Looking Back, Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013


100 Years Ago - December 20, 1913

HUGE numbers of ripe blackberries were picked from bushes between Sandown and Shanklin.
As well as the unseasonal crop of big berries, primroses were picked from the roadside at St Helens.
It was announced the admiralty was to take over the fixed defences at all British ports.
The Royal Garrison Artillery was to become a semi-naval force and would be merged with the Royal Marines, who were considered trained and experienced to adapt to the protection of the British ports and naval bases. 
Railway passengers were inconvenienced when a train travelling from Cowes to Newport left the rails.
The train blocked the railway line just outside the station and passengers were forced to walk to Mill Hill and join another train which was sent from Newport.

75 Years Ago - December 17, 1938
Police were puzzled when they discovered a car had crashed in thick fog but there were no occupants inside. 
The car collided with a bank and flipped over on the Cowes to Newport road.
Two people from Shanklin were later found at a nearby residence nursing minor injuries and suffering from shock.
A young soldier caused a scene in Cowes High Street when he smashed a shop window.
The soldier was seen being escorted through the town by a corporal when he broke away and tried to smash the window of Messrs. Pascall Atkey and Son, but was prevented from doing so by the corporal and a witness.
The soldier then stuck his foot out, causing £5 worth of damage to another shop. 
A spate of thefts from a Freshwater allotment made tenants threaten to leave.
The thefts had gone on for a number of weeks and included cabbages, which were repeatedly being taken in the early hours of Sunday mornings. The incidents were described as a most mean kind of theft.

50 Years Ago - December 21, 1963

A number of false 999 calls were made to emergency services.
Police had received calls saying burglars were entering Messrs. Cheverton’s garage in Lugley Street, Newport, but three policeman and a dog found no sign of an intruder.
Firemen were also sent to a house reportedly on fire in Lugley Street but again nothing was found.
The caller was noted to have had a slur both times and the call was traced to a phone box in St James’s Square.
Mr R. V. D. Phillips, of Wight Poultry, in Binstead was pictured surrounded by 2,500 turkeys.
The birds were being prepared for the Christmas market, where they would be boxed and sent to the mainland.
The company had more than doubled its business since last year and four men were needed to take the birds to the boat in Ryde for delivery. 
Seventy-eight students from 31 countries headed to the Island for the Christmas period.
The youngsters came from the likes of Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Ceylon, Iran, Singapore and Uganda as part of a British Council holiday course and stayed at Blackgang.
The course included tours of the Island and visits to Cowes, Newport and Carisbrooke Castle.

25 Years Ago - December 16, 1988

Sealink’s hopes of introducing two new fast ferries, costing £5 million each, to the Yarmouth to Lymington route by 1991 were dashed. Lymington Harbour Commissioners disagreed with their cross-Solent counterparts at Yarmouth and turned down the idea.
A dismayed Bill Gibbons, Sealink’s general manager for IW services, said: "Our present ferries can cope for another five to ten years but the route will wither on the vine without the introduction of larger ferries."
Burglars fled with jewellery worth £10,000 from a  shop in Shanklin High Street, when they were disturbed by the 74-year-old owner.
They bolted when Mary Blythe, alone in the flat above, went down to investigate after her King Charles spaniel, Brandy, started barking.
She said: "To think I missed them by inches. I’ve been thinking about retiring and this has settled it for me!"
Four-week-old Louis Evans starred as baby Jesus in Arreton Primary School’s nativity play — and slept through every performance. 
Louis, whose mum, Beth Evans, of Westhill Road, Ryde, volunteered his services for the role before he was even born, shared the limelight in the show with Tiffy, a donkey belonging to the headmistress, Jenny Thomas.

10 Years Ago - December 18, 2003

Children dreaming of catching a glimpse of Santa Claus could hardly believe their eyes when five of them were spotted on a building site in Binstead.
In bright red Santa suits, they were busy erecting roofs on five new houses in Pitts Lane.
Steve Haines, who employed the Santas, said: "It is Christmas and they just thought they would try to bring a bit of joy to other people, just for a bit of fun."
More than 200 sacks of presents came flooding in as part of the County Press-sponsored Toy and Gift Appeal.  
As well as gifts a further £3,000 was donated which was used to buy presents.
A windsurfer suffering hypothermia after spending nearly two hours clinging to a buoy in freezing seas was rescued in a major coastguard operation. 
Despite his ordeal, Dan Hallam, 19, an instructor at the UK Sailing Academy in Cowes, was raring to get back out into the surf — as soon as he got his wetsuit back from the hospital where he was treated.

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