Noel Cringle OBE – Patron of the Manx Branch of the Celtic Congress – was an energetic, humorous and informative guide on Saturday 5th May after more than a dozen people met at The Friary in Ballabeg. The rough beginnings of the Friary Church were improved upon during the time of Sir William de Montacute, King of Mann from 1344 to 1392, and the building shares architectural features with Castle Rushen, which are found nowhere else in the Island.
The party followed Mr Cringle down to Duck Street and back up over the surprising number of almost secret bridges in the village, and heard many tales of the inhabitants fondly recalled from Mr Cringle’s boyhood and youth, as well as descriptions of the buildings and some of the goings on in the area. Fortunately he didn’t decry any of the party for their misdeeds from the Sumner’s pulpit at the gate of St Columba’s Church.
A very interesting afternoon was rounded off with refreshments back at The Friary, thanks to the generosity of Mrs Mary Cringle and Mr Cringle himself.