The 'Ben boats' have carried freight to and from the island for as long as I can remember. They used to bring coal in and my neighbour drove the crane which lifted it out of the holds with a big bucket.
Going the other way they would carry timber and wool out. I'm sure they transported many other goods too, but that's what I remember. Today they bring timber in as well as lots of other stuff.
The fleet was named after the islands glens. 'Ben' is the Manx Gaelic for lady or woman, so 'Ben Maye' is 'Lady Maye'. There were many other Ben boats, all painted grey but some have been replaced with a younger newer fleet, the 'River' boats, I'll watch out for one of those. (Glen Maye)
And just because they were there, some snow drops nodding their heads under the trees at work. Typical, now that I finally taught myself to knit socks on DPNs my loom has arrived. I won't get a chance to play for a week or so. I promised my colleague her new bag would be my next project, not even a new lust for socks can get in the way.
Nice quick and easy spag bol for dinner, now that my hips have defrosted, you'll find me at the stove.