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We've just taken delivery of a new book 'I Never Wanted a Pub' written by reluctant landlady Celia Bannister - cover picture above.  It's hilarious!  (And really difficult to proof read owing to me chortling so much.) Long-term Manx resident, Celia is now in her eighties but this is the tale of when she and her husband were the youngest pub tenants in North West England.  Set in the late 1950s/early 1960s, the various characters and their antics would not disgrace Monty Python. 'I Never Wanted a Pub' is also a first for Loaghtan Books.  We've never before sold a book to the driver delivering them.  Thank you Jason! We're updating our website at the moment, but 'I Never Wanted a Pub' will appear on it shortly. Seen on a pub chalkboard:  Buy any two drinks and pay for them both...
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Over the last couple of years, with Covid keeping visitors away and affecting trade, we have, sadly, lost a few customers as they decided the struggle to make a living in a hostile environment wasn't worth the effort any more.  It's therefore good when we get a new customer who likes our books and wants to stock them.  The most recent is The Little Shed. For those off island, The Shed is the cafe at the end of Laxey promenade, which has been so phenomenally successful they've taken over the cafe at Dhoon Glen tram station, and thereby become a chain.  Anyone who can open in November during a pandemic and still be successful must be doing something right.  The Little Shed is the Dhoon Glen branch, and they now sell our books. The photo shows our delivery vehicle, as well as the cafe (the white building) and passenger shelter (the brown one).  Bev and her team have done a huge amount of work to turn a tired cafe into something really sparkling.  We're trying to get them t
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No, we haven't moved.  This is Point of Ayre lighthouse and, on good days like today, we can just see it from the office windows.  It's about twelve miles away across Ramsey Bay.  Not only can we see the lighthouse, we can also see the tidal rip which stretches for about ten miles and is strongest six hours before and six hours after high water at Liverpool.  For the non-technical among us, it's a powerful current and you don't mess with it. Point of Ayre is the northern tip of the Isle of Man and the island itself is roughly midway between England/Scotland and Ireland.  The lighthouse was built in 1818 and lit a year later, after mariners from Liverpool lobbied those in power about the dangers of the Manx coast. A lighthouse is obviously designed to work best at night, but still acts as a landmark during the day: each is painted slightly differently, so mariners know which one they're looking at.  They do have to be paying attention, however.   CEG Orbit  ran agrou
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Just to remind you what a loaghtan sheep looks like.  It's a very old Manx breed - the Vikings probably knew loaghtan - and of course what our publishing house is named after.  It's why our colophon looks as it does: it represents the sheep's head with four horns. Loaghtan sheep are relatively small but make their own fashion statement with their splendid display of headgear.  Four horns is normal but six is not unknown.  Lambs are a gorgeous dark brown, almost black, and get gradually lighter as they get older.  Loaghtan don't always need shearing as the wool tends to fall off.  The fleece doesn't take dye well, but with this colour, who cares. One of our UK customers used to breed loaghtan sheep and, whenever he phoned in an order for his bookshop, regaled us with tales of his flock.  He also gave us several mutton recipes saying that loaghtans are particularly delicious to eat!  We won't be having sheepish discussions with him again though, as he's recent
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Just off shore of Douglas, in Douglas Bay, is Conister Rock, a small reef which is just covered at high tide.  On top of Conister Rock is the Tower of Refuge, a little fairy-tale castle built at the behest of William Hillary. The problem with Conister Rock is that it's very near Douglas Harbour, and was a constant danger to pilots and skippers who didn't know the coast.  Even if they did, adverse storms could still blow sailing ships onto the rock.  Hillary's house, Fort Anne, overlooked the harbour and he got fed up with watching boats wreck and people drown from his drawing room windows.  He decided to do something about it.  He founded the RNLI. That didn't solve the problem of Conister Rock though.  It was still there and still a danger to shipping.  Hillary arranged for the Tower of Refuge - it's said to have got its name from a poem by Wordsworth - to act as both a sign of the rock's position and a refuge for those who ignore the sign.  In its early days i
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From the office window we quite often see ships heading for Ramsey, our nearest town and local port.  The CEG Universe , pictured, is a fairly regular caller and is a general cargo ship frequently working for W.S. Mezeron.  Here she's unloading (or possibly loading) at East Quay Ramsey. Regrettably we've never needed to ship books in this quantity - the ship can carry 1,275 tons deadweight - but our range is expanding all the time, so maybe one year...!
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He's one of triplets.  Or at least it's the first time we've seen three identical heads guarding a window.  This one was at the top and the other two on either side of the window, at the ends of what I believe is called a hood mould. We had to go to Kirk Malew to take photographs for a book we're working on, and spotted him and his brothers outside the church over and around the east window. The church is dedicated to St Lupus (the Latin for wolf, which is interesting for a saint) - Malew is the name of the parish - and we thought that the head might be an artist's impression of St Lupus.  It seems not though.  The head is thought to be a representation of the sea god Manannan, the island's traditional protector.  Christian and pagan in an uneasy truce perhaps. Talking about Christian in a rather different sense, the church also contains an excellent bust of William Christian, better known as Illiam Dhone.  Depending on your point of view, Illiam Dhone (Manx for