The Knockaloe Charitable Trust (KCT)

Who are we?

The Visitors Centre, its research and collation, interpretations, app and database are run by The Knockaloe Charitable Trust, set up and run on a 100% not for profit basis by Trustees Alison and Richard Jones, part of the local Patrick Community and part of the Committee originally seeking a future for the old Village School. Alison and Richard are entirely voluntary and fund our staff and student support, past and present.  The Charity Trustees bring a wide range of experience, including responsibility for setting up and running an existing successful visitor attraction. they are both qualified Chartered Accountants with a clear understanding of fiduciary resposibilities of Trustees, and the business accument to ensure the Charity is viable into the future. They underwrite all of the work of the chariy personally, and funded a significant proportion of the schoolrooms refurbishment.

The Charity’s Constitution details the role and responsibilities of the Trustees to ensure the Charity and its funds are properly protected. The Charity is run to break even for the benefit of the community, Island and visitor with all surplus funds reinvested in its continual improvement.

The Trust was set up as a distinctly separate entity to the Patrick Schoolrooms Charity, to ensure its research, collections and interpretation is protected into the future separate from the Isle of Man Government and Church of England. The Charity leases space within the Patrick Old Schoolrooms Charity, of which Richard Jones is a Board member.


Establishing The Knockaloe Charitable Trust

In 2011, as part of the review into Patrick Old School, Alison and Richard Jones developed a proposal to provide Patrick Schoolrooms with a broader ongoing role in order to justify its preservation and also to provide it with a purpose into the future which would also support its use as a Community Building.

With its location opposite Knockaloe Moar farm, the site of the largest ever WW1 internment Camp, the Schoolrooms were ideally situated to tell the stories of the families impacted by civilian internment in WW1, including those who lived in our village.

This was of huge historical interest with the centenary of the first world war due to be commemorated, and so a fitting time to launch a permanent Visitors Centre to provide a central point for visitors into the future, as well as a venue which the Island’s residents and schools can visit to understand this aspect of the Island’s history and the impact it had upon both Patrick village and the Isle of Man. It also seeks to provide a fitting tribute for the 23,000+ residents of the Camp, and a central point for relatives of those residents to seek information about their relative and the camp 100 years later.

As part of our development of the proposal it became clear that, despite a surprising number of visitors to the Island from Europe to see where their relatives were interned, this incredible story is not fully explored in any detail in any venue on the Island and particularly in Patrick, where the camp was situated. Nor is the history of the camp taught in our local schools.  Therefore, in developing the potential for the building to tell this story in an exciting way, developing educational resources and a website that can be accessed by relatives from Europe, this has the potential to provide a huge amount of “added value” both from an educational and tourist/new visitor related basis as well as telling a story of a period of the Island’s history in an interesting way for Island residents.

After it became clear that our huge amounts of work seeking funding from the Isle of Man Government and local Charities, including the lottery would not succeed either due to the magnitude of the project, or because we were doing this on a not-for-profit basis (thus not eligible for Government funding) Alison and Richard realised that the project would only succeed if they funded it themselves.

The work also needed to be secure into the future and so The Knockaloe Charitable Trust was established as a registered Charity.

The Trust holds the exhibition and its artefacts in perpetuity. and also runs the Charity both from its winter office premises at its registered Office of Ash lodge, Patrick Road, Isle of Man IM4 3BR, and from the Schoolrooms in the Summer period when the exhibition is open. All Trustees work is 100% voluntary and the Trust funds two staff members. We are extremely grateful for the donations from Visitors and from descendants and others, as well as a huge amount of voluntary work from absolutely wonderful people from both on and off island.

The Charity’s running costs, ongoing development and collections are all underwritten by the Trustees.

The Team:

Trustee Alison Jones BA Hons, ACA: Visitors Centre, Website and Archive development and Senior Researcher (100% voluntary)

Alison is a Chartered Accountant, qualifying with Price Waterhouse on the Island. At present the Charity takes most of her time, although she is also Trustee of a major private client Trust and Non-Executive Director of the captive insurance company of London Heathrow Airports (formerly BAA), and Shareholder and Director of two businesses which provided accounting services to a variety of clients based on and off-island over the last 20+ years during which time it has employing up to 18 staff, and included a joint venture with Cains Advocates Limited, providing Accounting Services to Cains Group’s clients.

She has also been: Trustee of The Milntown Trust (for 10 years) and thus experienced with the establishment and management of tourist attractions on the Isle of Man; Treasurer of Culture Vannin (The Manx Heritage Foundation) (for 5 years); Non-executive Director of Radio Manx Limited (Manx Radio), and Chairman of its Audit Committee, (for 15 years);

Her voluntary roles have included assistant leader for the St Johns Brownies, and teaching gardening at St Johns Primary School. With the assistance of the rest of the Committee/Directors, Alison organises various fundraising events for the Schoolrooms.

Trustee Richard Jones BSc, ACA: Treasurer (100% voluntary)

Richard is a Chartered Accountant, qualifying with KPMG on the Island. Together with Alison he is a Shareholder and is Managing Director of the two accounting services businesses detailed under Alison Jones above, namely Hanover Resources Limited, and Cains Accounting Services Limited.

He is also CEO of Gibbs Amphibians Limited, Director of Flat Technologies Limited, Sydney, Director of Downtown Music Inc, New York, in addition to involvement in a number of other underlying structures for clients.

His voluntary roles include Commissioner of Patrick, and Chairman of the Western Civic Amenity Site.

Rachael Wood: Descendant Liaison and Charity Coordinator (funded by the Trustees personally)

Rachael joined the team in 2014 and is critical to the Charity's day to day running - and is so appreciated by the Trustees, Descendants and so many of our Visitors. 

Rachael (pictured) liaises with the descendants wanting to find out if their relative was interned at Knockaloe and provides both initial confirmation of their internment and details of how descendants can find out more, by arranging appointments to have an Internee Review at the Centre, and also liaising with Groups wishing to book a visit or those wanting to take part in our events - such as at our Pilates 1020 event in 2016 when an incredible 1,020 people signed up - Rachael liaised with each individual, ensuring all particiants knew all arrangements, that they had completed all health checks and that a Pilates 1020 T shirt would be there for them on the day!

Rachael is also critical to the day to day running of the Centre, making sure we are there ready to welcome descendants and visitors and also liaising with our fabulous volunteers ... speaking of whom...

Volunteers: Sue, Bernie, Lindsay, Cristl and Dawn (100% voluntary)

We cannot express just how much we appreciate the time given to us by our fabulous volunteers, all of whom are pictured here together with Rachael, the Trustees and our former member of the team, Wilfred Hewson, who joined us initially for work experience, then after graduating from the University of Mann and Chester Wilfred was our 'front of house' for our first year from our initial opening in 2019, through COVID and through our first full six month open season in 2023, funded by the Trustees personally. 

2023 close of season thank you meal to the day to day team (Bernie was off island for the winter but is pictured at the Caledonia event below):

Volunteers: RDC Guard

A huge thank you must also go to our RDC team (pictured below as part of our Caledonia event) who have volunteered at a number of our events since we opened - they make a huge difference to the whole experience and atmosphere and really bring it all to life  - thank you so much!!