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The rise of Douglas as the social and economic stronghold was recognised in , when it became the home of the island's parliament, Tynwald , and therefore the capital, an honour previously held by Castletown , a smaller town in the south of the island. Douglas's political landscape also changed significantly in the 19th century, in spite of the conservatism of some townsfolk: However, an Act passed later that decade, which did not include opt-out clauses, was accepted, and in , Douglas elected its first town council, which was predominantly middle class in its makeup.

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The Town Commissioners could tackle the town's problems with greater efficiency, and by the sewage problem had been largely resolved. The Commissioners also worked to alter the anachronistic architecture of Douglas, built during the era of fishing and trading, and no longer amenable or safe for tourists. The Victorian and later modernisation of the town was achieved at the expense of the original maze-like layout of the oldest streets.

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These were cleared away in the new street schemes and slum clearances of the s to s. The town's infrastructure was radically altered for tourists' convenience, and in the Loch Promenade was constructed. In , there were 60, visitors annually; by , this had grown to , In , , visited for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. The earliest organised ferry services emerged between Douglas and Whitehaven, established by William Nicholson in the s. Sailings were irregular and heavily dependent on weather conditions.

Steamer services brought a considerable improvement; the first regular link en-route between Greenock and Liverpool was available from The first lifeboat station in the port was established in In it was one of the first lifeboat stations to be provided with a purpose-built lifeboat; this was at the request of Sir William Hillary , the founder of the Institution. It was not operational between and , and it closed in The current station, established in , operates the Tyne -class lifeboat Sir William Hillary.

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There are three memorials to Sir William in Douglas: During the First and Second World Wars , Douglas and other parts of the Isle of Man were home to internment camps for " enemy aliens ". Douglas held seven out of the ten internment camps on the island during World War II, including: Sections of the Promenade were cordoned off and many guest houses were used for the purpose. The war dead of the island are commemorated on the Douglas War Memorial.

Douglas is now the main home of the island's offshore financial services industry, and also of the main shopping centre. The town was the birthplace of the Gibb brothers, Maurice , Robin , both deceased, and Barry , the members of the Bee Gees.

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  • Douglas, Isle of Man.

Douglas was home to the Summerland leisure centre , which suffered a catastrophic fire in In Douglas hosted the Commonwealth Youth Games. Douglas is on the east of the island near the confluence of the two rivers Dhoo and Glass forming the Douglas.

At Douglas, the river flows through the quay and into Douglas Bay. A gently sloping valley runs inland.

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Hills lie to the north-west and south-east. The town is surrounded by several villages, most notably Onchan to the NE which forms a conurbation with Douglas and Union Mills to the west. The highest temperature recorded in Ronaldsway stands at The Isle of Man census lists the population of Douglas as 27,, increased from a population of 25, in Its popularity, particularly among working class families from the Lancashire cotton towns, was remarkable, and began in the 19th century, with the introduction of steam ships from Liverpool to Douglas.

A Spectator article from described the type of tourist found on the island in a very condescending manner, and for the benefit of curious Londoners: In themselves these people are a study. You see the best of the working class of the North away from their factories and workshops, and though your taste may be oftentimes offended at rude jokes and noisy merriment, they are essentially an independent and hard-working class, even in their amusements.

Regarded simply as a health resort, there can be no question that it is the most thorough sea residence in the kingdom. On every side is the sea, and from whatever quarter of the compass the wind chooses to blow it comes from the sea, and there is scarcely a spot in the thirty-three miles from the Point of Ayre to the bold cliffs of the Calf of Man, unless it be some narrow inland glen, from which the ocean in its various moods cannot be seen.

The boom saw the construction of the Isle of Man Railway in the s and the rapid expansion of the harbour at Douglas. Today, however, just a few hundred islanders make a living from tourism, while the sector accounts for just 0. The Isle of Man has tried to find new ways to attract visitors, but one of its charms is its time-warped feel - as if the clocks froze during that Forties heyday.

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