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One day, about '71 or '72 , on what was probably our first holiday in the Isle of Man, we were walking down a lane towards the sea and came across a cottage at the side of the lane. The cottage was situated "end on" to the road, and there was a garage built on at the back, with its entry/exit door facing the road. There was also a fairly large garden divided into sections by paths. It was June and every thing seemed to be growing to perfection.
As we looked and wondered, out came the owner, Mr. Keith Kennaugh. This was the start of a friendship with him and his family which is still ongoing.
Keith was, like a lot of Manx men, fairly interested in motor cycles, and he had gradually built up a small collection. The best of the collection was a 500cc Vincent,
the worst was a BSA 250cc. There were a dozen or so more bikes mostly in bits and needing love and care.
In the period covered above I had built for myself a two seater "sports car". It was a "Mini Gem". I bought a Mini Gem fibreglass body and put into it Mini Cooper
running gear and fittings. The first summer after completion we went to IoM in it, and as usual we made Keith's our first call. He looked at the Mini Gem with glee.
There was a Garden Show on down in Port St Mary and he had entered a cauliflower.
Now his gardening was really serious and so was the cauliflower. It would not go through any door in his car (a Morris 1100) but it looked as though the Mini Gem rear window/hatch would just accept the cauliflower. It did and so off we went. To get into the hall where the show was being staged we had to open both swinging doors to carry it through. Yes of course he took first prize.
It might have been the following year that Keith wanted to buy the Mini Gem, so we did a deal. We swapped several old motor cycles (and bits) for a Mini Jem.
There could be a book written about Keith and his gardening but sadly he died about three years ago whilst still a fairly active chap. Both his children are now married but his wife still keeps the garden at the front of the house like a picture.
The garden at the back of the house, and at the side of the road, ceased being "a garden" before his demise but it still has his touch firmly worked in to it.