Ten years ago: An arson attack on a coach in Sandown nearly ended in devastation. Driver Michael Pearson said the flames engulfed his 53-seater coach, parked behind Hotel Maria, and could have spread to the building where 45 guests were staying.
“It was only a matter of luck that it didn’t. The coach was parked right up against the hotel with 60 gallons of fuel on board so the consequences could have been horrendous. There was a gas boiler behind the wall so the whole thing could have gone up.”

100 Years Ago
July 14, 1917

WITH the government having commandeered wool throughout the country under the Defence of the Realm Act, Island flockmasters were for the second time that season denied the opportunity of submitting their clips to public competition.
Representatives from the government, along with assistance from Island auctioneers, inspected the clips for mandatory sale.
The auctioneers lamented the farmers were victims of circumstance.

75 Years Ago
July 11, 1942

Battery Sgt Maj R. T. Lawn, who before being called up at the outbreak of the war, worked in the machine department of the County Press, wrote home from Tobruk.
“During the last year which I have spent out here, I have had numerous hours of enjoyment reading the County Press. Its contents are read and re-read by not only by myself but by other personnel of the battery, who spent several happy months on the Island and still take an interest in the districts where they were quartered.”

50 Years Ago
July 15, 1967

Allegations were made by Capt J. Ridett the transfer of the West Wight’s mail sorting to Newport was not done to improve the service but to increase the status of Newport Post Office.
Parish council chairman H. C. Chandler said such allegations seemed ridiculous but conceded a noticeable decline in service, having posted a letter at 8.30am and it not reaching Newport until the following day.

25 Years Ago
July 11, 1992

Medina Council came under fire from IW Labour for failing to enforce Sunday trading laws for stores such as Safeway and B&Q.
Party press officer Kenn Pearson said it was hypocrisy to allow a breach of such laws while simultaneously taking swift action, including jailings, against poll tax defaulters.
Council leader Michael Fletcher said: “We are conscious of the fact many families appreciate shopping on Sundays while at the same time acknowledging the problems caused to people who are obliged to work.”

10 Years Ago
July 13, 2007

The moratorium designed to stop new mobile phone masts on IW Council land remained in force — despite it appearing not to be.
Plans for two 3G masts that stirred huge opposition in Ryde and Binstead were on council land but the authority explained there was nothing they could do about them.
IW Council director of regeneration and development, Bernadette Marjoram, said: “The moratorium on allowing new mobile phone masts on IW Council land is still in effect. However, bodies including telecommunication companies, have statutory powers to erect phone masts on land classed as highways.”