Harvey Briggs TH (1920-2015)
Writer and Farmer
A significant contributor to Island life through his love of farming and the written word, as well as a generous benefactor to Onchan Parish.
Born in Ludlow in Staffordshire, Harvey Briggs came to the Isle of Man in 1926 to join his mother, who had moved to the Island a few years previously to accept a post as a cheesemaker at the newly formed Isle of Man Dairies Ltd. Having acquired a farmer as a stepfather, Briggs grew up fully immersed in country and farming life.
After finishing his secondary education at Douglas High School at St Ninian’s, Briggs became a farmer, working the land with his wife Laura at Ballakilmartin for over half a century.
Briggs is particularly known for his prolific writing on Manx agriculture. He was an agricultural correspondent for over fifty years, writing for a number of publications; he had a regular column on Manx farming and countryside matters in the Isle of Man Examiner. In 2002 he published his farming memoirs, entitled A Harvest of Memories, which describe the ways in which farming changed in the Isle of Man over the course of the twentieth century.
Briggs played a key role in the Isle of Man Young Farmers movement, serving as Secretary to the Eastern Young Farmers and as Secretary of the Isle of Man Federation of Young Farmers.
Briggs was also a generous benefactor of the Parish of Onchan. In addition to serving as a Commissioner for 19 years and Captain of the Parish for 14 years, he was known for his support of various organisations in the village and for his involvement in village fairs and events.
Briggs has been warmly described as being ‘as Manx as you can get, without being Manx’.
The undisputed voice of farming in the Isle of Man