A bit of history


The Old Market Place, Douglas

Established in the 1880’s, when Mary McGreevy married James Robinson. Mary Robinson traded a market stall at the ‘Fairy Ground’ market place Douglas, which today is a Taxi rank by the Douglas Hotel.

Mary and James had ten children, four died young and only two lines of the family still live today.

Several of the family had no children. One is not surprising as he was a lighthouse keeper on the Great Orme another was a seaman on the Ellan Vannin who although sick on the day it sank; fell overboard a year to the day and perished in the same place the ship had sank.

May Robinson who worked in the business and died a spinster and unfortunately the other family line ended last year when Mary Ling, a long time social worker on the Island passed away.

Johnny Robinson

The other line of the family who are trading as Robinsons came down the female line. Mary’s son “Johnny” had by 1920 moved from the market place via 2 shops in Nelson street and 40 Strand street; from there to the very successful site at 30 Strand street until the 1990s.

Florence and Jack

 Johnny Robinson had no children, but his sister Florence married Yorkshire man Jack Baxter who traded until he died in 1969

Joan and Johan

At this stage Florence and Jack’s daughter, who had married a Dutchman from the Vakyrie naval base on the promenade, as the Second World War ended; grew the business and a strong alliance with the Nicholson family (who owned Shoprite) was formed; which still exists today

Mrs Joan Horsthuis (Nee Robinson) talking to Mr John Kennaugh


Tony, Michael, John and Peter

Today the family line continues with the Newson and Horsthuis families.

Carolyn and John Newson who still successfully trades as Newson’s trading Post on the quay.

John, Tony, Michael and some years later Peter, still continue the business today; with their main depot at Ballapaddag, a shop on prospect terrace and the franchise in all eight Shoprite stores.

Janna, Ross, Katie and Matty

The legacy continues with the next generation.