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The Cregneash Gathering 20 August 2003

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend, 24th and 25th August, Manx National Heritage will stage its annual Cruinnaght Chreneash.

The harvest scene of a hundred years ago will be recreated in the fields and the harvest of the sea and the importance of the Manx fishing industry will also be celebrated. Visitors can meet a Crofter, a Farmer and a Builder and find out what the harvest means to them.

Curator of Social History, Yvonne Cresswell commented:

All the crafts and demonstrations around the village will reflect the harvest theme. In Harry Kelly's cottage and in Church Farm there will be a variety of traditional Manx food cooked from the harvest of fish, crops, vegetables and fruit and there will be an opportunity to see butter being freshly made.

There is also the chance to see sunbonnets being made and find out what people would have traditionally worn 100 years ago. There will also be demonstrations of wool spinning with visitors invited to try their hand at spinning with a drop spindle.

Visitors will also have an opportunity to see horses at work in the village and a stack being thatched in the haggard (farmyard) plus rushwork demonstrations taking place with bumbee cages and babban ny mheillea - a harvest doll made from the last sheaf cut in the harvest, and the opportunity for visitors to make their own.

The blacksmith will be hard at work at the smithy forge working on the farm equipment for the harvest and also making traditional gibbin hooks (a hook used to harvest sand eels). There will also be demonstrations about Manx fishing, net making and buckie (whelk) pot making.

Lynn Bailham, Head of Public Services at MNH commented:

This is a wonderful opportunity for people to look at the customs and way of life of their ancestors and how Manx farmers and fishermen lived in Cregneash in the 19th century.

The harvest was not just about hard work and once the harvest was safely gathered in there was the Mheillea (harvest) meal and celebration. The Mheillea (harvest) dance and many other dances will be performed in the village by Manx dance groups performing at the Gathering.

Come and celebrate Manx rural life and try your hand at the many activities on offer at the Cruinnaght Chreneash on Sunday the 24th and Monday the 25th August, at Cregneash between 10am and 5pm.

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