In the late 1990’s I went through my Father’s vast photo collection. He had been taking photographs from around the Isle of Man for over 20 years, specialising in old buildings before they were destroyed or redeveloped in Douglas.
Whilst going through his collection, I soon realised I had formed a keen interest in this area too and I wanted to showcase my Dads photographs to the world. Being a proud and patriotic Manx man myself and growing up in Braddan, Castletown and then Douglas, I knew that there would be an enormous appreciation for the Island from all walks of life and many people would enjoy the nostalgia of seeing where they grew up and reliving memories from days gone by.
As I’m sure you can imagine, in the 90’s technology wasn’t as advanced as it is today and I spent many an hour scanning pictures in to an old flatbed scanner which was no easy task in itself, thank goodness times have moved on in that respect! However, I enjoyed every minute as I got the chance to see the Island’s history in all its glory.
The idea of Manx Nostalgia started in 2001, where I built a very basic design in website called IcWhatsUp (source), this was more of a static photo gallery rather than anything more advanced as I was very limited to what resources I had available. You can still see the logo (& me) in some of the original photos I scanned below:
In 2004, I upgraded my software where I was able to upload pictures and add mapping coordinates to them using a Google Map product which enabled me to overlay pictures on top of maps, so people could pinpoint exactly where each photo was taken from.
Finally, on March 05th 2008, I created the Manx Nostalgia Group on Facebook, a more evolved medium where I have been able to upload a lot of photographs and other media and categorise them and equally the community have been encouraged to do the same, sharing their past with the group.
Our community is growing by the day and we still have a constant stream of people wanting to join, people have really embraced the site, I get to share my passion for this wonderful island and in turn learn things I never knew, it’s been a real insight to my family and I.
Manx Nostalgia has been running on Facebook for 11 years now and we have built quite a little community from scratch, the group now has over 20,700 members worldwide, all of which share pictures and swap stories and memories, which is truly fascinating and I find that I’m always learning something new about the island and its culture.
I hope that you enjoy looking through the site as much as I enjoyed creating it.