Monday, 12 May 2008


…de la Independent:

The Isle of Man crams as much history, legend, scenic beauty, wildlife and folklore into its 227 square miles as whole regions of the British mainland. And its reputation as a haven of petrol-heads and sub-Blackpool boarding houses is entirely undeserved…

… Cregneash was the last community where Manx held out against English as the island's lingua franca. Today, Manx is celebrated in one of the old crofts, but although the government is making valiant efforts to keep the language alive, it's rarely spoken…

...If the fey place names are to be believed, there are fairies all over the Isle of Man: Fairy Cottage, Fairy Mound, Elfin Glen and the Fairy Bridge on the A5 between Douglas and Castletown.

Legend has it that the bridge is occupied by wingless creatures whom the Manx call "Themselves". Apparently, it's unwise to pass this spot without saying, "Good Morning little people" or in Manx, "Moghrey Mie Vooinjer Veggey".

Local sages will concede that it was a Victorian wheeze to attract tourists. But they add that the real fairy bridge is at Kewaigue. One evening I shared the bus to Douglas with some lads. As we passed the bridge, there was a deep, collective, masculine shout of "Hello Fairies!", with someone adding: "If you don't say hello, you'll die".

Did I risk it?...Moghrey Mie Vooinjer Veggey!

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