Dear Friends,

I can hardly believe I've been in post for two months now. Time has flown and I’ve been busy learning how to do my new job. Thank you to all the kind Friends members who have been in contact to welcome me – it is very much appreciated.

We held our AGM at the Manx Museum on 25th November and it was lovely to meet the Friends members who came along. I hope to meet more of you soon. At the AGM Connie Lovel gave a fascinating presentation on MNH’s activities and plans. Funds from FMNH have supported projects such as the TT Gallery; conservation and framing of artworks for the forthcoming Art Gallery redisplay; and re-patination of the Capt. Quilliam statue in Castletown (which was sadly vandalised shortly after it had been returned to display). Friends Volunteers have provided valuable support in the gardens at the Grove, Cregneash, Rushen Abbey and Castle Rushen; at Heritage Open Days in September and October; at the Society for Folklife Studies conference in September; at Hop Tu Naa, and in the Library and Archives with cataloguing. Friends volunteers also restored a sidecar unit which is now a popular item in the TT Gallery, where people can take selfies of themselves in costume and racing poses. A plaque in the TT Gallery thanks FMNH for our contribution.

A suite of four miniature portraits depicting members of the Quayle family of Castletown, each painted on ivory and encased in a gold frame, have returned to the Isle of Man to be held in the Manx National Art Collection. This important acquisition of the four miniatures, secured at an auction in the South West of England, was made possible thanks to the support of the Friends of Manx National Heritage. As the hammer price was lower than expected, the FMNH Board agreed that the remaining funds could be used by MNH to purchase further Viking age coins which were found at the site of a beach market and potentially indicate the first point of contact between the Island and the Vikings.

Future projects were outlined and include the proposed new £6m Nautical Museum (there was a great visual ‘walk through’ of the planned new building), which will be the first new MNH capital project since the opening of the House of Manannan. Connie expressed her gratitude to the Friends for their continuing support.

The AGM minutes will be available on the FMNH website in due course.

What else have I been up to? Well, I’ve have been helping MNH with finding new gardening volunteers and Anthea in the MNH Education Team asked me to find some Friends to help her with a Big Clear Out in the Education Resources cupboard – several kind volunteers are scheduled to go and help the week before Christmas.

I was invited by UCM to their student volunteering event on 22nd November, so I took the Friends banner and leaflets and spoke to students and staff about the work of FMNH. It was encouraging to see younger people interested in the Island’s heritage and I hope that they will be inspired to encourage their families to join the Friends and to make the most of our wonderful historic sites and landscapes.

I have also been focusing on plans for Member events in 2024. My former colleagues at Manx National Heritage have been most supportive and I am pleased to say that we will be able to offer an interesting selection of exclusive talks and tours, including behind the scenes and curator-led visits next year. I am still finalising the programme and there will be more information on this in the New Year. Fundraising is an important part of FMNH’s work, and we will charge for these exclusive Member events to support this. Keep an eye on our website, social media channels and emails for details.

There’s plenty going on at Manx National Heritage this Christmas, including Craft sessions for children, a fantastic new art exhibition ‘Home’ and the ‘Crucible’ exhibition at the House of Manannan. Don’t forget you can use your Friends card for a discount on your Christmas shopping. You might also want to take a look at the MNH prints, posters, and cards available at

For the full MNH What’s on, click here

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Finally, I’d like to thank you for your continued support of Friends of Manx National Heritage and wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas.

Kind regards,


Father Christmas at the Co-op, December 1962.

 Image Credit iMuseum: