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Raad ta'n ghrian kinjagh soilshean


The Summerland building in Douglas was the first of its kind in the world. The state-of-the-art facilities put the Isle of Man on the map as one of the most important tourist destinations in the British Isles. But the dream was short lived.

She yn chied troggal jeh'n cheint shen sy theihll va Cheer y Touree ayns Doolish. Kyndagh rish ny seyraaidyn noaemshiragh echey haink Ellan Vannin dy ve nane jeh ny reih-vuill son turrysee ayns ny h-Ellanyn Goaldagh. Agh cha ren yn ashlish tannaghtyn rish foddey.

Two years after its completion in 1971 the high tech promenade venue was the scene of devastation after a fire ripped through the building killing 50 people.

Daa vlein lurg da ve jeant ayns 1971 va'n ynnyd ard-chaghnoaylleeaght er y chooylaghan stroit liorish aile ren raipey roish trooid yn troggal as ren marroo 50 dy leih.

The 3.5 acre Summerland resort, claiming to be the biggest and most innovative indoor entertainment centre in the world, was hailed by the British Tourist Authority as "An outstanding tourist enterprise".

Va mooadys 3.5 acyr ec Cheer y Touree ren boasteil dy re yn ynnyd eunysseyraght cheusthie smoo as s'noaemshiree sy theihll v'eh, as ren yn Lught-reill Turrysid Goaldagh moylley eh myr "Ny ventyr turrysagh mie ass towse".

It was the brain child of Douglas architect, Mr James Phillips Lomas who had been commissioned by Douglas Corporation to design a building which would attract visitors to the Isle of Man whatever the weather.

V'eh crooit ec kiaddeyder troggal voish Doolish, Mnr James Phillips Lomas v'er ve pointit liorish Co-chorp Ghoolish dy chroo troggal veagh tayrn stiagh keayrtee dys Ellan Vannin cre erbee yn emshyr v'ayn.

His solution was to design an artificial centre of sunshine and it had to be spectacular enough to compete with the growing threat of cheap foreign holidays.

Dy chooilleeney shoh ren eh kiaddey ynnyd soilshey ny greiney neughooghyssagh veagh ard-shilleydagh dy liooar dy cho-hirrey lesh yn earroo irree dy laghyn seyrey neuchostal ayns cheeraghyn joarree.

Inside the centre he included plans for an indoor heated swimming pool, saunas, Turkish baths, an artificial sunshine zone, a children's theatre, an underground disco, cascading waterfalls, restaurants and bars all with live entertainment throughout the day.

Cheusthie yn ynnyd va plannyn echey son loghan snaue chiowit, saunaghyn, tobbyryn-oonlee Turkagh, kerroo soilshey ny greiney neughooghyssagh, thie-cloie ny clienney, disco fo-halloo, easyn creggagh as buill son bee as jough raad veagh eunysseyraght ayn feiy'n laa

Lomas wanted to create the illusion of being outside and to this end he planned to cover exposed cliff faces with tropical plants while allowing wild birds to live and fly throughout the building.

Ren Lomas geearree aa-chroo yn seihll cheumooie cheusthie as myrshen va plannyn echey dy choodey eayninyn lhome lesh lussyn tropicagh as dy lhiggey da ushagyn feie baghey as getlagh feiy'n troggal.

The latter idea was eventually scrapped when it was discovered some of the birds were poisoning themselves by eating the plastic foliage.

Va'n eie s'jerree shen scryssit fy yerrey tra hooar ad magh dy row paart jeh ny h-ushagyn cheet dy ve pyshoonit liorish gee ny lussyn plastagh.

The plans took years to finalise. The first drawings materialised in 1965 but hundreds were drafted out before building work actually started.

Shimmey blein va ceaut er ny plannyn. Va ny chied jallooyn ry akin ayns 1965 agh va keeadyn dy ghraghtyn elley jeant roish my ghow yn obbyr troggee hene toshiaght.

Douglas Corporation, aided by grants from the Isle of Man Government, spent £1.5 million on the building and more cash was provided by The International Trust House Forte group who had taken Summerland LTD on as a subsidiary.

Ren Co-chorp Ghoolish ceau £1.5 millioon er y troggal lesh cooney argidoil cheet voish Reiltys Vannin as va tooilley argid currit da liorish yn possan eddyrashoonagh Trust House Forte v'er n'gheddyn Summerland Ltd myr fo-cholught.

In "The Summerland Story" written by Robert Kelly he promotes the centre as "a holiday town where it never rains, the wind never blows and the temperature never gets chilly. Outside it's raining yet here you are relaxed in your shirt sleeves, gently perspiring in a tropical 80 degrees."

Ayns "Skeeal Cheer y Touree" scruit ec Robert Kelly va'n ynnyd moyllit myr "balley laghyn-seyrey raad nagh vel eh rieau ceau fliaghey, cha nel y gheay rieau sheidey as cha nel eh rieau feayr. Cheumooie t'eh ceau agh aynshoh t'ou goaill aash ayns dty lheiney as uss gollish ayns tempreilys tropicagh 80 keim."

Much thought was given to bringing a sunshine-feel to the building. The transparent roof was composed of 6 ft acrylic bronze-tinted sheets so that the natural light filtering through would appear like golden rays.

Va ram traa ceaut smooinaghtyn er aghtyn dy lhiggey soilshey ny greiney stiagh sy troggal. Va'n mullagh tarhoilshagh jeant jeh leacyn mooarey dy stoo acryllagh as mynghaa ooha oc dy jinnagh y soilshey dooghyssagh sheeley nyn drooid as jeeaghyn gollrish scellyn airhey.

There were 7 floors in total and the building had a capacity for 5 thousand people.

Va 7 laareyn ayn ooilley cooidjagh as v'eh kiaddit dy chummal 5 thousane dy leih.

For just over two years the centre attracted visitors from all over the world. While children were entertained in the theatre, parents could relax upstairs.

Rish beggan ny sodjey na daa vlein ren yn ynnyd tayrn huggey keayrtee veih cheeraghyn feiy ny cruinney. Choud's va ny paitchyn goaill soylley jeh eunysseyraght sy thie-cloie, oddagh ny paarantyn oc goaill aash heose ny greeishyn.

Summerland was fulfilling its promise of taking Manx tourism into the future. On the evening of Thursday 2nd August 1973 an estimated 3,000 people were enjoying themselves at the resort.

Va Cheer yn Touree cooilleeney e ghialdyn dy jinnagh eh croo traa ry heet speedeilagh son turryssid Vannin. Fastyr Jerdein yn nah laa Mee Luanistyn 1973 va mysh 3,000 dy leih, t'eh oolit, goaill soylley ec yn ynnyd laghyn-seyrey.

Meanwhile a group of three school boys on holiday from Liverpool was hanging around at the back of the building next to a section of a dismantled fibre-glass kiosk.

Ec y traa cheddin va three guillyn scoill er nyn laghyn-seyrey voish Lerpoyll sleetchal mygeayrt ec y cheu-chooylloo jeh'n troggal faggys da meer dy waag gless-frauaigagh.

The rest is of course history. The Summerland fire, according to the independent report into the blaze, "will remain a permanent scar in the minds of Manxmen."

Shennaghys nish ta'n chooid er mayrn jeh'n skeeal. Nee aile Cheer y Touree tannaghtyn, rere tuarastyl neuchrogheydagh mychione y chragh, "myr ny screebage veayn ayns cooinaghtyn ny Manninee."

A report commissioned by the Lieutenant Governor in 1973 stated that the blaze was the worst peacetime fire disaster in the British Isles since 1929.

Dooyrt tuarastyl pointit liorish y Chiannoort ayns 1973 dy re yn chragh aile traa-shee smessey ayns ny h-Ellanyn Goaldagh er dyn vlein 1929 va'n lostey shoh.

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