Patience Pays Off

Our readers may remember we recently told you of Charles Coole, a housebound man who was playing games of patience (solitaire) everyday to raise money for Southern Befrienders. Charles wanted to raise £2,000 for the charity which provides older people with support in two ways; companionship by one-to-one befrienders who visit people in their own home, and in groups at our weekly social events. Well he’s gone and done it. Two weeks before his target date of Feb 14 (his 80th birthday) Charles has raised £2,024 but he isn’t stopping.
You can donate to his fund for Southern Befrienders here or for more info on Southern Befrienders, visit

Flu Jab Uptake Increase

There was a noticeable increase in the number of people choosing to have the flu jab at the end of 2020. An FoI response from the DHSC compared November 2019 with 2020 and showed that in 2019 8,963 people took the jab of the 18,875 who were eligible (47.5%). Comparatively in 2020, 18,520 people were eligible, of which 10,489 took the jab (56.6%). 

False Alarm for RNLI

Port St Mary and Port Erin RNLI lifeboat volunteer crews were paged at the request of Belfast Coastguard on Sunday after reports that a vessel, thought to be a fishing vessel, had gone missing. The vessel was observed approximately one mile west of Bradda Head Port Erin.

Port St Mary’s relief all-weather Trent class lifeboat RNLB Forward Birmingham, whilst Port Erin’s Lifeboat crew were paged to join the search. Once Port St Mary were on scene they were tasked to take out a sector search pattern between Port Erin Bay and Fleshwick Bay, whilst Port Erin were tasked with searching close to the tricky coastline.

While the search took place the coastguard carried out local checks that no fishing vessels had been reported as overdue. After searching for an hour and half, and following confirmation that all local vessels had been accounted for, both lifeboats were stood down.

Community Garden

Manx Lottery Trust has awarded a grant of £11,500 to Manor Park School for the creation of an outdoor sheltered area for use by pupils, parents and the wider neighbourhood. The school already has an open ground policy and wants to encourage residents to enjoy the school grounds, with seated areas and play areas to be installed. The facility will also incorporate a sensory wellbeing garden, as well as a site where pupils can grow plants and vegetables. 

The garden is taking great shape and will benefit the school and wider community once complete.jpgThe garden is taking great shape and will benefit the school and wider community once complete.jpg

Beach Buddies is Back

Having made two attempts in early January to get to South Barrule for a tidy up, Beach Buddies is back this weekend and tackling rubbish at the plantation. The meeting point is the South Barrule plantation main car park at 10.30am on Sunday. All equipment is provided and Beach Buddies will remove the items collected, recycling as much as possible.


Online fashion retailer Asos has bought the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands from failed retail group Arcadia in a deal worth £295m.

Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia group fell into administration in November last year. Asos is acquiring the stock and the brands. However, it is not taking on the stores. 

It is paying £265m for the brands and a further £30m for the stock.

Meanwhile it is expected that BooHoo will complete its takeover of Burtons, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis in the coming days in a move that almost certainly ends their life on the highstreet in favour of online shopping. The island’s Topshop store was closed last week, with 11 staff being made redundant. 


Boris has condemned the military coup in Myanmar (formerly Burma) which has seen democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrested. Myanmar’s military has taken control of the country after detaining a number of leading politicians and claiming there were ‘huge discrepancies’ in November’s election.

A one-year state of emergency has been declared, according to military-owned TV, and power has been handed to the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Min Aung Hlaing.
While Aung San Suu Kyi is the democratic leader, her government was run as a sort of coalition with the still power military which ran the country for decades. What remains to be seen is how the international community responds to the coup.