kept (held) over the hen, and early the next day the men went to " peel the hen."

The head and the feet were cut off, and they were buried. It gave them an opportunity to get a little drop on the next day. Any one who went to the public-house (tavern) on the day after the fair, people said " He is going to peel the hen."


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