For quick though superficial reference to many of the aspects of the Island's history generally covered by Manx Transport Review, there has grown a useful list of keynotes. It is now many years since this was first compiled for private purposes but since their use shows no sign of diminishing, they are reproduced here for the general information of readers. They are not comprehensive but are primarily useful for the references contained. Any corrections or additions would be gratefully received.

**Constitutional History**

The Island was first settled in the Mesolithic period, but was to remain unoccupied by the Roman Invasions of Britain. Ancient maps of the Roman Empire in the Vatican Museum show "Mona" alternating between the Isle of Man and Anglesey and neither was of much interest to the Romans. Christianity was introduced to the Island by the Celtic church. From the 8th century, Norsemen raided, invaded and finally occupied the Island. From around the time of the Norman conquest the Isle of Man was ruled as a kingdom which formalised existing laws and administrative divisions. After 150 years of alternating Scottish and English control of the Island, it became a "Lordship of the Crown" of England and was given to Sir John Stanley by King Henry IV in 1405. Under successive Earls of Derby and the Dukes of Athol, the Island was placed directly under the English Crown by the Revestment Act 1765.

In 1866 the Customs, Harbours & Public Purposes Act provided Tynwald, the Island's parliament, with some direct control over Insular expenditure. Tynwald is one of the world's oldest parliaments; the "Ramsey Courier" thought it was 1,000 years old in 1957; Tynwald thought so too in 1979; both dates are probably bogus. The Election Act of 1866 changed Tynwald from a self-elected assembly into a democratically-elected body. Tynwald consists of two components, the House of Keys, elected every five years and consisting of 24 members, and the Legislative Council. The whole is presided over via a President of Tynwald, by the Lieutenant-Governor, appointed by the Crown. The main electoral and administrative subdivisions consist of six SHEADINGS, subdivided into 17 parishes.


Coastal Lighthouses

The earliest aid to navigation was the Derbyhaven Light, established about 1650; Castletown Harbour Light was erected in 1765. Beacon towers were built on the Calf of Man, Douglas Head (now incorporated into the hotel building). Proper lighthouses came under the jurisdiction of the Commissioners of…

Ports & Harbours

There are no perfect natural harbours in the Island. Until 1869 the seat of Government was Castletown, and the harbour there was of some significance. In 1844 a stone breakwater was commenced and extended in 1849. Douglas, at the end of the 17th century consisted of little more than a muddy channel…

Railways and Tramways

Railway facilities in the Island were proposed in 1845, 1857, 1860, 1864 and 1870 when the Isle of Man Railway Company Ltd was first registered. A three-foot gauge (914mm) line was opened from Douglas to Peel on July 1, 1873, and another line from Douglas to Port Erin opened August 1 1874. A separa…

Passenger Road Motor Services

Douglas Corporation Tramways Department introduced its first motor bus service in 1914, but this was not the first such service in the Island; indeed, that honour fell to the Manx Electric Railway Co Ltd which instituted a char-a-banc service from the Bungalow to Tholt-y-will in 1907. After World W…

Shipping

From the middle of the 18th century the Island developed a significant shipbuilding capacity, with boatyards in Douglas (reopened in 1826), Peel (1833), Ramsey (1832) and Castletown. The range of craft built and sold was impressive, from small boats, schooners and other vessels built primarily for…

Air Transport

First commercial flying operations consisted of "Pleasure Flying Trip" or "flips" from the foreshores at Douglas and Ramsey in 1919 and 1920, after which flying ceased owing to the opposition of Douglas Corporation and better business elsewhere. From 1920 until 1935 Tynwald considered the question…

Industries - Mines, Quarrying & Extraction

The Island's geological strata consists of heavily mineralised rocks of the Manx slate series, much affected and contorted by tectonic movement. There are exposures of limestone in the Castletown area, red sandstone near Peel, hard granite areas at Santon (Oatlands), Greeba Mountain, Foxdale and Dh…

Industries - Tourism

For over one and a half centuries, the Island's tourist industry provided a very substantial proportion of the national income. From the 1830s development of facilities proceeded on an ad-hoc basis until the great development era began around 1865-70 and continued until 1900, and funded largely by…

Other Industries

Metalworking The existence of metal ores led to metalworking on a modest scale owing to the lack of indigenous fuel supplies. There is indicative evidence of this activity in the Dark Ages. Smelting was apparently carried out on a commercial scale from at least 1668 and possibly earlier. The Derbyh…

Utilities - Water Supply

Originally under the aegis of several private companies, the water supply finally came under the unified IoM Gas & Water Authority. The original Douglas reservoir was situated at Summer Hill (SC394775); the Clypse, the first additional supply, opened in 1878 (SC403808), Kerrowdhoo (SC400802) was op…

Utilities - Electricity

Douglas was the last town of its size anywhere in the British Isles to be provided with a public supply, the delay being caused by leaden footed civic pride. The predecessors of the Manx Electric Railway Co Ltd had promoted electric tramways and lighting for the Borough from their own supply in 189…

Utilities - Gas

Between 1836 and 1898 gas undertakings were formed to serve Douglas, Castletown and Port St Mary, whilst the Ramsey Gas Light Co dated from 1857. Each had its appropriate gasworks. Coal gas generation finally finished in the Island in 1971 with the closure of Port St Mary gas works, and none of the…

Utilities - Telegraphs & Telephones

The first submarine cable for communications between England and the Isle of Man was laid between St Bee's Head (Cumbria) and Port Cornaa in 1864. The Shore terminal hut can still be seen on the south side of Cornaa Beach. Wireless installations were provided for signals between Seaforth and the Go…

Bibliography

BOYD JIC, The Isle of Man Railway (3 volumes) Oakwood Press 1993-6; BROWN, J C,Story of Douglas Harbour, NHAS Vol V No 4 1955 COWLEY, J W, Manx Woollen Industry through ten centuries, NHAS Vol VI No 1; DOWN,C G & D H Smith: Polar Bear & the Groudle Glen Railway, Brockham 1978 DUCKWORTH CLD & GE Lan…

The Society

Originally formed in 1973, the MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY SOCIETY is charged with the express purpose of…

Manx Electric Railway

THE pioneer electric tramway between Derby Castle, Douglas and Groudle Glen opened on September 7,…

Snaefell Mountain Railway

The only vehicles that can reach the summit of the island’s highest peak and only mountain are the…

Douglas Tramways

The Douglas Bay Horse & Upper Douglas Cable Tramways.

DHMD Tramway

THE only Standard (4'-8½" 1435mm) tramway in the Island extended for four spectacular miles along t…

Isle of Man Railway

THE present 15.37-mile steam railway line from Douglas to Port Erin is the last remaining part of t…

Buses and Coaches

THE first motor char-a-bancs in the Island were operated by the Manx Electric Railway Co., which us…

Shipping

The shipping scene in and around the Isle of Man

Aviation

Air services to and from the Isle of Man

Other Manx Transport

Other Tramways, Railways and Transport Oddities

Contributors' Pages

A page designed for photographic contributions sent to the Manx Electric Railway Society website.

All About The Isle of Man

For quick though superficial reference to many of the aspects of the Island's history generally cov…

Year of Railways 1993

The success of the year in general and many of the events in particular will be no surprise to read…

Useful Addresses

Isle of Man Newpapers Publishing House Peel Road Douglas Isle of Man IM1 5PZ Email [email protected]

Links

Isle of Man Visitor Information Manx Railways & Other Transport Manx Electric Railway Walks (Visit…

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The Manx Electric Railway Society welcomes letters and emails of interest to readers of Manx Transp…

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