If you go down to South Barrule Forest today, you are sure of a BIG surprise.
A sculpture of Manx folklore legend The Buggane has been unveiled and is a commanding presence in the forest, which is popular with leisure users.
The Buggane is a figure of Manx legend: a huge, menacing ogre with piercing eyes, terrifying tusks and sharp claws. Folklore says he kept himself to himself, living wild, unless provoked, but tore down buildings and terrorised villages if people displeased him.
Thankfully, the modern-day version, gifted to the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture by its creator, Tom Cringle, is a more benign creature, in keeping with the family-friendly nature of the forest and all its activities.
DEFA Minister Clare Barber and her 1st Douglas Buggane Beaver Scouts unveiling the sculpture
Tom has a great affinity for the outdoors in the Isle of Man and is a fell runner. His work connects culture, folklore, heritage and nature and he uses reclaimed and recycled wood in his work.
The installation reflects two of UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man aims, connecting people with their heritage and culture and visibly celebrating our unique sense of place.
The sculpture was unveiled as darkness fell on a suitably moody winter afternoon, with mist swirling around even around at low level.
DEFA Minister Clare Barber MHK with sculptor Tom Cringle
The honour of carrying out the unveiling went, appropriately, to 1st Douglas ‘Buggane’ Beaver Scouts, who are led by Clare Barber MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture and Vice-Chair of UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man.
John ‘Dog’ and Winnie Callister, who work tirelessly to connect people with the Isle of Man’s environment and culture, were guests at the ceremony, and Mrs Callister read the hilarious poem ‘The Big Bogane’, based on the mythical beast.
All involved then enjoyed a hot chocolate in Coffee Cottage, another great feature of the forest.
THE BIG BOGANE
I min the time when I was a lumpah,
A-rearin' down at the Lhen,
An' wans war' seein' phenoddries,
An' odd-times a cussard bogane.
They war' sayin' a big fella was takin
To crossin' the road at night,
Up at the four roads yanda,
An hour before day-light.
Bolla-veen! the friken we war, "thaw,"
To pass yanda place after dark
"Qua's yanda thing in the hedge bhoys!
Qua's makin 'owl Billy's dog bark?"
It happened one dark, stormy night, thaw
The thundhar was rumblin' an' roarin',
An' the lightenin' flash seemed to split the clouds. The way the rain came down pourin'.
An' I heard ow!' Daa shout-Thabm baw!
Thou bathar get in all the craythars,
"An' don't forget the owl mare an' the foal,
"In the fiel' out by owl Danny Claythar's"
I was comin' home on the owl' mare's back,
Wis' the lil' foal trottin behin' us.
Through the skutchin' rain an' the thunder clap, An' lightenin' fit to blin' us.
We had jus' got up to the Cross-four-ways
The owl' mare, bogh-veen, stopped dead
The Bogane, for sure, was crossin' the road.
Not more na two jumps ahead.
I tried to shout-but I could'n pake
Aw! I thought I'd met me doom!
I began to weat, an' shiver an' shake.
An' me hair stood up like a broom.
At las, a shout came urr' o' me, thow!
An' sudden' me jaints seemed to thaw,
"T's a dirty night, baw " said the Bogane,
Gettin' over the hedge into Ballawhane.
An' tha's the rascal of a Bogane
That frikened all the wans down at the Lhen! Coourtin' a gell up at Ballakell!
Then a short cut home through Baalwhane
For information about South Barrule Forest, click here.