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Keeping History Alive at Cregneash 5 May 2009

Were you fascinated by the recent BBC television programme The Victorian Farm and do you have a traditional skill that you would enjoy demonstrating to the public? If the answer is yes, then you may be just the person that Manx National Heritage is looking for to live and work at The National Folk Museum, Cregneash.

As well as operating as an open air museum, some of the properties at Cregneash are tenanted by those who have traditional skills such as joinery and blacksmithing which are crucial to retain for the Island and which are critical to the success of the Cregneash project.

Manx National Heritage is looking for new tenants who are able to make a significant contribution to village life in the form of practising traditional skills and who are able to communicate these to the public as part of the presentation of The National Folk Museum.

Yvonne Cresswell, Curator: Social History for Manx National Heritage said:

“This is a unique and fascinating opportunity for someone to live in a beautiful location, to practice their traditional skills and most importantly to share their love and enthusiasm for those skills with the visiting public.”

Manx National Heritage would be particularly interested to hear from people with experience of fishing and knowledge of traditional maritime skills such as netmaking and sailmaking. Domestic crafts and skills are also of great interest - those able to demonstrate traditional Manx cooking, make jam and butter, and demonstrate crafts such as spinning, patchwork and crochet are most welcome to apply. Other crafts could include weaving and leatherwork such as saddlery.

Andrew Metcalfe, Museum Site Manager said:

“There is nothing better than being able to work in a traditional environment with the added benefit of meeting and talking to the public. It is immensely satisfying and rewarding to see people who are interested in your work on a daily basis.

“This is also a once in a life time opportunity to be part of our community and enjoy the village way of life. There is nothing better after a hard day’s work than sitting back and enjoying the incredible sunsets and views over the Calf of Man.”

MNH is keen to develop its growing programme of traditional craft demonstrations which are not only popular with visitors to Cregneash, but are also vital in keeping the knowledge of traditional Manx crafts alive. They would like to hear from people on the Island who feel they can make a significant contribution to the life of the village through demonstrating and interpreting traditional Manx crafts to the public as well as becoming active members of the Cregneash community.

If you feel you may have something to offer MNH and would like to become a tenant at Cregneash, you should write to Yvonne Cresswell, Curator: Social History, Manx Museum, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 3LY outlining the skills and experience you have to offer.

The closing date for applications is 29th May 2009.

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