Festival News

Miss ML Wood's descendants visit the Island

Ruth Wood who’s Grandfather was the nephew of Miss ML Wood (our founder) visited the Island this week with her wife, Anne.  (Ruth is on the right in the picture).  It was lovely to meet them and listen to their stories which have come down through the family over the generations.

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Miss Wood came to the Island from Bradford where she was born and, it appears so did her brother Dr John Wood who was a GP in Ramsey. There is a window dedicated to him in St Paul’s Church in Ramsey which Ruth and Anne visited this week. What an illustrious family! Dr Wood married Julia Sophia Madison and had 11 children! When Dr Wood sadly died at only 40 years of age of a disease caught from a patient, his wife thought it best for one of her sons, Basil Glover Wood to go to live with his aunt Mary Louisa. So not only is Miss Wood the Mother of Manx Music she was mother to her nephew as well. How she managed to fit it all in I do not know!


The nephew went on to become an electrical engineer and worked on the building of the Snaefell Mountain Railway. In late 1911 he emigrated to Quebec, Canada leaving his wife, Florence (nee Gell) and three children at home until he got settled. Ruth has letters from her to her husband telling him to hurry up and get sorted so that they could join him but that took until early 1913! Miss Wood also wrote that she wanted to know how he was getting on. It seemed he was too busy building hydroelectric power stations to keep in touch with Auntie Mary.


Ruth followed in the family engineering industry tradition and became an technologist herself and more recently worked as a minister of religion.


Ruth and Anne went to see Ruth’s Grandparents house in Laxey, the window in St Paul’s and the bust of Miss Wood which is now on display in the Cathedral, Peel.  They also visited Miss Wood’s grave which the Festival recently had cleaned and tidied up. They plan also to go to see the plaque dedicated to Miss Wood in the Douglas Town Hall and the window in her memory in St Matthew’s Church, Douglas.  Ruth visited the island at 19 years of age but was very happy to come back and explore her roots more fully this time.


The Festival Executive Committee is delighted that descendants of Miss Wood have made contact and we are keen to keep in touch.  We were proud to tell them all about how the Festival she founded has gone from strength to strength over the 125 years of its history and to tell them how generations of Manx people have experienced the pleasure of performance and being entertained over a full nine days each year. 

Countdown to Festival

Days Hours Minutes Seconds
27th April - 4th May 2019

Congratulations to the winners of trophies for 2018. Please ensure that you return your trophy clean, engraved and in good condition to Morrison Photos, 3 Tynwald Street, Douglas by Saturday, 30th March 2019. Thank you.


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