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Manx National Heritage Thanks Heritage Partner in Cregneash 18 October 2006

Since the 1930’s, Manx National Heritage has worked carefully to ensure that the national folk museum at Cregneash retains its true traditions and appearance while still ensuring the continuance of a living village.

MNH's Presentation to Andrew MooreThis means that in addition to preserving artefacts and buildings, Manx National Heritage keeps alive traditional skills, such as thatching.

Manx National Heritage is now responsible for the upkeep of most of the surviving thatched buildings on the Isle of Man. Vital to this task is a supply of straw which has been harvested in the traditional way. Modern combine harvesters break the straw, making it useless for thatching purposes, but one farmer still uses the methods of a hundred years ago, and his support has been crucial to Manx National Heritage for many years.

Andrew Moore’s family have farmed at Balladoole, just outside Castletown, for generations and he still uses a traditional reaper-binder to harvest straw. After this has been traditionally processed using Manx National Heritage’s own specially acquired threshing mill and wheat comber, it is supplied to Manx National Heritage’s Maintenance Team who ensure the continuation of the thatching traditions at Cregneash and the Niarbyl.

In recognition of the part he has played in helping to preserve this important aspect of Manx heritage, Manx National Heritage has presented Andrew Moore with something to remind him of his own family heritage – a facsimile copy of a painting by the renowned artist William Hoggatt, painted in the 1940’s at the entrance to Andrew’s farm, Balladoole. Director of Manx National Heritage, Stephen Harrison, made the presentation to Andrew during a short break in the hard work to gather the harvest for this year’s thatching straw at Balladoole farm.

Making the presentation, Mr Harrison commented:

“This gift is a small token of our appreciation of the help Andrew Moore has given to Manx National Heritage over very many years. Andrew’s dedication shows that the preservation of our heritage is something in which we can all play a part. Andrew’s continuing use of traditional farming methods means that an important aspect of life in the Manx countryside can be preserved and passed on to future generations. Without the commitment and support of people like Andrew Moore in the future it will be very difficult to maintain the thatched roofs of the Isle of Man. We are very grateful indeed for his continuing help, support and expertise.”

The National Folk Museum at Cregneash is part of the award-winning Story of Mann and remains open until the end of October, ending with the very popular special event to celebrate Hop Tu Naa on 29th October.

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