Who WE ARE

RHT represents a way for people to discover the heritage of the beautiful South of the Isle of Man.

Leaving behind the ‘bricks and mortar’ approach to museums, our vision is for an online museum, supplemented by ‘pop up’ exhibitions driven by volunteers from the local community. We want our content to be accessible worldwide, in a way that encourages people to visit the Beautiful South of Rushen Sheading. 

Our curators are our volunteers, who have chosen fascinating topics across a wide spectrum of our history, bringing it up to date with interactive walking tours.

Established in July 2014, RHT is non-profit organisation led by four semi-autonomous Heritage Action Teams (HATs) who are each chaired by a member of a Management Committee that is organised by the Heritage Coordinator. 

Responsible for their own exhibitions, publications and dissemination of content, the HATs choose their own topics, driven by community interest and focusing on people and their stories. The Heritage Coordinator provides support to all HATs on an operational level, focused on implementing an agreed three-year plan while the Board is responsible for governance, strategy, financial management and measurement of success.

Our major strategy is to avoid having permanent premises but instead to hold exhibitions, sell publications and disseminate content online and through our interactive walks. 

OUR BOARD & MANAGEMENT TEAM

Hon Juan Watterson MHK Chairman

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 Juan was born and raised in Port Erin & Port St Mary, educated at Castle Rushen High School and then went on to study at Lincoln University where he graduated with 1st Class Honours in Management. He qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG in 2005 and has been an MHK since 2006. He has served in numerous backbench roles before spending five years as Minister for Home Affairs, before being elected Speaker of the House of Keys in September 2016. Juan chairs Rushen Heritage Trust, and is a director of Southern Befrienders, Vice Chairman of Port Erin British Legion and is Hon. Colonel of the Island’s Army Cadet Force.  

Hugh Davidson MBE, Co-Secretary

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Hugh was educated at St Marks School and at Cambridge. He had a long career in senior management globally, co-founded Oxford Strategic Marketing and spent 12 years as Visiting Professor of Marketing at Cranfield University. He returned to the island in 2002 and chairs the H & S Davidson Trust, designed to help the poorest of the poor in East India and Bangladesh. His Isle of Man projects include www.thetellmeproject.com and The One World Charity Challenge. In recognition for all of his work, Hugh received an MBE in 2015. 

Sandra Davidson, Co-Secretary

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 Sandra graduated as a mature student in English & Publishing at Oxford Brookes University and typed/edited/vastly improved all six of Hugh’s books, including the best selling “Offensive Marketing”. She has also written a book for family and friends based on the memories of her mother, Joyce Gott, who also lived in Port Erin. Sandra is a Trustee of the H & S Davidson Trust, a Committee member of both Inner Wheel and Save the Children IOM, and a volunteer in the Save the Children shop in Port Erin. She has travelled with Hugh to Viet Nam, India, and Bangladesh to visit projects with Oxfam and Save the Children. 

Doreen Moule, Chairwoman of the WWII Internment HAT

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 Born in Wolverhampton, Doreen grew up in the Black Country and then trained as a teacher in Birmingham, where she taught in a Primary school from 1970 to 1999. In 1999, she was fortunate enough to secure a teaching position in Douglas, where she taught for almost 10 years. Doreen and her partner moved to Rushen in 2004 and four years later she retired, however still continues as a Supply Teaching, because she still enjoys working with children. Doreen is also the Schools Liason Officer for Rushen Heritage Trust.  

Staffan Overgaard, Chairman of the Story of the Land HAT

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Corporate branding and campaign activities have been Staffan's signum for most of his professional life, either as a creator, organiser or administrator. In the last fifteen years, he has been involved in Marketing Resource Management as a founder and partner in BrandSystems. Rated by Gartner: "European clients looking for a broad MRM solution with a focus on brand management should consider BrandSystems." Before founding BrandSystems with two colleagues, Staffan has:

  • Studied at the Royal Institute of Technology and earned a Masters in Industrial Economy.
  • Communication Manager at Ericsson for eight years.
  • Worked as a manager, project leader and copywriter for various advertising agencies for about seven years.
  • Worked as a Communications Manager for a business to business company for about five years, at the same time working as a Project Manager at an advertising company.
  • Started up Candor Diagnostics in 2012, which will serve as a medical diagnostic company.

George Noble, Treasurer

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George was born in Douglas and educated at King Williams College. He then qualified as a UK accountant and later as a Canadian accountant before working for Coca Cola across 8 countries in Europe, Africa, Bermuda, The Bahamas and in New York. George returned to the island in 1976, built up Noble & Co and then sold it to Crowe Morgan. He learned to scuba dive and water ski in the Isle of Man and holds a pilot’s licence. 

Alan Jackson, Director

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Alan is an award-winning BBC senior producer-presenter whose returned home to the island after a distinguished time with BBC Radio Merseyside. His career with the BBC actually spanned more than 30 years, during which time he received plaudits for his work in news, current affairs, entertainment and sport. Alan’s vast experience includes interviews with Prince Charles and the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, as well as numerous personalities from the world of show business including Paul McCartney and Cliff Richard.  

Steve George, Director and Chairman of Story of the Sea HAT

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Steve was born in Port St Mary and has sailed the world. For many years he was Chief Engineer in the Merchant Navy with Shell & Texaco. Steve returned to the island in 1988 and spent ten years in ship management. In 2000 he started up EMCS, which supplies skilled people to repair ships and shipyards overseas. EMCS also runs Ramsey Shipping Services, which repairs ships in Ramsey plus an agency for cruise liners and commercial vessels visiting the island. Steve is Chair of the Story of the Sea Heritage Action Team and also Chair for Port Erin Traders and vice chair Port Erin Commissioners, very active in all their events such as “The Island at War” the Beach Festival and the Christmas Festival.


John Quirk, Heritage Coordinator

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Manx born and bred, John has worked in and with the media for 27 years. He worked as a journalist in Lancashire and the Isle of Man before spending 11 years working in PR and advertising. John lives in Port Erin and runs his own business, offering freelance writing, editing and admin services.

OUR HERITAGE ACTION TEAMS

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Story of the Land

Our Story of the Land HAT had an exciting 2016 with their first exhibition in July accompanied by the book "A Year on Ballachurry Farm 1943-44" written by one of the HAT members, Stanley Clucas. The team also spent much of the year researching historical documents, stories and legends, Manx language and local wildlife to build an extraordinary library of films, audio and photographs for the local community and visitors to the island to share through our new mobile app "Isle of Man Walks" which was officially launched in October. Plans for 2017 are already underway celebrating 100 years of Port St Mary and the development of more interactive walks on the app.

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Story of the Sea

The Story of the Sea HAT held their first event last October, which was the beginning of a series of talks and music around the sea. The first evening featured Dessie Robinson on the subject of Herring Fishing, Michelle Heywood on Diving and the Wrecks of the South of the Island plus the story of Captain David Clarke, from Cadet to Captain and his first trip to sea as a Deck Cadet. The team are planning more talks in 2017 and will be announcing dates soon! 

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Tourism

Our Tourism HAT launched our 2015 programme in March, with a small exhibition and "chat room" at Thie Rosien in Port Erin. The small information gathering event focused on history and people in five hotels in Rushen; Bayqueen, Falcons Nest, Belle Vue/Royal, Perwick Bay Hotel and The Bay. This event laid the ground for a major new exhibition, “The Glory Days of Southern Tourism“, in which much of the material generated was used and displayed at Port St Mary Town Hall from the 12th to the 26th July 2015. The HAT held their third exhibition in May 2016, based around holidays and the entertainment that local residents and tourists enjoyed across a range of decades. Over a thousand people visited in just 19 days!The HAT are now planning an exciting project in 2017 looking at traditional Pierrots Shows!  

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WW2 Women's Internment

Our WW2 Women's Internment HAT had a fantastic first exhibition in May 2015 called "Friend or Foe? 1940-1941" to which over 3,000 tourists and local residents visited, including the former CEO of the British Museum, Sir David Wilson, who said the exhibition was of “outstanding quality”.Courtesy of Betty Kelly, the team also published “The Illustrated Roll Call” on 19th May 2015. In 2016, the HAT extended the "Friend or Foe?" exhibition, exploring the creation of the world's only married camp in WW2. The exhibition was supported by an exciting weekend of events in early August in collaboration with the Erin Arts Centre on "Wagner and Rushen Internment" where a group of special visitors came to give talks.The team are now producing their second book on Rushen Internment, which will be published in 2017.  

Get Involved

If you would like to join any of our Heritage Action Teams please email rushenht@gmail.com and we can introduce you!