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Centenary of the death of Ned Beg Hom Ruy 30 May 2008

NB2June on the Isle of Man not only sees the TT races, but it also marks the centenary of the death of Ned Beg Hom Ruy (Edward Faragher) (1831-1908), the Manx language poet and writer, who was born and bred in Cregneash.

Ned Beg lived the majority of his life in the upland clachan of Cregneash, which is now apart of the National Folk Museum, and in 2005 Manx National Heritage opened up his former cottage to display the life and times of Ned Beg and the village in general over 100 years ago.

Whilst a fisherman by trade, Ned Beg was also a poet, a writer, a folklorist and, most importantly, was considered a guardian and collector of Manx culture when everything around him was in a state of flux and change. As Charles Roeder, a German folklorist and personal friend of Ned Begs said of him: “… a true type of the Manninagh Dooie [Great Manxman].”

Ned Beg’s death in 1908 was a great loss for the Manx language, but he left an important legacy in his written work of poems, stories and personal reminiscences of the Cregneash, he had known as a boy.

Speaking after Ned Begs death Charles Roeder continued:

“To the Island his death is a real loss – he was one of the old links; there was no other Manxman who was so steeped in its lore, and gifted with a true poetical vein, he sang its beauties and charms. He was a master of the native tongue, and used to compose many songs and hymns in Manx and English. It is entirely due to him that so much traditional folklore has been preserved; he had a fine memory, and his knowledge of things Manx seemed to be inexhaustible, which he would communicate with unreserved readiness and liberality to those who enjoyed his friendship”

Ned Begs Cottage SketchIt was, as so often is the case, after his death that the real value and contribution of Ned Beg’s work to preserve Manx culture really come to bear; the Manx language is again growing and thriving as a living language, and The National Folk Museum at Cregneash continues to provide a living, working illustration of life in a typical 19th century Manx upland community, a situation that would have surely delighted Ned Beg.

In addition to the centenary of Ned Beg’s death, 2008 marks the 70th anniversary of Harry Kelly’s cottage being opened to the public and Cregneash becoming the first open-air folk museum in Britain. This important anniversary will be celebrated by Manx National Heritage on the 24th August with the Cregneash Gathering, an opportunity for visitors to see and take part in a wide variety of traditional Manx crafts and activities in and around the village of Cregneash.

The National Folk Museum at Cregneash together with all the Story of Mann attractions are open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm with the exception of the Manx Museum which is not open on Sundays.

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