Living With The Sea: The Fascinating History of Port St Mary and its People
HOW A SMALL SEASIDE VILLAGE PARTNERED WITH THE SEA
If you live by the sea you get to know it as a partner, adapting to its moods, from calm, sunny days to furious stormy nights. Throughout its history, the people of Port St Mary – known locally as Purt Le Moirrey – have lived by and with the sea. It has provided them with a living, from fishing to shipbuilding to tourism. Without the sea, the village would not exist. The sea in question is the Irish Sea, in which the Isle of Man sits at the centre – from Port St Mary, you can look across to England and Wales, and from its neighbouring twin, Port Erin, you can see the Mountains of Mourne in Northern Ireland.
This book, written by a team of ten volunteer authors who love Port St Mary, traces its fascinating history from 1829, when it depended entirely on fishing and farming, to 1979, the Millennium Year when the Isle of Man celebrated one thousand years of continuing independent government, the oldest in the world.
This is the story of a port and its people, from school teachers to shopkeepers, from boarding house owners to WWII German internees, from nurses to those who travelled the world by sea. It begins at a time when few people owned land and transport was primitive; moves on to the great days of herring fishing, with a 100+ strong fleet, the harbours bustling with fisher folk, gutter girls, kipper curers and ship builders; and through to the development of tourism and its glory days spanning the 1920s to the 1960s.
It’s a story which has universal significance, demonstrating how independent-minded people in a small place lived with the sea, made a living from it, and rode its changing moods.
This book is published by Rushen Heritage Trust, a not-for-profit charity, with all proceeds going towards the work of the Trust.