Following the success of last month’s Port St Mary Secret Gardens, Rushen Heritage Trust is opening 10 TOP SECRET Gardens during its Port Erin in World War II event, which takes place over the August bank holiday weekend.

Running from Friday, August 27th until Monday, August 30th, Port Erin in World War II will include attractions each day, including three wonderful exhibitions:

The Railway Station will host an exhibition on the unique Internment Camp in Port Erin recalling the time 4,000 foreign women arrived in 1940; the Trust’s new Rushen Heritage Centre in Bridson Street will host a World War II exhibition by the Manx Aviation & Military Museum; and the Legion Hall in Droghadfayle Road will be home to James Fenton’s amazing pictures of the Burma Campaign.

The TOP SECRET Gardens will be open on Saturday and Sunday, August 28th and 29th.

Rushen Heritage Trust fundraiser Pamela Crowe has pulled the weekend together.

She said: ‘We thought it was a shame that the popular Island at War event is not taking place this year, so Rushen Heritage Trust stepped in and there is now a full programme over the four days. We are working closely with Visit Port Erin and it will be a great opportunity to learn about the unique history of Port Erin and, for those who love a skeet, some lovely gardens to visit.’

Pam added: ‘The weekend will see various attractions over the four days, including vintage bikes, classic cars, performances by The Southern Belles singers, swing dancers, we will even have “Laurel and Hardy” appearing around the village. From August 28th-30th, there will be an Internment Camp Rummage Sale in St Catherine’s Church Hall from 10am-4pm each day – who knows what you will find!’

Entry to the TOP SECRET Gardens is by brochure, which costs £5 and admits two people.

The brochures are available from:

  • Welcome Centre in Douglas
  • Bridge Bookshop and Marianne’s Flowers in Ramsey
  • Kirk Michael Stores
  • Elaine’s Flowers in Peel
  • Foxdale Stores
  • Charlotte Sadler Opticians in Castletown
  • Calvert Newsagent in Port St Mary
  • Bridge Bookshop, Port Erin Pets, Erin News and Rushen Heritage Centre in Port Erin
  • And all garden centres around the Island

We always welcome anyone who is interested in volunteering at our events – if you can help over the four-day weekend, please contact Pamela via email – or on 834614 or 473768.

For more details about Port Erin in World War II, visit or follow Rushen Heritage on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Image courtesy of Colin Cunliffe