Amy was born at Ballachrink, in the farmhouse built by her grandfather, John Quine junior. Grandfather Quine lived long enough to see his first Quine grandchild (his older daughters had many children) and complained “are they sticking pins in the child” when Amy cried. She had to walk down the road to East Baldwin school. The Baldwin road had a very different aspect then, as the many trees have grown up since. One day, foolishly for a farmer’s daughter, she took fright at one of Lewthwaite’s cows which were wandering the highway to find some grazing. Amy jumped over the low hedge by the roadside, and tumbled down the steep broogh, breaking her collar-bone in the process.

Amy could remember coming back from hay-making at Moaney Carraghyn as a young girl - she was also present at the opening of Injebreck reservoir. As children, Amy and her sisters used to play ‘house’ in the vacant farmhouse at Arderry. Later there was a fire in which the house was burned down - supposedly set alight by poachers.

There were many more families living in the valley in her youth than there are today - in one cottage at The Battery lived an old woman and her grandchild. The old lady suffered from rhumatics and to get some comfort at night would cry out “lie close to me back, dearie” to the little one. At school, Amy showed promise at drawing, and was given special permission to join the boys in art lessons instead of doing sewing with the girls. When her brothers and sisters were old enough, they would drive themselves into town in the Governess cart. Many years later Amy remembered her father’s pony - “a real high-stepper”. The girls were taught at first at a small private school - Southlands - run in Albany Road by the Misses Gelling, later at Park Road. Amy sat her Cambridge external examinations in December 1902, and passed in six subjects including English, History, Algebra, and art, Drawing and French. After she left school, Amy would have helped her mother at home, and also took over as organist at the chapel, where she already taught a Sunday-school class. Sunday at home was carefully observed, with no games being played, and only suitable reading allowed. There was plenty of activity however, with two services to attend, and usually the preacher or minister being entertained for tea at Ballachrink.


The children belonged to the Band of Hope, and all signed the pledge. There were many cousins, and family visits were exchanged, traditionally for Sunday school and chapel Anniversaries. The Cowins of Ballaquinney were first cousins, and Amy was fond of her uncle and aunt Thomas Corlett and Alice Corlett of Douglas. Aunt Crye was another favorite relation, and Amy stayed with the Cryes at their home in Ramsey at least once. Before the days of telephones, visits had to be arranged well ahead, or messages could be sent by post-card. On one occasion an invitation was received to tea at Foxdale. It was quite a trip by pony and trap, and on arrival the door was opened by the maid, announcing that the family was away from home. Some indignation was recalled at not being asked in at least for a cup of tea and a few moments’ rest. The Quines made friends with a number of Methodist families, and some were regular visitors, staying in Douglas and coming out to service at East Baldwin.Among these friends were the Greens of The Elms, Horbury, Yorkshire. Horizons must have been widened, too, when Amy’s sister Gertrude left Baldwin to train as a teacher at Southlands college in Chelsea in 1907.


Much interest was evinced in a wedding which was solemnised at Rose Mount Wesleyan Methodist Church, on Wednesday afternoon - between Mr. Frank H. Crowe, of Kirk Michael, and Miss Amy Elizabeth Quine, elder daughter of Mr. T.E. Quine of Ballachrink, East Baldwin. A Numerous company of relatives and friends witnessed the ceremony. The bride wore a grey costume, with white hat and wreath of pink roses, and carried a bouquet of sweet peas and pink roses. Her sister Miss Isabel Quine was the bridesmaid. She was similarly attired. Both ladies wore gold curb bracelets, the gift of the bridegroom. The bride was given away by her father. The bride-groom’s brother Mr. C. Crowe was best man. The Rev. H. Williams conducted the service, and at the close The Rev. T. Dickinson of Ramsey (uncle of the bride-groom) offered a suitable extempore prayer The wedding hymns “The voice that breathed o’er Eden” and “O perfect love”, were sung. Miss Lizzie Cannell presiding at the organ. The communion table was nicely decorated with palms and other plants. The party were profusely showered with confetti on leaving the church, and entering the motors, which conveyed them to Ballachrink, where there was a reception, and where the numerous and valuable gifts received by bride and bridegroom were on view. The bride’s present to the bridegroom was a suit case. Mr. and Mrs. Crowe left by Thursday’s steamer to enjoy their honeymoon at Keswick. The former is a Primitive Methodist local preacher well-known in the Ramsey circuit, while the latter has been very useful in the work of the Wesleyan Church and Sunday- school at East Baldwin, where her services will be greatly missed.

Story of an Island Home [Extracts]

by Mona Douglas

One of the Island’s springtime sights is the wonderful display of crocuses and other early spring flowers in the front garden of ‘Erinville’, the old house just outside Kirk Michael village on the Douglas Road. The house itself has quite ann interesting story going back to the 18th century, at the end of which it was built on the estate of Ballachrink, and named “The Cottage”.

Chatelaine of this charming old house for nearly 50 years was Mrs. Amy Crowe, wife and now widow of Frank Crowe M.H.K...........She was married and came to Erinville in 1916, and lived there until she handed it over to her daughter G*****, wife of Mr. W. L********, in 1965. Now in her 80’s, although still very “smart” as Manx folk say, Mrs. Crowe felt that the Victorian [sic] “cottage” was too big for her, and moved to a real cottage across the road, where she has both seclusion and the near companionship of her family.


By Mona Douglas

There is a great deal of individual talent practiced quietly among Manx people but as they are notoriously disinclined to blow their own trumpets, much of the work done is hardly known beyond their own families. One such person is Mrs. Amy Crowe of Kirk Michael.

She is a talented artist in watercolour, and in her cottage are many of her pictures depicting Manx scenery which have true and sensitive colouring, are often seen from unusual angles, and convey faithfully the ever-changing of the Island and sometimes a touch of the faery glamour not so easily seen, or so often. She is a little suggestive of a fairy herself: a small slight woman with sparkling eyes, wavy grey hair and a face over which the varying expressions flow lighting it up as sunshine lights patches of sea on a cloudy day.

But she is also an active and practical person with many friends and interests and although over 80 has projects in the offing, one of which is the completion of a pictorial record of Manx wild flowers which she started many years ago.

It is a large book on each page of which are named specimins of wild flowers, collected and beautifully drawn and painted by herself. On the title page is a charming picture of Sulby Claddagh, the kind of place where many were collected. But her collection still offers plenty of scope for future work as she has been told by another local naturalist, George Quayle, of Lezayre, that there are about seven hundred known varieties all told!

Mrs. Crowe is a true Manxwoman born and bred, and has lived in Kirk Michael since she came there as a bride in 1916 - but when asked about changes in the life of the village since then she said: “Well, I’ve only lived here for about 57 years, so I can’t tell you much about the old days: but I was brought up in East Baldwin, and I remember how very different life was there in my childhood”

She was Amy Quine of Ballachrink then, and she and her brothers used to walk the two miles to to the Baldwin School, taking a ‘piece’ and a drink for their mid-day meal. Later they went to school in Douglas, and drove the five miles there and back every day with the farm pony and governess cart. But it was a happy life in Baldwin, all the different families intimate with each other and many of them related.

When she came to Kirk Michael and became the bride of the late Frank Crowe M.H.K., she felt lonely and isolated for a time, but soon began to make friends, members of the chapel congregation and so on. It was in this period that she began to work seriously at her painting, and also started her flower collection, but then life became busy with her growing family and hobbies got less attention for a time.

Of course life in the village was different in many ways in those early years. There were few cars in the Island; people walked where they wanted to go locally, and when going to Ramsey or Douglas caught ( a) train, unless they had a horse and trap, as did many of the farmers.

It was a great day for the north of the Island when Mr. Cowin started his ‘ I’m Alone’ ‘bus service, for although before that there had been a limited bus service operating in some partsof the Island, practically the whole of the northexcept Ramsey was outside its range, and Cowin provided a much- appreciated service for the country folk. But the ‘bus of those days was very different from those of today: small, high-set and very noisy, and it often broke down. Mr. Cowin employed several drivers who were all on friendly terms with their customers, and there is a story about one of them whose wife was expecting her first baby. Several women passengers were much interested in the event, and when the driver came to collect the fares one of them asked him - obviously as the result of a previous discussion - “What’s she got, Robert?”. Whereupon Robert, one big blush up to his fair hair, managed to get out “N’nothing - yet” To the joy of some summer visitors who were also passengers.

Mrs. Crowe has a certain nostalgia for the old days, but she is by no means a ‘Moaning Minnie’ and enjoys many things about the present life of the village too - modern conveniences are a help in running her cottage, where she lives alone, and she is an active mamber of the Womens’ Institute - in whose exhibitions, incidentally, she has been persuaded to show some of her pictures, although she fights shy of the more sophisticated art shows. She was also too shy to allow the ‘Star’ photographer to take a take a shot of her, although she did allow her, although she did allow her precious book of wild flowers to be used as an illustration.

She has a great admiration for the Manx countryfolk of her own generation with their hardy, independent, hard-working but healthy life and their capacity for achieving a worthwhile career from low beginnings. “I have known large families reared on farms of no more than 40 acres, all strong and healthy and all sucessful in after life through their own efforts and those of their parents, some in professions, some in business; and I think that sturdy, independent spirit is the basic character of the Manx people.”

“I only hope that it is not being softened and spoiled today by too much pampering.”

Death of M.H.K.’s Widow

In the death of Mrs. Amy Crowe, at Erinville Cottage, Kirk Michael, which ocurred on Sunday, the local community loses a highly respected personality who in former days played an active part in the life of the village.

Mrs. Crowe, who was 87, was the widow of Mr. Frank Crowe C.P., M.H.K., a well-known Methodist and Local Preacher.

Like her husband she followed a long tradition of Methodismand support for the total abstinence movement. Before her marriage she was a Miss Quine and spent her early childhood days in the Baldwin valley. As a girl she was present at the opening of the Baldwin Reservoir just after the turn of the century.

Mrs Crowe was a gifted artist and loved the countryside. She was the eldest and last surviving member of a family of five.

During the time she and her husband were at “Erinville” from about 1916 for a long period, she was often hostess on social occasions and on visits of leading Methodist personalities and others who were visiting Michael.

She loved flowers and it so happens that the time of her passing the crocuses at “Erinville” - now the home of her daughter G****** and son-in-law W******* L******* and family, were coming out one month ahead of schedule.

Mrs Crowe was, of course, one of the leading worshippers at Ebenezer Chapel for many years and the funeral service was there on Wednesday afternoon.

She leaves besides her daughter, G*****, her elder son, Mr. **** Crowe, manager of B******’s Bank in Douglas, a younger son Mr. ******* Crowe, who farms at.....East Baldwin.