Courier Report for the 12th November

Date Published 
Fri 12 Nov 2021
The meeting of the IOMPS this week was a presentation from the esteemed broadcaster and film maker Charles Guard. However, before the evening got underway President Tony Curtis took the opportunity to confirm the results from the recent 3 Way Battle, a competition held annually between the three Isle of Man based photographic societies, The Western, The Southern and IOMPS, with honours this year going to the IOMPS. The competition was well supported with a very high standard of entry. Well done to all those who entered and thanks to the committee members who gave their time organise the event.
Charles’s presentation for this meeting was twofold, with first half of the evening dedicated to the history of lighthouses on the Isle of Man and in particular those located on and around the Calf of Man. As usual, Charles style of presenting is captivating as he took the society on a visual journey through the history of the early coal fired lighthouses to the current automated systems we still see today. Despite a staggering number of shipwrecks and lives lost at sea, the Island was not well served by lighthouses because of reluctance to dedicate the necessary land by the 3rd Duke of Atholl and it was only as a result of Isle of Man Lighthouses Act of 1815 that progress began to be made. Sadly, the passage of time has resulted in only the fully automated lighthouse on Chickens Rock remaining with the Robert Stevenson designed facilities on The Calf now consigned to the annals of history.
In the second half of the evening Charles presented a series of short films that had been commissioned by the Tourist Board to attract visitors to the Island, including a silent movie from 1920 titled Gem of the British Isles. This remarkable footage included recordings of the Isle of Steam Packet ships leaving Liverpool with only outside standing room available, masses of people walking down Victoria Street toward the promenade, sea lions being fed at the Groudle tourist attraction and horse races being held in what is now the National Sports Centre. To conclude the evening members were shown rare music hall footage of Flori Ford entertaining in the style of the Good Old Days and 1963 film titled The Proud Islander, a forerunner to the modern day biopic.
The IOMPS would like to thank Charles for his time in delivering what was thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining evening. The next meeting of the society will be the judging of the first assignment competition “Three of a Kind” and all are welcome to attend, non-members with a modest entry fee; all meetings are held on Wednesday evenings at St John Ambulance HQ on Glencrutchery Road, starting at 7pm, full programme details are on our website
The Society gratefully acknowledges the support of the Arts Council.
Jonathan Carey