Looking Back for June 20, 2014

By Matthew McKew

Published on Friday, June 20, 2014 - 13:34



100 Years Ago - June 20, 1914

A LABOURER spent two days stranded in a boat with a broken leg.

James Jeffrey was found in an open boat on the river, near Shambler’s Yard. He had travelled up the river late at night and had intended to sleep in a shed but slipped and fractured his leg.

He managed to crawl back to his boat and lay there throughout a storm for two days, before being discovered and taken to a house.

He was taken to the Workhouse Infirmary.


There was considerable interest in the appearance of an airship flying over The Solent, which was spotted several times during the week.

The silver tinted, cigar-shaped envelope, which glistened brightly in the brilliant sunshine, was carrying out experiments for a new army air station at Gosport.


There was a positive mood at Freshwater and Totland Tradesmen’s Association over the future of a proposed Solent tunnel.

Several members hoped work would start soon and it was agreed that if the tunnel was built, there would be an appeal to the postal service for mail to be delivered earlier in the morning.

75 Years Ago - June 24, 1939

Thousands welcomed the King and Queen back to Britain by waving Union Flags, as they passed by The Needles on board the Empress of Britain.

The royal family had been visiting Canada and the United States.


A newly married couple from Newport were hoping to enjoy a local cruise for their honeymoon, when an engine failure caused one of them to take their eye off the water ahead.

As they struggled to repair the engine, the boat careered off into a moored motor yacht, causing a large hole to the bow.

The couple were forced to scramble up their belongings and put them into a dinghy, until they could patch it up and continue their holiday.


Labour and trade union representatives met in Cowes to discuss the prospect of national service.

It was suggested employers should allow their workforce paid time off to attend defence training lectures.

50 Years Ago - June 20, 1964

At the official opening of a new £80,000 chest ward at St Mary’s Hospital, it was revealed a new district hospital would be built on the grounds within the next ten years.


A new water taxi between Ryde and Sandown was proposed by two brothers from Ryde.

The 16ft-long Aerocraft could reach speeds of 30 knots, carrying five people.


The Ryde to Southsea hovercraft service started but left hundreds of people disappointed.

After only making four trips to the mainland, one of its four engines overheated and it had to be taken back to Cowes.

It cost 10s to travel each way on the craft.

25 Years Ago - June 16, 1989

There were calls for IW athletes to boycott the Inter-Island Games on the Faroe Islands, after it was revealed the Danish dependency was Europe’s most relentless dolphin killer, with 600 killed the previous year.

One athlete, who rejected the chance to take part in the rifle team, said he was appalled by the slaughter.


A £4 million redevelopment of the storm-ravaged Shanklin Pier was revealed.

But the scheme was criticised by a councillor for looking nothing like the Victorian original.


Hordes of smugglers rowed ashore to Ventnor beach with their contraband for the annual Smuggling Pageant.

On the third day of the event, a great re-enactment took place, with "smugglers" arriving on the beaches. Lurking in the background were "excise officers and militiamen" waiting to pounce.

During the ensuing struggle, one "smuggler" was shot, many escaped and a few were captured for trial by the notorious Judge Jeffreys.

10 Years Ago - June 18, 2004

Islander David Lott was celebrating success during the European elections, despite not getting a seat himself.

The national chairman of UKIP managed the election campaign, which saw the party gain 12 MEPs.

UKIP received the second highest number of votes on the Island, behind the Conservatives.


A Victorian mansion would be demolished if the most expensive road scheme undertaken on the IW went ahead.

The £13 million proposal aimed to stabilise Undercliff Drive, in St Lawrence, by 2006.

But it meant destroying the five-bedroom Victorian house, Woodington, home of the Morris family.

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