It started with a dream....  Two ladies had a dream. They had seen the way many of the old working horses around the Island, having come to an end of their working days, had nowhere to go. Their owners mostly worked the horses, but as times were really hard, the owners could just not afford to look after the animals after they had got too old to pull their carts. Mrs. Royston and her sister Miss Kermode, both animal lovers, decided to try to do something about it. They had heard about a retired farrier and his wife, Mr and Mrs. Leece from Brooklands at Abbeylands who had three small paddocks and two loose boxes to rent out. At a very reasonable rent of ten shillings (50p) a week they gathered together several like-minded friends, one of whom was Mrs. Violet Leece, who had a good knowledge of horses, and another was Miss Marjorie Joughin, who is very well known today as 'our Marje'. With her and her mother Mrs. Joughin, they held the very first Christmas Fair to help raise the money to start off their grand dream. The start of the Christmas Fairs were held at the Windsor Hotel on Loch Promenade, Douglas. Mrs. Royston got permission to go around all the hotels and pubs, even knocking on houses asking for money to help save some of the horses as she had been told a lot of the horses were being shipped away to a fate unknown. Times were very hard with a lot of people very short of money, "but even a farthing would do" she would say. Her very hard work paid off, farthings, ha'pennies and pennies came slowly in and she now had enough money to try to save at least one animal from its unknown fate. A little pony called Trixie, the very first pony to be saved, was heard about and Mrs. Royston, along with her sister and helpers, set out to try and save this poor animal. Bess was the next to be saved and then Sheila. Prince a riding horse, who had been sold to a hawker, had collapsed on the road. Mrs. Royston set out to find more about Prince. The hawker wanted £14 for this poor thin animal so Mrs. Royston paid up and saved Prince. She had also found out that Prince had originally been called Nobby. This was just the start of a long line of horses, ponies and donkeys to be saved. Whilst knocking on the doors Mrs. Royston was glad to explain what she was doing it all for. One lady was very interested in what she had to say and had not really thought about what actually happened to the horses after their working days were over. Mrs. Royston could hardly believe her eyes when a legacy had been left to her. It was from the lady who had been so interested in what they had been doing. This was the start of their dreams. £6,000 had been left to her to start a retirement home for all the friendless and homeless horses, ponies and donkeys. The search was now on for suitable premises, a cheap farm and of course, close to Douglas. After many false starts, they finally settled on Bulrhenny knowing all the disadvantages as it was well run down. The gateways were old bedsteads and the barbed-wire fencing ran under the grass and came up the other side of the hedge! The advantages were that it was just outside Douglas and on a bus route. With the fields being very hilly, it gave the horses good shelter from the wind and good drainage. Even though it was very run down, it felt like heaven to all and it was a safe place for the horses. Now the hard work had begun. The first job was to clean out two stables which had been left in a very bad state. (One stable was later turned into a cafe, and the other into a gift shop). After many hours of digging and washing down they discovered the floors were all cobbled which was really nice. The younger of the happy crew worked out in the fields removing all the old rusty barbed-wire and cutting back the hedges, removing anything that would endanger the horses. The gates were opened and many a visitor looked in and work still carried on. Mrs. Royston showed the visitors around and told them how they had saved these horses and ponies from a fate unknown. As word got around about The Home of Rest for Old Horses and these dear ladies trying to save the poor unwanted beasts, more and more visitors came to Bulrhenny. Then one day, one of the helpers suggested offering visitors a cup of tea and a scone for a small charge; this was done and so it was the start of the cafe on the top of Richmond Hill. Mrs. Royston then went home and went through all her drawers looking for birthday and Christmas gifts she had received and never used like aprons, hats, scarves, soaps and brooches and brought them up to Bulrhenny the very next day. They then set up a little stall and placed her goods on it, she was so thrilled when visitors bought something of hers. This caught on, so all her helpers brought up their unwanted gifts and so the gift shop started, run by volunteers. Some of the visitors, along with the helpers started knitting tea-cosies and socks etc to sell in the shop. Some of the Home's friends to this day are still knitting for us and you will see in our shop the beautiful hand-made jumpers, baby's cardigans and wooly hats which are very reasonably priced and sell very well. Mrs. Royston did not leave any stone unturned, so she had a word with the hotel and boarding house owners to seek permission to visit their premises. Permission was granted so Mrs. Royston and Miss Kermode with some helpers set out in the evening to catch the visitors at tea-time to tell them all about 'Bulrhenny', with them of course they took their collection boxes. After the visitors had heard the sad tales of the horses, their first stop the very next day was 'Bulrhenny'. The Home was really busy all day and everyone was very happy. 'Bulrhenny' was going from strength to strength with more horses coming in, so more money had to be found. Mrs. Royston put out an appeal to help raise extra cash to purchase the old tram horses that pulled the visitors along Douglas Promenade. They found out when the animal marts were being held and set out on their journey to buy these horses. Today, we have first option to buy all the tram horses and we never refuse any of them - the tram horses are our main concern. Written by Jill Moore with the help of Dorothy Jones. Reproduced with kind permission of Jill Moore.
History From humble beginnings and much hard work and dedication from sisters Mrs. Royston and Miss Kermode, the Isle of Man Home Of Rest for Old Horses has been able to provide a comfortable retirement for many ‘ex-trammers’, horses, ponies and donkeys since 1950.
Isle of Man Home of Rest for Old Horses Photo  douglashorsetramway.net
‘Raad tram-cabbil baie ghoolish’ “….tinkling tramcars, like toast racks, Sweeping the curve of the bay.” (Sir Hall Caine) The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway
It started with a dream....  Two ladies had a dream. They had seen the way many of the old working horses around the Island, having come to an end of their working days, had nowhere to go. Their owners mostly worked the horses, but as times were really hard, the owners could just not afford to look after the animals after they had got too old to pull their carts. Mrs. Royston and her sister Miss Kermode, both animal lovers, decided to try to do something about it. They had heard about a retired farrier and his wife, Mr and Mrs. Leece from Brooklands at Abbeylands who had three small paddocks and two loose boxes to rent out. At a very reasonable rent of ten shillings (50p) a week they gathered together several like-minded friends, one of whom was Mrs. Violet Leece, who had a good knowledge of horses, and another was Miss Marjorie Joughin, who is very well known today as 'our Marje'. With her and her mother Mrs. Joughin, they held the very first Christmas Fair to help raise the money to start off their grand dream. The start of the Christmas Fairs were held at the Windsor Hotel on Loch Promenade, Douglas. Mrs. Royston got permission to go around all the hotels and pubs, even knocking on houses asking for money to help save some of the horses as she had been told a lot of the horses were being shipped away to a fate unknown. Times were very hard with a lot of people very short of money, "but even a farthing would do" she would say. Her very hard work paid off, farthings, ha'pennies and pennies came slowly in and she now had enough money to try to save at least one animal from its unknown fate. A little pony called Trixie, the very first pony to be saved, was heard about and Mrs. Royston, along with her sister and helpers, set out to try and save this poor animal. Bess was the next to be saved and then Sheila. Prince a riding horse, who had been sold to a hawker, had collapsed on the road. Mrs. Royston set out to find more about Prince. The hawker wanted £14 for this poor thin animal so Mrs. Royston paid up and saved Prince. She had also found out that Prince had originally been called Nobby. This was just the start of a long line of horses, ponies and donkeys to be saved. Whilst knocking on the doors Mrs. Royston was glad to explain what she was doing it all for. One lady was very interested in what she had to say and had not really thought about what actually happened to the horses after their working days were over. Mrs. Royston could hardly believe her eyes when a legacy had been left to her. It was from the lady who had been so interested in what they had been doing. This was the start of their dreams. £6,000 had been left to her to start a retirement home for all the friendless and homeless horses, ponies and donkeys. The search was now on for suitable premises, a cheap farm and of course, close to Douglas. After many false starts, they finally settled on Bulrhenny knowing all the disadvantages as it was well run down. The gateways were old bedsteads and the barbed-wire fencing ran under the grass and came up the other side of the hedge! The advantages were that it was just outside Douglas and on a bus route. With the fields being very hilly, it gave the horses good shelter from the wind and good drainage. Even though it was very run down, it felt like heaven to all and it was a safe place for the horses. Now the hard work had begun. The first job was to clean out two stables which had been left in a very bad state. (One stable was later turned into a cafe, and the other into a gift shop). After many hours of digging and washing down they discovered the floors were all cobbled which was really nice. The younger of the happy crew worked out in the fields removing all the old rusty barbed-wire and cutting back the hedges, removing anything that would endanger the horses. The gates were opened and many a visitor looked in and work still carried on. Mrs. Royston showed the visitors around and told them how they had saved these horses and ponies from a fate unknown. As word got around about The Home of Rest for Old Horses and these dear ladies trying to save the poor unwanted beasts, more and more visitors came to Bulrhenny. Then one day, one of the helpers suggested offering visitors a cup of tea and a scone for a small charge; this was done and so it was the start of the cafe on the top of Richmond Hill. Mrs. Royston then went home and went through all her drawers looking for birthday and Christmas gifts she had received and never used like aprons, hats, scarves, soaps and brooches and brought them up to Bulrhenny the very next day. They then set up a little stall and placed her goods on it, she was so thrilled when visitors bought something of hers. This caught on, so all her helpers brought up their unwanted gifts and so the gift shop started, run by volunteers. Some of the visitors, along with the helpers started knitting tea-cosies and socks etc to sell in the shop. Some of the Home's friends to this day are still knitting for us and you will see in our shop the beautiful hand-made jumpers, baby's cardigans and wooly hats which are very reasonably priced and sell very well. Mrs. Royston did not leave any stone unturned, so she had a word with the hotel and boarding house owners to seek permission to visit their premises. Permission was granted so Mrs. Royston and Miss Kermode with some helpers set out in the evening to catch the visitors at tea-time to tell them all about 'Bulrhenny', with them of course they took their collection boxes. After the visitors had heard the sad tales of the horses, their first stop the very next day was 'Bulrhenny'. The Home was really busy all day and everyone was very happy. 'Bulrhenny' was going from strength to strength with more horses coming in, so more money had to be found. Mrs. Royston put out an appeal to help raise extra cash to purchase the old tram horses that pulled the visitors along Douglas Promenade. They found out when the animal marts were being held and set out on their journey to buy these horses. Today, we have first option to buy all the tram horses and we never refuse any of them - the tram horses are our main concern. Written by Jill Moore with the help of Dorothy Jones. Reproduced with kind permission of Jill Moore.
History From humble beginnings and much hard work and dedication from sisters Mrs. Royston and Miss Kermode, the Isle of Man Home Of Rest for Old Horses has been able to provide a comfortable retirement for many ‘ex-trammers’, horses, ponies and donkeys since 1950.
Photo  douglashorsetramway.net
“….tinkling tramcars, like toast racks, Sweeping the curve of the bay.” (Sir Hall Caine) The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway Raad tram-cabbil baie ghoolish Isle of Man Home of Rest for Old Horses
It started with a dream....  Two ladies had a dream. They had seen the way many of the old working horses around the Island, having come to an end of their working days, had nowhere to go. Their owners mostly worked the horses, but as times were really hard, the owners could just not afford to look after the animals after they had got too old to pull their carts. Mrs. Royston and her sister Miss Kermode, both animal lovers, decided to try to do something about it. They had heard about a retired farrier and his wife, Mr and Mrs. Leece from Brooklands at Abbeylands who had three small paddocks and two loose boxes to rent out. At a very reasonable rent of ten shillings (50p) a week they gathered together several like-minded friends, one of whom was Mrs. Violet Leece, who had a good knowledge of horses, and another was Miss Marjorie Joughin, who is very well known today as 'our Marje'. With her and her mother Mrs. Joughin, they held the very first Christmas Fair to help raise the money to start off their grand dream. The start of the Christmas Fairs were held at the Windsor Hotel on Loch Promenade, Douglas. Mrs. Royston got permission to go around all the hotels and pubs, even knocking on houses asking for money to help save some of the horses as she had been told a lot of the horses were being shipped away to a fate unknown. Times were very hard with a lot of people very short of money, "but even a farthing would do" she would say. Her very hard work paid off, farthings, ha'pennies and pennies came slowly in and she now had enough money to try to save at least one animal from its unknown fate. A little pony called Trixie, the very first pony to be saved, was heard about and Mrs. Royston, along with her sister and helpers, set out to try and save this poor animal. Bess was the next to be saved and then Sheila. Prince a riding horse, who had been sold to a hawker, had collapsed on the road. Mrs. Royston set out to find more about Prince. The hawker wanted £14 for this poor thin animal so Mrs. Royston paid up and saved Prince. She had also found out that Prince had originally been called Nobby. This was just the start of a long line of horses, ponies and donkeys to be saved. Whilst knocking on the doors Mrs. Royston was glad to explain what she was doing it all for. One lady was very interested in what she had to say and had not really thought about what actually happened to the horses after their working days were over. Mrs. Royston could hardly believe her eyes when a legacy had been left to her. It was from the lady who had been so interested in what they had been doing. This was the start of their dreams. £6,000 had been left to her to start a retirement home for all the friendless and homeless horses, ponies and donkeys. The search was now on for suitable premises, a cheap farm and of course, close to Douglas. After many false starts, they finally settled on Bulrhenny knowing all the disadvantages as it was well run down. The gateways were old bedsteads and the barbed-wire fencing ran under the grass and came up the other side of the hedge! The advantages were that it was just outside Douglas and on a bus route. With the fields being very hilly, it gave the horses good shelter from the wind and good drainage. Even though it was very run down, it felt like heaven to all and it was a safe place for the horses. Now the hard work had begun. The first job was to clean out two stables which had been left in a very bad state. (One stable was later turned into a cafe, and the other into a gift shop). After many hours of digging and washing down they discovered the floors were all cobbled which was really nice. The younger of the happy crew worked out in the fields removing all the old rusty barbed-wire and cutting back the hedges, removing anything that would endanger the horses. The gates were opened and many a visitor looked in and work still carried on. Mrs. Royston showed the visitors around and told them how they had saved these horses and ponies from a fate unknown. As word got around about The Home of Rest for Old Horses and these dear ladies trying to save the poor unwanted beasts, more and more visitors came to Bulrhenny. Then one day, one of the helpers suggested offering visitors a cup of tea and a scone for a small charge; this was done and so it was the start of the cafe on the top of Richmond Hill. Mrs. Royston then went home and went through all her drawers looking for birthday and Christmas gifts she had received and never used like aprons, hats, scarves, soaps and brooches and brought them up to Bulrhenny the very next day. They then set up a little stall and placed her goods on it, she was so thrilled when visitors bought something of hers. This caught on, so all her helpers brought up their unwanted gifts and so the gift shop started, run by volunteers. Some of the visitors, along with the helpers started knitting tea-cosies and socks etc to sell in the shop. Some of the Home's friends to this day are still knitting for us and you will see in our shop the beautiful hand-made jumpers, baby's cardigans and wooly hats which are very reasonably priced and sell very well. Mrs. Royston did not leave any stone unturned, so she had a word with the hotel and boarding house owners to seek permission to visit their premises. Permission was granted so Mrs. Royston and Miss Kermode with some helpers set out in the evening to catch the visitors at tea-time to tell them all about 'Bulrhenny', with them of course they took their collection boxes. After the visitors had heard the sad tales of the horses, their first stop the very next day was 'Bulrhenny'. The Home was really busy all day and everyone was very happy. 'Bulrhenny' was going from strength to strength with more horses coming in, so more money had to be found. Mrs. Royston put out an appeal to help raise extra cash to purchase the old tram horses that pulled the visitors along Douglas Promenade. They found out when the animal marts were being held and set out on their journey to buy these horses. Today, we have first option to buy all the tram horses and we never refuse any of them - the tram horses are our main concern. Written by Jill Moore with the help of Dorothy Jones. Reproduced with kind permission of Jill Moore.
Isle of Man Home of Rest for Old Horses Photo  douglashorsetramway.net
History From humble beginnings and much hard work and dedication from sisters Mrs. Royston and Miss Kermode, the Isle of Man Home Of Rest for Old Horses has been able to provide a comfortable retirement for many ‘ex-trammers’, horses, ponies and donkeys since 1950.
‘Raad tram-cabbil baie ghoolish’ “….tinkling tramcars, like toast racks, Sweeping the curve of the bay.” (Sir Hall Caine) The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway