Looking Back, Friday, February 15, 2013

By Sara Bryce

Published on Friday, February 15, 2013 - 11:08


100 Years Ago - February 15, 1913

DENSE fog interrupted the steamer service between the pier at Totland Bay and Lymington, causing a backlog of ships in the bay.

When the fog lifted, five liners were waiting outside The Needles — one had been held up for more than 24 hours by the weather.


A group of people were fined for cycling on a new footpath in East Cowes.

The unrelated group all dismounted suddenly when they saw the policeman who stopped them.

The pathway had been recently under construction and the cyclists said it was the first time they had ridden the track as it had been covered in large rocks for weeks.


A divorce court heard a wife got the "shock of her life"' after her husband, who had left her three years previously and was thought to have killed himself, turned up at home.

Shortly after he had left, police informed the wife they had found her husband’s clothes on the beach, between Shanklin and Ventnor.

When he turned up at her home some years later, she said she was "quite startled. It was quite the resurrection."

75 Years Ago - February 19, 1938

The fire brigade was summoned to Apse Heath to tackle a fire on a large section of stubble wasteland.

A resident had been trimming his garden and had a bonfire.

But the wind direction changed and the surrounding stubble ground caught fire, spreading quite far in the dry conditions.


A Newport schoolboy, who was in repeated trouble with the police, was described as "an impossible case" by his mother.

She claimed her 12-year-old son would get up during the night to go out and steal from people and she was unable to manage him.

He was sent to a special school by Newport Magistrates Court.


An American gangster arrived on the Island to serve part of his sentence at Parkhurst Prison.

James Hynes, who had been jailed for his part in a big jewel robbery from a flat in Park Lane, London, had served part of another sentence on the Island before, when he was known by the different name of Goodman.

50 Years Ago - February 16, 1963

A ten-year capital works programme, costing almost £400,000, was adopted by Ryde Town Council and included plans to build a swimming pool and a theatre.

Coast protection works were deemed to be an essential part of the plan, while the swimming pool, which would cost £50,000 to build, generated opposition from many, who thought it would be a waste of ratepayers’ money as visitors to Ryde would want to swim in the sea, not a pool.


The engineer in charge of the BBC’s Rowridge transmitting station told Newport Rotarians the Island would not be receiving a local broadcasting station.

A year earlier, a local broadcast experiment, based in Newport, had been successful but plans for local stations around the country was rejected.

BBC services at the time reached 99.6 per cent of the population and a second channel was due to begin the following year.


Sports fixtures were wrecked by the weather for the seventh weekend running.

No football games were played on the Island after a thaw waterlogged the pitches and 57 of the 64 nationwide matches were postponed.

25 Years Ago - February 19, 1988

An incident, in which a car displaying an orange mobility badge nearly ran over a toll collector at Seaview tollgate, sparked a move to remove toll concessions for badge holders.

The incident was one of many, where tollkeepers were harassed by people displaying orange badges and had led to plans to stop allowing badge holders to avoid the 10p toll.


Rival buses could soon to be allowed to use Southern Vectis’ Newport bus station.

The bus company was told to make the station available to rival bus operators in a test case by the Office of Fair Trading.


A couple’s Valentine’s night stroll along a cliff edge almost ended in tragedy when the girl lost her footing and toppled over the edge.

The 16-year-old nursing student at IW College fell on to a ledge at Whale Chine, the ledge saving her from a 60ft sheer drop on to the rocky beach below.

Her soldier boyfriend was unable to reach her, bruised, bleeding and with a broken elbow, in the darkness.

10 Years Ago - February 14, 2003

Lucky duck Duncan, which was pining for his lost companion, a drake called Susan, found a new love in time for Valentine’s Day.

Duncan, a call duck, was going quackers with loneliness until readers took pity on him and found him a friend, another drake which was renamed Susan.


Copies of the Island’s largest ever petition, signed by 41,918 people — half the adult population on the Island at the time — was presented to health bosses.

The sheer size of the protest left them in no doubt about the strength of feeling toward their plans to axe some medical services at St Mary’s Hospital.


The success of Roo, the thatched Godshill kangaroo, continued to be measured in leaps and bounds.

Initially the centre of a planning row because he was thatched onto the roof of The Royal Essex Cottage without permission, Roo quickly became a tourist attraction.

He eventually won over planners and was named finial of the year by a thatching magazine, as well as having a shop named after him by the Royal Essex owners.

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