Then and Now

Since I was looking through old photos of the Isle of Man for my last post, I thought that I might try and see if any of the locations corresponded with photos that I’ve taken.

So here are a few examples of places showing the passage of time…

For example, the Isle of Man was once a very popular holiday destination, but since the era of cheap air travel to guaranteed sunnier climes, the numbers of holidaymakers travelling to the island has plummeted. Here’s Douglas beach, then and now (2005):



The lighthouse on Douglas Head:



That little boat steaming past the lighthouse in the picture above is almost certainly the ferry on its way to Port Soderick. Then, it was a little cove filled with cafes, shops, and other attractions. Now it is just a cove.


Douglas harbour has seen great changes. I couldn’t find a series of photos taken from the same viewpoint, but here are some that illustrate something of what has gone on in the last 150 years. The first shows Market Hill, the street leading up from the quay. The old St. Matthew’s church is the focus of the picture, with the old open-air market just shown on the right.


Here’s a second view of the church and the open-air market:


Note the new commercial building behind the market and to the left of the church. The church itself was demolished in 1898 to make way for the building of a cast-iron market hall. A new church (the new St. Matthew’s) was built a short distance away on the quay itself. As well as the cast iron market hall, a brick-built market hall was also constructed at some point. Here’s a shot from 1912. On the left of the picture, you can seen the brick-built market hall (behind the standing man). All the buildings in the main part of the picture have been demolished.


And here is the brick-built market hall today, with the boarded-up cast-iron hall on the right. Note the commercial building behind, which is the same as the one (minus a chimney stack or two) from the earlier (second) photo in the series.


And, pulling back, you can see the “new” St. Matthew’s church in shot. The harbour is filled with pleasure yachts. In my youth, it was filled with working fishing boats. All gone.


However, even as late as 1988, there was still something of the fishing fleet remaining:


About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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2 Responses to Then and Now

  1. Robert Dammers says:

    Suits, Greatcoats and Hats on the beach. My God, our forefathers were hardy folk! They were going to have some time at the seaside, come what may.

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