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Cover and pages from 'Ramsey: past & present
  “The Market Place and most of St Paul’s Square flooded at high tide and was known
as Ramsey Lake, while Waterloo Road was a marshy area called the Lough.
The Market Place wasn’t filled in until 1835, and ships occasionally moored in front
of St Paul’s Church. ”
Ramsey: past and present, page 4
 
 
blank top
   pic of people handling photographic plates  
 
Ramsey: past & present
 
  Putting together a book containing
photographs drawn from old
postcards always brings home how
personal, and often treasured,
such items were.
 
  A century ago most ordinary people
couldn’t afford photography except
occasionally a formal portrait to
celebrate a wedding. And with its
heavy, specialised equipment, and
chemical processes to produce the
picture, most people couldn’t
understand it either. So it’s always
pleasing when a postcard is sent by
someone who features on it.
In Ramsey: past & present the
young sender of the card is sitting
with friends pictured watching a
swimming gala. Even more
surprising are the two gossiping
ladies with their dog in Parliament
Street. The sender proudly points
out that she is one of the ladies
and even names the dog to her
correspondent.
 
  Even rarer than senders featuring
on the postcards, however, is the
photographer or at least his team
featuring on it. Ramsey was home
to the famous photographer and
producer of postcards Thomas
Horsfell Midwood. Whether as
a record or for advertisement we may
never know, but T.H. Midwood
photographed his staff, most
of whom were members of his
family, at work on stacks of
glass plates in the backyard
of his shop. Part of the
photograph is shown above.
We even know their names.
  Perhaps not quite a ‘selfie’, but very
near it.
 
  Ramsey: past & present
By Ray Stanfield

swing bridge in Ramsey'

With Ramsey Bay offering a safe haven to
shipping, and the Sulby River creating a usable
harbour, Ramsey grew to serve the needs of
the seafaring community.

It is the most low-lying town on the Isle of Man
and the one considered most at risk from
overtopping. Occasionally the sea invades the
town and Ramsey locals, as their predecessors
have done for centuries, pay the price for their
proximity to the waves.

images of ramsey
One hundred years ago fishermen offered their
wares at the quayside, children played in the sea
and streets of the old town, and tourists landed
by steamer on the iron pier.




But Ramsey has changed. In the 1960s and ‘70s
much of the oldest part of the town was swept
away by developers. Only photographs and
postcards such as those in this book can now
show us parts of Ramsey’s past.

image of Ramsey

scene from Ramsey'

We’re getting something of reputation for
these past and present books. Ramsey joins,
Castletown, Peel and Port Erin in what has
become a series.

swing bridge in Ramsey'


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