Looking back for July 11, 2014

By Sara Bryce

Published on Friday, July 11, 2014 - 13:24



100 Years Ago - July 11, 1914

NOTABLE globe-trotter Monsieur Joseph Aira Hugo, who was going round the world on foot, made himself known to market visitors during a trip to Newport.

He visited St Thomas’s Church and wrote his name in the visitors’ book, before handing an official a picture of himself,which said: "En souvenir de mon passage — the only pedestrian who has, at the age of 24 years, walked through Italy, Austria, Russia, the Balkans, the whole of Turkey, Africa, Germany and France; that is to say 32,333 kilometres".


A serious outbreak of fire resulted in the death of three horses at Shepard Bros’s offices, in Medina Road, Cowes.

Mr P. H. Milsom, manager of Poole’s Picture Palace, was alerted to the fire by his wife shortly after midnight and called the fire brigade.

The fire resulted in destruction of the stores and stables at the well-known firm of carriers, as well as serious damage to four houses nearby.

The fire broke out in a two-storey wooden building coated thickly in tar.

75 Years Ago - July 15, 1939

A new automatic telephone exchange was brought into service at Niton.

The introduction was prompted by the considerable increase in the number of telephone subscribers in the area.

It was then possible for callers to dial numbers on the Ryde exchange without the need for an operator and Ventnor and Shanklin could be called by dialling 8. Any other calls went via the Ryde exchange by dialling 0.


The voice of Tennyson was heard by 250 members of the Poetry Society, who had made a pilgrimage to Aldworth, near Haslemere.

Thomas Edison had sent two men from America to record the famous Island resident and two records were made on wax cylinders before being transferred to discs.

Members of the society, who had travelled from all around the country, including the Island, said the recordings were loud and clear.

It was the first time they had been played outside Tennyson’s immediate family.

50 Years Ago - July 1, 1964

Yachts of every size, shape and design filled Cowes Harbour as a record entry of 325 prepared for the Island Sailing Club’s 28th annual Round-the-Island .

Hundreds of spectators braved the early morning freshness to throng the promenade and shore and enjoyed the impressive view of the huge armada.


The unusual sight of a paddle steamer on the southern coast of the Island caused many to reach for the binoculars and scan the crowded deck, before recognising her as the steamer Embassy, making her first cruise around the Island in years.

The vessel was chartered by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society for the 85-mile cruise from Bournemouth, around the Island, with stops at Shanklin, St Catherine’s Point and the Needles.

25 Years Ago - July 7, 1989

Playgroup leader Anne Wilsom, helpers and mothers were prepared to squat in an art classroom at Ryde High School for days, in a bid to save the group from closure.

The 40-strong private playgroup, which met five mornings a week, was told it must vacate the art classroom it had occupied since 1971 and move to a metalwork room.

But £10,000 was needed to convert the room and the group were given just four weeks to stump up the cash.


The most spectacular stunt of Sandown High School’s year was expected to raise hundreds of pounds for injured teenager Stephen Bavington, who was paralysed in a rugby accident.

Ten Yellow House students went sprinting from assembly at 9.30am with the plan to put as many miles between themselves and the school as possible, before the end of the school day at 4pm.

Travelling in pairs or small groups, they reached as far as Birmingham, Macclesfield and Manchester, while Dawn Hodges and Frances Watling made it to Cardiff before joining the Island Games team en route to the Faroe Islands.

10 Years Ago - July 9, 2004

VERY high winds and heavy rain — 60 per cent of the monthly July average fell in 24 hours — brought unseasonal results.

Council highways officers were kept busy clearing branches and fallen trees from around the Island and one property in Westhill Road, Ryde, reported flooding.


TEN years ago: The inclement weather may have persuaded the usual high numbers of Earl Mountbatten Hospice supporters to stay at home during its fundraising day at Barton Manor, East Cowes, but thousands of pounds were still raised.

Despite heavy rain, many visitors travelled to the event for a day of music and summer fun in the magnificent surroundings in a bid to raise cash and the Island’s holiday profile.

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