Looking Back, Friday, April 27, 2012

By Jamie White

Published on Friday, April 27, 2012 - 11:08


100 Years Ago - April 27, 1912

A NEWPORT man was held by police after he was accused of stealing from a refuse tip.

PC Webb said he visited the tip and spotted the defendant lying on the ground behind a tree with a bag of metal, horsehair, rags and bones.

When asked what he was doing, the man said he was having a lie down, even though the ground was soaking wet.

He later admitted the theft and was sentenced to 14 days’ hard labour.


There was a large turnout at a meeting in Freshwater to consider the report of the committee appointed to obtain particulars for the potential purchase of the Bay Esplanade.

The land was offered to the council for £500, which measured 247ft in width and a frontage to the road outside the Albion Hotel of 150ft. Members suggested the council should take immediate steps for the purchase of the land.


A horse that was attached to a van in Newport bolted while the driver was delivering goods.

The horse ran towards Nodehill and rushed across the road while the van collided with a pillar of the Technical Institute wall.

The van overturned and was severely damaged. The horse suffered a few minor cuts and bruises.

75 Years Ago - May 1, 1937

The first milk bar on the Island opened in Ryde.

The bar was capable of supplying 240 people at one time and would be serving milk cocktails and milkshakes in an almost endless variety.

Fruit shakes were another new line introduced, with the drinks served under the latest and strictest hygiene conditions.


The Southern Railway Company’s floating pontoon and crane arrived from Southampton at Medina Wharf, Cowes.

It brought with it ten new railway coaches for use on the Island.

However, during the unloading operations an unfortunate incident occurred when one of the crew was hit by a coach and suffered lacerations to his arm.


There was a capacity house at Sandown Pavilion for a variety concert given by amateur Island talent.

It was the first of such concerts to be presented in Sandown and was attended with the same popular success as previous efforts in Shanklin.

The show included performances from Ted Westmore’s Retro band, The Flying Rhythm Club band and an array of individual performers.

50 Years Ago - April 28, 1962

The Easter holidays, a fortnight later than the previous year, provided the Island with a welcome period of sunshine and warmer weather.

Traffic from the mainland was particularly heavy, with an increase in the number of passengers and cars carried on British Railway’s ferries.

Even though there were 13 accidents, police said it was one of the best Easters on record for incidents on the roads.


Visitors and residents were entertained by the antics of a large seal, which was spotted in Freshwater Bay.

Time after time, the seal approached within two or three yards of the beach before rearing up out of the water, diving and then circling again.

Shortly before dusk, it was joined by two other seals who were slightly more shy and stayed away from the shore.


Yarmouth Lifeboat was called out to aid a six-ton fibre glass sloop, Shenkin, that ran aground on the Shingle Bank in the western entrance to The Solent.

The yacht, which had four people on board, was rolling heavily in the surf but as the tide was rising it was decided the best option for the crew was to stand by her rather than risk damaging the craft by towing it.

The yacht managed to re-float later in the evening and continue with its journey through The Needles channel.

25 Years Ago - May 1, 1987

Just eight minutes after completing its commissioning trial, Ryde Voluntary Lifeguard’s new lifeboat carried eight people to safety from a cruiser in danger of bursting into flames off Ryde Pier.

Smoke was pouring from the 40ft motor cruiser after an engine overheated a mile off the pier.

The three-man lifeboat crew managed to evacuate the crew and take them to safety.


Island tourism was said to be facing a 'slow death’ without major investment, according to a study by the IW Tourism Development Programme.

The study, which took six months to compile, was drawn up by a joint working party, which included councillors, the Island Tourist Office Board, Southern Tourist Board and the English Tourist Board.

The report said a quarter of all jobs on the Island were supported directly by tourism and substantial investment would be needed.


Four bodies were recovered after a light aircraft crashed into a 30ft yacht off Horestone Point, half a mile east of No Man’s Land Fort as the County Press went to print.

Navy divers recovered the bodies after the four-seater Cessna hit the sea and bounced into the yacht, which disintegrated.

The aircraft was flying from Antwerp to Exeter when the tragedy occurred in poor visibility.

10 Years Ago - May 3, 2002

IW Council members received an inflation-busting 6.7 per cent pay rise, angering County Hall workers, who were offered less than half that.

Coming just weeks after the authority rejected an independent report that advocated rises of up to 34 per cent, the new hikes would take the basic allowance up to £5,528 a year.


Bembridge plane-maker BN Group was at the leading edge of development with a new environmentally friendly diesel engine.

The group went into partnership with two French companies to develop the engine, which was the brainchild of Renault Formula One scientists and combined performance with using 40 per cent less fuel than conventional engines.


The Island was to get a regular mainland air service for the first time in years.

The Channel Islands company, LeCocq, was scheduled to bring its first passengers from Bournemouth Airport to Bembridge on May 12 — the first of scheduled weekly Sunday flights.

The fare was set at £69 for a return trip, which included parking in Bournemouth, the flight, a drive to Priory Bay Hotel and three-course Sunday lunch.

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