The prize-winning moot

Fri, 07 Dec 2018

Julie Edge MHK, Grainne Kermode and Christopher Thomas MHK
Julie Edge MHK, Grainne Kermode and Christopher Thomas MHK

One expert vegetable carver received an impressive array of prizes for her remarkable turnip recently.

Grainne Kermode carved the turnip judged to be the winner in what is believed to be the Isle of Man’s biggest ever Hop tu Naa turnip competition.

The winning turnip was carved in just over an hour, Grainne reported (and scooped out with a spoon!). It was judged anonymously and impressed the judges for the ingenuity of the silhouetted cat and the indented moon and stars.

Organised by Culture Vannin, the Isle of Man Post Office and Year of Our Island, the competition boasted an impressive scutch of prizes including: two season passes for the Isle of Man Railways to help people to continue to explore more and do more on our island beyond 2018, a limited edition Hop tu Naa T-shirts, 50 stamps, and a selection of books & CDs.

Grainne was surprised but delighted to win, saying that before this she had never won anything in her life! The rail passes were particularly appreciated, as she lives close to the railway and her children will be delighted to enjoy it to the full next season.

Chris Thomas MHK, Chairperson of Culture Vannin and Year of Our Island, says:

‘It is wonderful that so many people entered and that such passion, and skill, for this Manx tradition was uncovered. Whether the turnips were winners or not, it was great to see such enthusiasm for this Manx tradition – it is a part of what makes the Island so special.’

The competition was inspired by the recent issue stamps illustrated by Jay Cover. Maxine Cannon, General Manager Stamps & Coins at the Isle of Man Post Office says:

‘Joining in celebrations of Manx customs through the release of the Hop tu Naa stamp in our recent collection “Manx Folk Tradition” is an enjoyable part of the work we do to bring our culture and heritage alive to a worldwide audience.’

The award was made in the Tynwald Library this week, with Minister Chris Thomas and Julie Edge MHK, Chairperson of Culture Vannin and Year of Our Island, and Chair of the Isle of Man Post Office respectively.

Following on from the success of this competition, it is hoped that something similar can be held in future years.