Looking Back, Friday, December 14, 2012

By Abby Rugg

Published on Friday, December 14, 2012 - 11:08


100 Years Ago - December 14, 1912

THE pantomime season kicked off with Jack and the Beanstalk in East Cowes.

Original and amusing ideas gave fresh interest to the old story, which was performed at Osborne Naval College. The stage was decorated with flags and there was a large audience consisting of officers of the 1st Worcestershire Regiment (Parkhurst) and Island residents.


A boat sank off The Needles after colliding with a ship that carried soldiers in peace time and war time.

The troop-ship, Dufferin, was travelling back from India when the pilot motor auxiliary ketch, Solent, one of the additions to the Trinity House pilot fleet, crashed into it. The Dufferin had signalled for a pilot four miles away from The Needles and the Solent went towards her so one could be transferred. However, the turning went wrong and the Solent ran into the lee side of the troop-ship.


A cyclist crashed head first through a window after losing control of his bike in Cowes.

He was cycling down Moor Green Hill and, at the turning at Victoria Road, he crashed into an iron fence, which collapsed and he fell headlong into a window of a house. He escaped with minor injuries including cuts to his face and bruising.

75 Years Ago - December 18, 1937

An Island man was involved in a serious horse riding accident.

After a riding lesson in Newport, his horse became frightened and bolted, throwing the rider on to the ground leaving him unconscious.

First aid was given by a passer-by and the man was later taken to the County Hospital.


A children’s toy service was held in Totland Bay’s parish church.

A large collection of toys were sent to the Church Army for distribution among the poor in the east end of London. The vicar conducted the service and arrangements were made for despatching the toys. The collection, also by the Church Army, came to a total of £1.


A van rolled over on its roof after a car crashed into its rear wheel in Cowes. After sounding his horn at the junction of Arctic Road, the van driver continued his journey before spotting a car driving on the wrong side of the road. Despite accelerating to avoid an accident, the car struck the van’s rear wheel, pushed the van sideways and turned it completely over. The driver of the car lost his licence and was fined for driving without care and attention.

50 Years Ago - December 15, 1962

A double-decker bus carrying schoolchildren narrowly avoided plunging down a bank after a wall and road collapsed in Brading.

The bus lurched and stopped at an angle in New Road when part of the surface gave way and a wall fell near a road works excavation.

No-one was harmed in the incident and the bus was undamaged.


A dog that previously saved his family home from a fire by barking for attention was found in a disused well. After being away from his owners for 36 hours, Jason the black collie dog was discovered with its neck jammed in the grating over the drain which kept its head above the water. The well in Cowes was around 15ft wide and 30ft deep, and was filled with water up to the overflow drain. Jason was rescued but another collie had drowned.


Bacon, tinned meat and 1,300 cigarettes were stolen from an IW grocery store. A padlock securing a side door had been ripped off and the door was forced open. A total of £15 was stolen.

25 Years Ago - December 18, 1987

A lorry driver hung suspended by a foot in his cab after his vehicle careered out of control, spun round and crashed on to its side along the Undercliff Road near Niton.

The driver, from Southampton, was struggling to free himself when an Island van driver came to his aid. He clambered on to the lorry, wrenched open the cab door and reached in to help.

Despite a sprained ankle, the lorry driver remained unharmed after his narrow escape.


Angry Ryde parents, whose children faced the prospect of being taught in a corridor the following term, won their fight for a mobile classroom.

They were concerned a new intake of pupils at Haylands Primary School would result in only six classrooms being available for seven classes. Before the IW Education Committee met, parents lobbied the chairman to call on members to press for the transfer of a mobile classroom from Ryde High School to the primary school.


Not one Santa but two called at St Mary’s Hospital to give a volumetric infusion pump for the coronary care ward.

Two Medina councillors took their place behind the white beards but wanted to remain anonymous for the occasion.

Together they made the rounds of pubs in their home town of Ryde last Christmas and also took collections in the High Street raising money for the hospital.

10 Years Ago - December 3, 2002

A dramatic increase in the time taken for results to be obtained from cervical smear screening tests on the Island worried local doctors.

The Island’s health watchdog body was alarmed that the interval had more than doubled in previous months. During that time, it took nine weeks for results to come back from screening tests.


Hi-tech thieves stole thousands of pounds from Wightlink after hacking in to the ferry company’s computer systems.

The company did not put a figure on the sum stolen but said it ran into many thousands of pounds. Wightlink stressed the theft had been from company funds in the shape of fraudulent refunds. It was quickly discovered and police were called to investigate.

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