Looking Back, Friday, February 8, 2013

By Abby Rugg

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


100 Years Ago - February 8, 1913

REPORTS of an unusual light in the sky excited residents in Cowes.

People gathered in the town to watch a light from above which, although obscured at times by clouds, did not appear to move.

It amused master mariners and people with astronomical knowledge because they knew the light was really the planet Venus.


A man was thrown against a lamp-post after the horse he was riding bolted.

He suffered severe cuts on the back of his head and above his left eye, after the accident in Melville Street, Ryde.

After seeing the doctor, he was taken home in a bus.


A crowd gathered after reports of a pig in the river at the Quay, Newport.

The animal eventually managed to get out of the water on his own.

75 Years Ago - February 12, 1938

Choosing a name for a private road in Shanklin was no easy matter at a the district council meeting.

It was suggested someone would ask for the road to be called Runner Bean Terrace after a resident wanted Dracaena Road to be approved.

It was argued 50 per cent of people would not know what Dracaena meant (types of trees and shrubs), 25 per cent would not be able to spell it and the remainder wouldn’t know how to pronounce it.

The issue was referred to a committee for further debate.


A post office messenger boy fractured his right wrist after falling off his bicycle.

He was riding along Landguard Road, Shanklin, when his bicycle skidded. A doctor attended to him.


Three new pigeon racing clubs were set up on the Island, taking the total to seven.

The clubs would be affiliated to the IW Federation of Racing Pigeon Societies, in Newport.

The federation had 80 members, the highest number since its formation.

50 Years Ago - February 9, 1963

A total of £72,000 was spent on a Freshwater home for the elderly.

Old Meade was converted and extended over 12 months.

The home, catering for 30 residents, was the 20th Methodist home to be opened in the country.


A man was fined £4 for obstructing the floating bridge in East Cowes with a van.

He parked his van and left it unattended in the queue of vehicles waiting to get on to the bridge, at Medina Road.

While waiting in the queue, the driver remembered he had left an electric fire turned on at his home in Cowes.

He went back to switch it off, thinking he had time before the floating bridge returned.


A woman stopped a fox harming her cat after chasing it out of her garden in Sandford.

After hearing a noise outside, she ran out and saw a fox attacking her pet.

When chased, the fox dropped the cat, which was bitten but was otherwise unharmed.

25 Years Ago - February 12, 1988

Shanklin Cottage Hospital was facing closure in June, a year earlier than planned.

And with more than 800 operations a year performed at the hospital, Island waiting lists were predicted to soar.

Hospital staff signed a petition to fight the closure threat.


A skeleton discovered on a beach in Bouldnor was thought to be of a seaman from the days of wooden sailing ships.

That was the theory by a group from the Island’s Maritime Heritage Project, who hoped to reconstruct the remains for display at their headquarters, at Port La Salle, Yarmouth.


Two hundred sheep were saved from flood water, which swept into a pen at a farm near Shorwell.

Following heavy rain, water poured into a grain drying plant at Cheverton Farm, where the ewes were being housed, and rose until it came up to their stomachs.

The water was pumped out by firemen in a four-hour operation and the sheep were led to safety.

10 Years Ago - February 7, 2003

The threat of a council tax rise as high as 18 per cent receded after the government announced it would make more money available to the Island.

The extra cash — County Hall said £1 million and £4.5 million thereafter — was the result of an all-party visit to Whitehall to lobby local government minister, Nick Raynsford.


Thousands of pounds worth of skate ramps in Ventnor were almost swept into the sea after being battered by huge waves.

Winter storms and high tides shifted the 8ft-high ramps across their enclosure, slamming them into a wire fence.

The ramps, which were 17ft wide and 32ft long, were coated with high-tech surface, specially designed and imported from the USA.

They had cost £30,000 and had been unveiled 18 months earlier.

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