The heart of Sulby caught on film

Mon, 19 Feb 2018

A snapshot of Manx community life has been captured in a new short film about the well-loved Caley’s Store in Sulby.

Filmed by Culture Vannin in November last year, the film captures many of the personalities and characters of the village who use the store on a daily basis. The short film builds up a unique snapshot of the community of Sulby as it is today, capturing a moment in time.

“It’s been here 70 maybe 80 years; it’s a part of the community,” says Graham Garrett, the owner of the store in the film. “But this type of shop is becoming few and far between on the Island.”

The store has been at the heart of Sulby for around three quarters of a century, having been founded by Raymond Caley, “an absolute gentlemen – Mr Sulby” as Garrett refers to him in the film. At the time of Raymond’s death in February last year, the store passed to his long-term colleague in the shop, Graham Garrett, who continues to run the shop and Post Office today which is located opposed the Sulby Glen Inn on the main road.

Traditional village stores like Caley’s are now rare on the Isle of Man, with a large number of them having closed over the last ten or twenty years. With their closures go an important part of community life.

“It will be obvious to anyone who has spent any time in Caley’s, that it is something special,” says James Franklin, Online and Educational Resources Officer at Culture Vannin. “The stream of personalities, conversations and stories that come through that door each day is amazing. If you ever doubt the existence of ‘community,’ you should visit a village store like Caley’s.”

It was this aspect of the shop which inspired Culture Vannin to make the film, which now features as a part of their mission for the past 10 years to record the changing face of the Isle of Man.

“Manx life and community is always changing,” said James Franklin, “so it is important to do what we can to capture or preserve what is around us today for future generations. We hope that the store will remain for many years to come, but at least now we will have a short film to remind us how things have changed.”

The store is open daily and you are welcome to visit, whether to buy the newspaper, send post, or simply to receive a friendly greeting and catch up on the Sulby news.
The short film is available on the Culture Vannin website or on YouTube.