Looking Back for April 4, 2014

By Matthew McKew

Friday, April 4, 2014



100 years ago | 75 years ago | 50 years ago | 25 years ago | 10 years ago

100 Years Ago - April 4, 1914

WITH the threat of foot and mouth disease, swine fever and tuberculosis all concerning farmers, there was an appeal for common sense when using Animal Diseases Orders.

As the situation stood, if an outbreak of foot and mouth occurred in Hampshire, then a 15-mile exclusion zone would include the Island, despite the stretch of water separating the two counties.

There were also fears vaccination and slaughter were failing to curb the tuberculosis outbreak.


Red posters headed Let there be Light were placed around Freshwater to encourage parishioners to vote favourably on the village rates being increased to pay for street lighting.

Only a quarter of the town turned out to vote on the issue. Two thirds of the population needed to vote in order for the motion to carry. The turnout was therefore too small.


The owner of a purse containing eight sovereigns was overjoyed to find a woman had handed it in to a police station. The widow rewarded the finder with a gold brooch.


The local forts were manned and firing took place from medium and light guns.

75 Years Ago - April 8, 1939

The fascinating hobby of photography was described at a meeting of the IW Camera Club.

A talk was delivered on the trials of the old-time photographer and the processes involved in the manufacturing of film. The chairman of the club described how it was much easier to take photographs in 1939.


A galaxy of aviation stars flew from London to Shanklin to attend a dinner. Among the people to arrive at Lea Airport were aces and test pilots from The Great War.

The event was arranged by the IW Flying Club to mark the completion of better facilities, built to enable extended training of the Civil Air Guard.

50 Years Ago - April 4, 1964

British Railways was contemplating an experimental hovercraft service between Portsmouth and Fishbourne.

The Pier and Harbour Commissioners offered their co-operation in return for a hovercraft service to the West Wight also being considered.

Mr E. P. W. Robins, a railway representative, said the problem with the West Wight was finding suitable landing spots.

The commissioners asked if they found a suitable spot on the Island, would British Railways look for one on the mainland.

Mr Robins replied: "Indubitably."


A sewerage scheme in Newbridge costing £36,420 was approved.

It was recommended sewage from Newbridge be pumped to the disposal works at Calbourne and the works be enlarged to cater for the additional flow.


The continuing trial of a 62 year old from Bembridge involved a six-hour hearing. It was alleged he had shot a man in the leg, leaving two wounds.

25 Years Ago - March 31, 1989

A motor cruiser skipper was lucky to escape with his life when his vessel exploded in Newtown Creek at midnight.

The 26 year old was rescued by Yarmouth Lifeboat, firemen and an ambulance.

The skipper had been lighting a bottled gas heater, when the boat blew up. It transpired the heater had been leaking.

The skipper was thrown across the cabin and received burns to his face and arms.


More than 200 residents and conservationists crowded into Brading Town Hall to reject a plan to build an international golf course on wildlife-rich farmland on the outskirts of the town.

When one resident asked if anybody was in favour of the plan, not one hand went up.


Equipment produced at the Cowes factory of Vikoma International was used to help tackle an oil spillage in Alaska.

Staff were on stand-by in case more equipment and expert help was needed.

The spillage was caused when the supertanker Exxon Valdez ran aground near the port of Valdez, leaking 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound.

10 Years Ago - April 2, 2004

Battles lines were drawn by objectors to a £14 million wind farm planned for Wellow farmland that would have generated enough electricity to supply 12,700 homes.

The seven 100-metre-tall turbines were to be manufactured by Island blade makers NEG Micon Rotors.

Bournemouth-based wind developer Your Energy planned to finance and develop the project. The firm hoped to take residents and councillors to see a comparable mainland wind farm in order to dispel myths surrounding the technology.


Fire chiefs were left red faced after a blunder meant their web address led to a risque German site.

The website advertised on all of their appliances was www.iwfire.org but anyone typing in the address would see more blue material than blue lights. The fire service said the mistake had occurred because the annual fee for the website was not paid by County Hall. The domain provider then re-sold it to a German group.

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