In the early 1980s, many schools from England made the Isle of Man their preferred choice for a school visit. With his teaching background, headmaster, the late Gordon Kniveton, saw a need for an information work-book about the Isle of Man which the children could read during their trip and take home as a souvenir.
Thus, “The Manx Experience” was born – initially as a one-publication exercise, but it quickly became apparent to Gordon that there was a demand for books about all aspects of the Island and he set about fulfilling this need.
By 1994, the list of books published by The Manx Experience had grown to almost twenty and forays had been made into Calendars, Notelets and Postcards, all of the same theme. Guides were produced of the famous Laxey Wheel, the Steam Railway and the Manx Electric Railway. Histories of Laxey Village, Baldwin Valley, the TT Races and a number of biographies of Manx people – all received The Manx Experience treatment.
Ill health brought about the sale of the operation in 1994 when Gwynneth and Colin Brown took over the reins and they proceeded to expand the book list substantially. In addition to the continuing Manx Experience Guide, by now in reaching its seventh edition, a Photo Guide to the Island was produced. Books of Folklore and of poetry, novels with a Manx theme, more guides to Island landmarks – all added to the ever-growing book list.
Retirement in 2008 meant that The Manx Experience became part of Mannin Media Limited under whose patronage the operation continues to flourish. The Manx Experience Calendar remains one of the most sought-after publications – for 2012 it specialises in Manx Cookery. The Manx Experience Guide, shortly to be produced in its eleventh edition, is still one of the best publications of its kind. And, who knows . . . what will come next?