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Cover and pages from 'Port Erin: past & present
  “Coode was probably the most respected harbour engineer of the nineteenth century.
He advised on harbours in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and India, but didn’t
do too good a job for Port Erin… Coode and his team were sure that the blocks were
so big and heavy that their own weight and mass would prevent movement.
They were wrong. ”
Port Erin; past & present Page 17
blank top
  Photo of swimmers from Port Erin; past & present  
Port Erin; past & present
  Most of the old photographs and
images used in this book are drawn
from Ray Stanfield’s extensive
collection of postcards. The first
picture postcards were published in
Britain in 1894 and millions were
sent over the next twenty years.
Local photographers would often
produce them in quite short runs
to tempt customers to send or
collect them as holiday souvenirs.
  But post cards were also the text
messages of their day. Before
everyone had a phone, the only
way to contact friends and relatives
was to write to them. Post was
delivered several times a day, so
it was perfectly possible for a
postcard to arrive the same day it
was sent – within the island at least.
Post your card early enough and you
could even get a reply the same day
as deliveries went on into the
evening. And postcards were cheaper
to send than letters.
  People therefore sent postcards for
all sorts of reasons. Their main
importance in this book is the image
on the front, of course. Even so,
when we were putting the book
together we were often fascinated by
the glimpse the messages gave us
of the lives of those who had
written them so long ago.
  Port Erin; past & present
At the turn of the nineteenth century holidaymakers
discovered the Isle of Man.

From June to September different manufacturing
towns in the North of England celebrated Wakes

page 110 from Port Erin; past & present

The mills and factories in a town would
close, and their workers would have a week of
unpaid holiday. Many of them came to the
Isle of Man. Across the sea and therefore
temptingly exotic it was also near enough –
and affordable enough – to get to.

page 67 from Port Erin; past & present

page 6 from Port Erin; past & present

page 88 from Port Erin; past & present

Port Erin became a favourite place to visit.
Hotels were built and life started to revolve
around the needs of the visitors. Hotels offered
dances and live entertainment, sea bathing was
considered healthy and bathing machines were
available on the beach. Having fun was the order
of the day.

Most of the Victorian seaside trappings are gone
now and the seaside town is reinventing itself
yet again. This book reminds us of the
dramatic changes which have taken place often
in a surprisingly short period of time.

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