Looking Back, Friday, July 19, 2013

By Sara Bryce

Friday, July 19, 2013

 

100 Years Ago - July 19, 1913

RED Cross nurses, who had stationed themselves in a camp to prepare should they be called upon during time of war, were praised for their actions.

The members had left home comforts to live the life of 'Tommy Atkins’ in bell tents on the Newtown rifle range and all 30 were said to have soon adapted to the strange conditions. The nurses devoted their time to becoming proficient at the camp duties and did all the cooking, wood chopping, patrols and nursing duties, as well as spending time listening to lectures and talks.

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A new bell, which was presented to Ventnor Pier by Mrs T. Gibbs in memory of her husband, was finally fixed to the pier. Several captains of pleasure steamers were said to be delighted with the bell, which was much larger than the previous one.

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A young man narrowly avoided injury when he had an accident on his bicycle in Sandown. The man was riding down Pier Street when he met a group of holiday makers on an excursion in a four-horse coach. He fell in front of the coach but managed to roll clear of the horses and wheels, suffering a few bruises but his bicycle was run over and smashed.

75 Years Ago - July 23, 1938

A family had a narrow escape from being drowned and a canoe capsized in Colwell Bay after a huge wash from a destroyer swept in.

The destroyer D 39 had passed through the western Solent at a fast speed on her way to Portsmouth, while the tide was at its highest, causing the huge wash.

Beach visitors had scattered to avoid the huge breaking waves. Boats capsized and smashed against the sea wall causing some panic.

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The Queen, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and princesses were expected to board the Royal Yacht Victoria and Albert at Portsmouth to enjoy a cruise around the Island. The royal family were due to stop at Beaulieu before heading for a cruise around the Island. King George VI was to join his family in Spithead before the yacht cruised up the east coast to Scotland.

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An outbreak of foot and mouth disease on the Island led to more than 200 sheep and 40 cows being slaughtered and the postponement of the Royal IW Agricultural Show. The disease, which causes blisters and lameness in animals, broke out at Newclose, Thorley, after the Island had managed to evade the disease for over 12 years.

50 Years Ago - July 20, 1963

Since taking over Coombe Farm, Brighstone, Mr and Mrs Harold Hack had been building a museum in one of their outbuildings.

Most of the items the pair found were during clearing the dense undergrowth behind the farmhouse, with the first discovery being a rusty cutlass.

The collection soon grew to include a sword with a tapered square blade, a candle-snuffer, a silver spoon, a clay pipe, a donkey shoe and, most surprising as the sea was over a mile away, a line-carrying rescue rocket for vessels in distress.

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Plans for a big housing development in Newport and a proposal the council should also speed up its housing programme were discussed at Newport Town Council. The council had agreed the sale of the 20.26 acres surrounding Bellecroft House for £19,000 and work to build 222 homes had begun.

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At a meeting of the recently formed IW Railway Retention Association at St Lawrence, it was reported that in the first week, more than 1,500 people had signed a petition protesting against the proposed closure of the Island railway.

25 Years Ago - July 22, 1988

Traffic lights were planned to be installed at Coppins Bridge roundabout to deal with the expected increase in vehicles caused by the plans to pedestrianise Newport High Street and by Medina crossing. The plans were revealed at County Hall and it was said the scheme would include installing traffic lights at all approaches to the roundabout to control the flow.

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All roads to Alum Bay and Culver Down were jammed as thousands joined the 400th anniversary celebrations of the sighting of the Spanish Armada.

It was estimated more than 5,000 people were at The Needles Pleasure Park, more than 2,000 on Culver Down, near Sandown, and 1,200 at Robin Hill — three of the five Island sites involved in the Fire Over England event, in which 461 beacons, stretching from Cornwall to the Scottish border, were set alight simultaneously.

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A huge public response met businessman Anthony Wade’s plans for a 300-berth £65 million marina, leisure and homes development to transform Ventnor seafront and initiate hydrofoil links with Cherbourg. The day-long public meeting and display at the town’s Winter Gardens gathered public opinion on the huge development, which was designed to draw in a millionaire set.

The businessman said: "Within five years, the whole thing could be in being and Ventnor would be completely rejuvenated, compared with its present rather decaying state."

10 Years Ago - July 18, 2003

The terrier mascot of a Shanklin charity shop was this week recovering after being slowly throttled by an elastic band.

Archie, the four-year-old Jack Russell, who was the friendly meeter and greeter at Osel Enterprises’s Shanklin shop, had an elastic band forced over his head.

Three days later, the band — which has been hidden by his fur — had cut through the skin and was spotted by his owners, Paul and Mags Raymond, who both worked for the charity, which provides work and training for people with disabilities.

Mr Raymond said: "Archie is very friendly and some person put the band on him while he was at work. The vet who treated him was very upset by the injury, said he was extremely lucky not to have needed stitches and prescribed him complete basket rest for a fortnight."

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Wightlink proposed to bring a car ferry service to Ryde Pierhead to run every two hours during peak days and the holiday season.

It would have meant creating a pontoon at the end of the pier — a listed structure and the first of the great pleasure piers to be built in 1814 — and spending millions on structural improvements in order to take the extra traffic.

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