Looking back for June 27

By Sara Bryce

Published on Friday, June 27, 2014 - 13:31



100 Years Ago - June 27, 1914

FOLLOWING a crash between a Ryde passenger steamer and a torpedo boat in Portsmouth Harbour, the Admiralty sought damages.

The torpedo boat was heading out of the harbour to carry out torpedo practice in The Solent. As it passed HMS Enchantress, which was anchored, the steamer Princess Margaret was seen ahead on a crossing course.

The torpedo boat kept on course and despite short blasts of the horn, the steamer went full-steam ahead to attempt to cross in front, causing the boats to crash.

The judge ruled bad seamanship on behalf of the steamer, which was taking passengers to Ryde.


The Cowes Harbour Commissioners’ provisional order behind the construction of a breakwater passed through the House of Lords without opposition. Due to the massive expense of the order, the building of the breakwater was not expected until 1915.


A fisherman was left with a poisoned and deeply cut leg while draw net fishing on the shore at Bouldnor.

James Wheeler, of Providence House, Freshwater, and friend Bert Cotton landed three large flat fish, weighing about four stone each. While using his boot to push one of the fish ashore, the fish struck him with its long, serrated spike, which went through his trousers and caused a 3ins wound

The fish, believed to be a stingray, was highly poisonous and left Mr Wheeler bed bound for weeks.

75 Years Ago - July 1, 1939

An Islander spotted a strange bird with trailing legs, which he thought was a stork.

Mr H. Jervis believed the bird, which was circling at a great height, to be one of a group of artificially coloured storks released from Haslemere.

He reported the incident to the Haslemere Educational Museum and it was hoped the Island would keep watch for the bird and not shoot it.


The shortage of mounted men in the army — most of the cavalry regiments had been mechanised — resulted in Wight Rodeo riders being given the honour of performing the customary military riding and mounted displays at the Aldershot Command horse show.


An octogenarian yachtsman, Sir Hercules Langrishe, thought to be the oldest small boat helmsman still racing, received messages of congratulation as he reached his 80th birthday.

In honour of the Royal Yacht Squadron’s former commodore, all yachts in Cowes Harbour were decorated.

50 Years Ago - June 27, 1964

Hundreds of sightseers lined Ryde Esplanade to watch an RAF helicopter land a member of crew on board the British Railways passenger ferry, Brading.

The helicopter was scrambled after reports of a missing crew member from a capsized racing dinghy off Ryde. It was later discovered the crewman had been picked up by another boat.


Plans to create a one-way system in Newport’s High Street were abandoned at a public inquiry at County Hall.

The plans, which involved making it one way from the junction with St Thomas’s Square to Sea Street, were one of four new traffic orders for the area. They were abandoned after a backlash from local businessmen.


Two prisoners from Camp Hill Corrective Training Prison, who escaped a week before, were captured while sunbathing on the beach at Brook Chine.

The pair, who were serving sentences for house and shop breaking and larceny, were members of a working party and slipped away when returning to the prison.

A shopkeeper reported them after becoming suspicious when they bought trunks and towels.

25 Years Ago - June 23, 1989

Eyewitnesses criticised a Red Funnel hydrofoil, which crashed into a yacht as it waited for the start of the Round the Island Race. Father and daughter, John and Elizabeth Bownas, were left injured when they were thrown from their 23ft Jaguar class Amanda Jane in the collision off Cowes.

Eyewitnesses reported the hydrofoil was travelling too fast and not making allowances for the 1,800 racing yachts plus spectator vessels.


As the Island’s heatwave continued this week, there was a warning shoppers could soon be paying a high price for the warm, dry summer.

Food prices were set to soar, along with the temperature, as Island farmers faced crop failure and serious financial problems. Water levels reached their lowest for 15 years.

10 Years Ago - June 25, 2004

A top tourist attraction could have been left £500,000 out of pocket, and would certainly be without a new rollercoaster ride for another summer, after the structure was deemed unsafe.

This was despite repeated attempts by Italian engineers to put right a catalogue of problems at Blackgang Chine.

The theme park told the firm to pack up the ride and take it back to Italy and demanded £300,000 back, threatening legal action if the company did not pay.


Sophie Dawes was back gracing the corner of Brading Wax Works after a two-year absence.

A figurehead of the mistress to the Duc du Bourbon and King Louis Philippe, and one of the most infamous characters in Island history, was created by woodcarver Norman Gaches after wax works staff discovered the old figurehead was rotting away.

Sophie, born in St Helens, became notorious after her affair with the phenomenally rich Duc du Bourbon in the early 19th century and trysts with other aristocrats and royals.

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