Looking Back, Friday, January 20, 2012

By Jamie White

Published on Friday, January 20, 2012 - 11:08


100 Years Ago - January 21, 1912

TWO people were injured when a car and a trap collided in Shanklin.

The incident involved a car belonging to a nurse, from Ventnor, and her friend, being driven by a chauffeur, and a trap owned by a Shanklin man.

The rear wheels of the trap were smashed and the man was taken to hospital with fractured ribs and shock.

The car was badly damaged and the women returned to Ventnor by train.


Camp Hill Prison was constructed in 105 acres of forest, overlooking the old prison and Parkhurst Barracks. It was surrounded by a 16ft-high wall and was approached by a new road, from the Newport-Cowes road.

Concerns were raised by residents about the types of prisoners to be detained and the methods to be adopted in their treatment to ensure they didn’t reoffend.


A dairyman was charged with obstructing the highway in Cowes.

PC Tatchell told a court the man’s horse and cart, in the High Street, opposite the Clarendon Restaurant, almost caused an accident. It remained unattended for more than an hour, causing serious problems for traffic coming off the boat.

The man was fined 10s, including 4s costs.

75 Years Ago - January 23, 1937

Several animals had a lucky escape after a serious fire at a farm in Ventnor.

An employee of the farm raised the alarm at 5.30am, before helping to lead horses, calves and a cat to safety.

Two lorries were destroyed in the blaze and another vehicle was badly damaged.

Damage to the building and its contents was estimated at more than £1,500.


Walkers in Ventnor had a narrow escape after tons of rocks tumbled from a cliff.

Several large rocks fell from the west of Steephill Cove onto a busy path, in front of the Royal National Hospital. The path was deemed impassable and council contractors posted warning notices, because more falls were said to be imminent.


Members of the Yarmouth Comrades Club and their guests, which included members of Yarmouth Football Club and the Freshwater Conservative Club, enjoyed a dinner dance, at Yarmouth Castle.

More than 100 people attended the prestigious event, which included singing, dancing and amusing Island dialect stories, by Will Adams.

50 Years Ago - January 20, 1962

The number of detected crimes on the Island was the highest for any division in the Hampshire and IW Constabulary, in 1961.

Figures by police headquarters in Newport, showed 1,118 crimes, an increase of 239 on the previous year.

The most significant rise concerned thefts from unattended motor vehicles, which almost doubled to 123. The number of shoplifting offences nearly doubled to 104, while burglaries rose to 150.


The first production model of a new type of amphibious vehicle, known as the Aerocraft, was to be shown at the Island Industries Fair.

Its inventors, Ryde brothers Howard and Terry Shore, carried out successful sea trials with the Mark II version, which could travel at 30mph on land and water.

The craft was described as a catamaran crossed with an aeroplane and was hoped to be more powerful and successful than the brothers’ first attempt.


Newport’s new bus station, in South Street, was close to its official opening in the summer.

Inward services were to be diverted from St Thomas’s Square via Town Lane into the station, while buses leaving would travel down Nodehill to Pyle Cross, to resume their regular route.

25 Years Ago - January 23, 1987

Arctic conditions caused thousands of pounds worth of damage across the Island.

Council workmen were stretched to the limit after being inundated with reports of burst water pipes and damage to the roads.

The clean-up operation, with 100 men, cost £72,000, with the control room at County Hall working 19 hours a day.

More bad weather was forecast.

The council breathed a sigh of relief when the aptly named cargo ship, Baltic Winter, arrived with much-needed supplies of rock salt.

Supplies of salt were down to just 15 tons when the vessel docked at Medina Wharf, Cowes, with a shipment of 800 tons, from Middlesbrough.


Unemployment on the Island rose again in the final month of 1986.

More than 100 people went on the jobless register, which totalled 7,499 people. The increase was more than 150.

However, more vacancies for jobs were available than previous months.

10 Years Ago - January 25, 2002

Stressed-out council workers were to be given a day off work to walk in the woods and have Indian head massage to bring down rising sickness levels at County Hall.

The activities were set to be introduced as part of the first of a series of events to help combat the cost of staff sickness.


Great strides were being made in creating a new river trail stretching 20 miles across the Island.

Thanks to £30,000 from the Countryside Agency, the first phase of the Source to Sea scheme was under way to open up the Eastern Yar Valley.

The scheme was a part of the Island 2000 project.

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