Looking Back for April 17

By Sara Bryce

Thursday, April 17, 2014

 

LOOKING BACK

100 Years Ago - April 18, 1914

AN EXCEPTIONALLY large number of visitors headed to the Island over Easter.

The steamboat brought hundreds of tourists to Cowes and Seaview, and was said to be as crowded as the height of summer. Ventnor enjoyed an abundance of boating and bathing tents were said to have made an appearance on the beaches.

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A motorcar and cyclist collided outside the Stag Inn in Lake. A Lake family had set out on their bicycles to ride to Shanklin. When approaching the corner, the cyclist in front rang her bell and received the return blast of a motorhorn. As she rounded the corner she collided with a car, being driven by a doctor heading to Sandown from Shanklin.

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A seaplane built by Messrs J. S. White and Co for the Admiralty was handed over. Having flown well during her maiden flight, the plane made several more successful flights across The Solent. The plane exceeded a requirement to rise 3,000ft in half an hour, instead rising in seven and a half minutes, and a top speed of 73mph was reached.

75 Years Ago - April 22, 1939

Dutch motor vessel Antares, which was lying alongside Newport Quay loaded with 240 tonnes of scrap metal, was waiting for a favourable tide to take the cargo to Ghent, Belgium.

The future of the metal, scrapped on the Island, was uncertain. A similar load had been shipped from St Helens to Germany. It was thought at the time the scrap would probably be returned 'in a more unpleasant form’ from Germany and public opinion said the metal should be retained for British rearmament.

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The cuckoo, welcome harbinger of spring, had definitely made its appearance on the Island. A very early isolated report had been received by the County Press six weeks previously and since then readers had spotted the bird all around the Island.

50 Years Ago - April 18, 1964

An imposing new train drew into Newport Station from Medina Wharf having been shipped over from Southampton by the Southern Railway floating crane. The passenger train of nine coaches, resplendently decorated and upholstered, was a welcome update to the moulded wooden stock on the Island.

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The first step towards the Island’s first regular hovercraft service was made when Ryde Town Council agreed to run the craft between Appley and Southsea. The latest model of hovercraft SR. N5, which would replace the current SR. N2, started trials when it glided down the slipway on to the waters of The Solent for the first time at Cowes firm Westland Aircraft Ltd. The trial confirmed Westland’s predictions the highly versatile craft was destined for a successful future.

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The Great Hall of Mottistone Manor, with logs piled high and blazing in the huge open fireplace, provided a magnificent setting for an historic gathering, when tenants and parishioners met to hear details of the handover of the 800-acre estate.

The estate had been bequeathed to the National Trust by the late Lord Mottistone.

25 Years Ago - April 14, 1989

The identity of the mysterious fisherman who rescued a Jack Russell terrier, which fell 150ft to the bottom of Culver Cliff, was discovered.

Laurie Gavaghan, of Sandown, was angling on the beach when he saw mainlander Margaret Symonds with the injured dog. An experienced climber, he made his way up the crumbling cliff cradling the little dog. Jack the dog had escaped with only a black eye and a cauliflower ear.

After his owner rushed her dog to the vet without catching Laurie’s name, his identity was revealed by John Copeland, of Scotties Fishing Tackle, who gave him a gift of a fishing reel of his choice.

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The former Co-operative store in Lake’s shopping centre could have become the Island’s only cinema outside Newport if a proposal by Vic Farrow had won planning approval. He had hoped to convert the store into a 150-seat mini cinema.

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The developer behind a £10 million marina, homes and shops scheme for Bembridge Harbour said his plan was aimed at improving village facilities and not competing with local businesses.

Michael Kingshott, a director of Associated London Property, who bought the harbour the previous June for £1.25 million, told the County Press leaked details of plans had generated hostility.

The development included 80 homes for first-time and up-market buyers, a 200-berth marina, six to ten yachting and leisure shops, a restaurant, possible relocation of Bembridge Sailing Club and dredging to ensure the harbour was always accessible.

10 Years Ago - April 16, 2004

A passion for motorcycles and a chance conversation between colleagues led to an amazing coincidence that has reunited a woman with a bike she had last ridden almost 40 years before.

Wendy Campbell had not seen her late husband Hugh’s Triumph Tiger 110 since the late 1960s until she found it was in a garage just yards from her home.

It was the bike the couple had ridden to South Wales and Devon on their honeymoon and following a conversation between two members of the County Press marketing team, Katie Pritchett and Wendy’s daughter Petra Hackett, it was discovered the bike had been bought by Newport harbourmaster and Katie’s father Wayne Pritchett.

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A £500,000 bid to use sport to fight Islanders’ flab was rejected by Sport England. Instead the body used the cash for the Sports Action Zone fund on the new Wembley Stadium and London’s Olympic bid, according to the IW Council.

Sport England was accused of shifting the goalposts after council officers spent two-and-a-half years putting the bid together for the fund which no longer existed.

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Proposals to open up County Hall’s staff parking spaces to the paying public and swell council coffers by up to £250,000 a year, was met by fierce opposition from staff who parked there for free.

The proposal would mean staff would be required to pay to park and Cllr Ernie Fox said he wanted to encourage staff to use other means of transport to get to work and give the public more short-term parking in the middle of town.

Reporter: sarab@iwcpmail.co.uk

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