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Caillt ayns Mooir Vannin

The Ellan Vannin courtesy Manx Heritage Foundation
The Isle of Man lost 36 members of the community when the Ellan Vannin sank

The Ellan Vannin has been a part of Manx folklore since December 1909 when she went down in Liverpool bay during a violent hurricane. The sense of loss can still be felt 100 years on.

Ta skeeal yn 'Ellan Vannin' er ve ny ayrn jeh beealeydys Vannin er dy Mee ny Nollick 1909 tra hie ee fo ayns baie Lerpoyll ayns sterrym elgyssagh. Ta'n coayl foast ry ennaghtyn 100 blein ny yei.

On the morning of 3rd December 1909 the SS Ellan Vannin left the Isle of Man just after 01.00 bound for Liverpool. She was carrying 15 passengers, 21 crew plus mail and 60 tons of cargo.

Moghrey yn trass laa Mee ny Nollick 1909 daag yn baatey bree 'Ellan Vannin' Mannin beggan lurg 01.00 as ee goll lesh Lerpoyll. V'ee gymmyrkey 15 troailtee, 21 shiaulteyr chammah's cooid phostagh as 60 thunney dy lught.

In command was Captain James Teare from Douglas, a man with 18 years of experience. Though the weather was stormy at time of departure, the Captain did not expect any problems. Charles Guard from the Manx Heritage Foundation says, as the ship neared Liverpool the weather took a turn for the worse.

V'ee fo-harey Captan James Teare voish Doolish, dooinney as 18 bleeaney dy cheeayl chionnit echey. Ga dy row yn emshyr sterrymagh tra daag ee, cha row fys erbee ec y Chaptan dy beagh doilleeidyn ayn. Ta Chalse Guard voish Undinys Eiraght Vannin gra dy daink yn emshyr dy ve foddey ny smessey myr haink y baatey er gerrey da Lerpoyll.

"It was one of the worst storms of the century. The waves were over 25 feet and the winds were well in excess of 80mph. Four or five people would have been hanging on the wheel to try and steer her in the right position.

"She nane jeh ny sterrymyn smessey sy cheead blein shen. Va ny tonnyn ny syrjey na 25 trieyn as va'n gheay ny stroshey na 80mso. Veagh feme er kiare ny queig dy leih greimmey yn wheeyl dy chur eab er stiurey ee er y choorse kiart.

"It was pitch black, driving sleet and 2 degrees Celsius. They were impossible conditions and a confluence of the most extraordinary circumstances that very few boats of the time would have survived."

"V'eh dorraghey doo, va sniaghtey fliugh yeealley neose as v'eh 2 cheim Kelsius. She drogh-emshyr agglagh v'ayn as cohuittym dy haghyrtyn smoo neuchadjin veagh er stroie yn chooid smoo dy vaatyn jeh'n lhing shen."

The Ellan Vannin was an old ship and she was also the slowest and smallest of the Steam Packet fleet. But she had given tremendous service and the Board of Trade inquiry proved that she was in perfect condition on the night she sailed.

Va 'Ellan Vannin' ny shenn vaatey as v'ee yn fer smelley as sloo ayns flod y Phaggad Bree neesht. Agh v'ee er n'obbragh lane vie rish foddey as ren brialtys y Voayrd Traghtee prowal dy row ee ayns foaynoo slane-vie er yn oie tra ren ee shiaulley.

The crew were top class and the much respected Captain Teare managed to get her across the Irish Sea in terrible conditions. But what happened in quarter of an hour, between 06.30 and 06.45, was to result in the worst shipping disaster the Isle of Man had ever had to deal with.

Va'n skimmee mie er bashtal as va Captan Teare ny vainshtyr mie ammyssit ren stiurey ee tessen Mooir Vannin ayns emshyr atchimagh. Agh shen ny ren taghyrt ayns kerroo oor, eddyr 06.30 as 06.45, she yn chragh lhuingyssagh smessey ren rieau cheet er Mannin.

She was broken in two when she was found the next day in 30 feet of water. The lifeboats had gone which means there had been an attempt to launch them. It's a heartbreaking image which Charles Guard says gave false hope to the relatives of those who had been onboard.

V'ee brisht ayns daa ayrn tra v'ee feddynit yn laa er giyn ayns 30 trieyn dy ushtey. Va ny baatyn sauail ersooyl ta soilshaghey dy row eab jeant dy lunney ad. She yn sheiltynys shoh, ta Charles Guard gra, ren cur jerkallys foalsey da sleih-mooinjerey jeusyn v'er y vaatey.

"Only 3 people were found in the ship when the divers went down. The rest had vanished. For quite a while there were rumours that they had all been rescued and were in Ireland.

"Cha row agh 3 persoonyn er ny gheddyn sy vaatey tra hie ny thummeyderyn sheese. Va'n sleih elley er skellal roue. Rish tammylt va skeealyn ayn dy row ad er ve sauit as dy row ad ayns Nerin.

"Enquiries were made all around Britain to the tragic end that people's hopes were again dashed. It gradually became apparent what happened on that dreadful night and that everyone had been drowned.

"Va shirraghyn jeant feiy ny h-Ellanyn Goaldagh agh va jerkallysyn ny fir-vooinjerey slane stroiet reesht. Beggan er beggan haink eh dy ve baghtal cre haghyr er yn oie atchimagh shen as dy row dy chooilley pheiagh er n'goll er vaih.

"After the Ellan Vannin sank there were 58 children left without either one or two parents."

"Lurg da'n 'Ellan Vannin' goll fo va 58 paitchyn faagit dyn mummig ny jishig ny dyn paarant erbee."

Charles Guard from the Manx Heritage Foundation

Chalse Guard voish Undinys Eiraght Vannin

"The sinking of the Ellan Vannin had an extraordinary impact here on the Isle of Man. You've got to imagine an Island with very few telephones, no radios and no way of communicating except for the newspapers.

"Va cummaltee Vannin mooar-seaghnit liorish goll fo yn 'Ellan Vannin'. Shegin dhyt toiggal nagh row monney chellvaneyn, ny radioyn erbee er yn ellan as nagh row aght erbee geddyn naight agh voish ny pabyryn-naight.

"Two days after the Ellan Vannin went down the Ramsey Courier and Northern Advertisers offices were besieged. It's said that 3000 people crowded around the square in Ramsey desperate for information about what had happened.

"Daa laa lurg da'n 'Ellan Vannin' goll fo va offishyn Roieder Rhumsaa as Soilsheeneyderyn Twoaie cochruinnit. T'eh goll er ghra dy ren 3000 cruinnaghey mygeayrt y cherrin ayns Rhumsaa as adsyn debejagh dy geddyn magh c'red v'er daghyrt.

"It was 24 hours before they found the ship and tragically it was 5 weeks before they began to find any of the bodies."

"Ren 24 oor goll shagh roish my dooar ad y lhong as s'treih gra nagh dooar ad kirp erbee derrey 5 shiaghteeyn ny s'anmey."

An event of such magnitude, says Charles Guard, has spawned many incredible stories, some about those who were onboard and some about those who weren't, but should have been.

Ta lheid y drogh-haghyrt mooar er chroo ymmodee skeealyn yindyssagh, ta Charles Guard gra, paart mychione ocsyn v'er boayrd as as paart elley mychione ocsyn lhisagh er ve.

"Mr. Quayle from Pear Tree Cottage in Andreas went to bed early that night having decided he wouldn't be going to Liverpool in the morning because it was too stormy. He was due to go over for medical treatment.

"Hie Mnr Quayle voish Thie beg y Villey Peear ayns Skyll Andreays dy lhie moghey yn oie shen lurg da reaghey nagh jinnagh eh goll dys Lerpoyll er y fa dy row eh ro sterrymagh. V'eh ersyn goll dy gheddyn lheeys.

"At midnight he woke up and thought the weather had improved enough to travel and he cycled from Andreas to Ramsey managing to meet the boat before she sailed. As Daniel Defoe said, 'Even the greatest men cannot forgo their destiny.' Mr. Quayle bought a return ticket.

"Ec mean-oie ghooisht eh as heill eh dy row yn emshyr er hareaghey dy liooar dy lhiggey da troailt as hie eh er daa-wheeyl voish Skyll Andreays dys Rhumsaa as rosh eh y vaatey kiart roish my hiaull ee. Myr dooyrt Daniel Defoe, 'Cha nod eer ny deiney smoo cosney roish yn erree oc.' Chionnee Mnr Quayle tiggad er ash .

"Captain Teare had only started his month's service that night. He was given a month's service in the winter because Steam Packet Captains were usually laid off when the tourist season came to an end. That was his destiny; he had to be on the ship that night.

"Va Captan Teare kiart er n'goaill toshiaght er y vee dy hirveish echey yn oie shen. Va mee dy hirveish currit da sy gheurey er y fa nagh row obbyr lane-traa ec Captanyn y Phaggad Bree dy cliaghtagh tra haink yn imbagh turrysagh gy jerrey. Shen va'n erree echey; v'eh ersyn ve er y lhong yn oie shen.

"After the Ellan Vannin sank there were 58 children left without either one or two parents. Can you imagine the impact of that on a small island like ours?

"Lurg da'n 'Ellan Vannin' goll fo va 58 paitchyn faagit fegooish edyr un ny daa phaarant. Vod oo sheiltyn eiyrtys y chragh shoh er ellan beg gollrish y fer ain?

"There was an extraordinary outpouring of grief. A fund was set up and the King and Queen donated money along with the Governor of the time, Lord Raglan. This fund was actually administered for decades afterwards for the families of those affected."

"Va deayrtey-magh mooar dy heaghyn ayn. Va chaglym argid currit er bun as hug y Ree as y Venrein chammah's y kiannoort, y Chiarn Raglan, argid da. Va'n chaglym ymmydit rish jeihyn dy vleeantyn ny lurg shen ass lieh ny lughtyn-thie jeusyn va caillt."

To mark the centenary of the sinking of the Ellan Vannin the Isle of Man Post Office has issued a First Day cover with images drawn by artist, Peter Hearsey.

Dy chowraghey yn cheeadoo vlein jeh goll fo yn 'Ellan Vannin' ta Oik Postagh Ellan Vannin er chur magh coodagh Chied Laa lesh jallooyn tayrnit liorish yn ellyneyr, Peter Hearsey.

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