Courier Report 11th February 2022

Date Published 
Fri 11 Feb 2022
The meeting of the Isle of Man Photographic Society this week was a practical workshop with a model and full studio lighting set up. The theme for the evening was “Mining” and thanks to IOMPS President Tony Curtis and his fellow Miner James Aitchison for giving their time for what turned out to be an excellent evening and learning opportunity.

In their spare time Tony and James are members of the Laxey Miners Research Group undertaking research into the mining network here on the Isle of Man. Their work, sometimes on behalf of the Isle of Man Government includes inspecting, repairing and making sure the entrances to the mines are sealed and safe and at present they are busy helping with the restoration of the Laxey Wheel.

Mining on the Isle of Man was once an important industry with deposits of Zinc, Copper and Lead Ore found primarily in Laxey and Foxdale but with mines found at various other locations across the Island.
Mining in the Foxdale district didn’t really take off until the early 1800's but later that century the mine employed 250 men underground. An average of 3,500 tons of ore would be raised annually. The central mine worked successfully until closure in 1911.

The Great Laxey and most successful of the mines worked for over one hundred and fifty years until its closure in 1932. The mine had a total workforce of more than five hundred men in the 1850's and by the 1870's production reached its peak producing 2,500 tons of lead and silver, 9,000 tons of zinc and an average of 500 tons of copper annually.

Mining did briefly recommence in the 1950’s when a company reworked the Snaefell mine by re-timbering the entrance under the mountain but it was never worked productively. However, two and a half thousand tons of lead concentrate was produced from re-working the spoil heaps using flotation tanks. Further information can be found by visiting the web site

The workshop, although small in number, provided the ideal environment for individual coaching, advice and support from some of the more experienced members of the society, with time being taken to ensure everybody had an opportunity to practice and enhance their studio photography skills.   

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 16th February and will be an evening with Andrew Barton. All welcome to attend, non-members with a modest entry fee, all meetings held on Wednesday evenings at St John Ambulance HQ on Glencrutchery Road, starting at 7:00pm, full programme details on our website
The IOMPS gratefully acknowledges the continued support of the Arts Council.
Jonathan Carey