Looking Back, Friday, December 21, 2012

By Sara Bryce

Published on Friday, December 21, 2012 - 11:08


100 Years Ago - December 21, 1912

A HOMELESS man was charged with theft, after being found in a pub’s cellar with a half-pint glass partly filled with ale.

When he was challenged, he claimed the ale was his own but when forced he produced a bottle from his pocket. He was given a sentence of either seven days in prison or a fine of ten shillings.


A prize show of fat bacon pigs was held in Newport, with prizes handed out by bacon factory owners, with many of the pigs being sold on to slaughter.

It was generally thought to have been the finest lot of fat pigs ever seen at a Newport market.


A convicted murderer was moved to Parkhurst Prison.

Steinie Morrison, the Clapham Common murderer, arrived at the prison from the mainland, under the guard of a hospital principal and two prison warders.

75 Years Ago - December 25, 1937

Inmates from the Camp Hill Borstal Institution left for their homes across the country, as they were given four days’ Christmas leave.

The group were in good spirits as they were escorted onto various trains and ferries, to be seen again in four days’ time when they promised to return.

Camp Hill’s governor said he was confident his boys would return to continue their sentences.


A traditional dancing and acting group in East Cowes called the Christmas Boys, which was defunct for more than 30 years, was revived.

The group was made up of some of the original members as well as new ones, and performed festive scenes and songs at the Island’s Christmas events.


A seven-year-old girl from East Cowes was injured when she was hit by a motorcycle.

She was taken to the Frank James Hospital where an X-ray revealed she had broken her left thigh.

50 Years Ago - December 22, 1962

Delighted residents of Shalfleet said they had the best church hall on the Island as they paid tribute to the skill and team work of the voluntary workers who restored their hall.

The building had bare walls that reeked of damp and a stone floor full of potholes before the team of enthusiastic volunteers took the project on.


A ten per cent increase in car ferry prices was postponed by British Rail just a few hours before a protest took place at Ryde Town Hall.

The company’s London chief issued a statement saying the increase in charges would be postponed for three months.


An inscribed ship’s bell made its way aboard a ship to the Gilbert and Ellice Islands.

The bell was a gift from the 1st East Cowes Company Boys’ Brigade to a former officer in the company, who became a missionary on the island of Tarawa.

The bell was to be used at the school, attached to the mission station.

25 Years Ago - December 24, 1987

Video traders decided to defy the Sunday Trading Act and continue to rent out films, despite warnings from environmental health officers at Medina Borough Council, after a complaint from one Newport resident.

The traders grouped together and decided the laws were out of date as they also stated it was possible to buy a pint of milk on a Sunday but buying a can of evaporated milk was illegal.


The seas around the Island were teeming with the best cod seen for years but fishermen were forbidden from catching any.

A total ban on all cod catches had been imposed by the EEC on all British fishermen, and a spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries confirmed there were more than 150 commercial fishermen on the Island.


About 100 cans of much-needed dog and cat food, old blankets and toys were donated to the RSPCA shelter at Godshill by pupils at Medina High School, Newport.

The youngsters were asked to collect the useful items for the homeless animals at Christmas, rather than donating money.

10 Years Ago - December 20, 2002

Teddies, computer games and dolls were just some of the goodies donated by generous Islanders to the IW Toy Appeal.

The last appeal raised around £3,500, and though the later appeal raised just £2,000, which was used to buy toys, organisers were pleased with the amount of toys handed over by the public.


Island householders tripped the light fantastic as they adorned their homes with spectacular festive displays.

The Christmas craze to brighten up long winter nights ranged from modest fairy lights to streets clubbing together to build intricate displays in a show of seasonal community spirit.

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