Looking Back, Friday, July 26, 2013

By Jon Moreno

Published on Friday, July 26, 2013 - 13:27


100 Years Ago - July 26, 1913

ORGANISERS of the Ventnor, Bonchurch and Undercliff Regatta threatened to pull the plug on the event over the division of toll money collected at Ventnor Pier, where a concert party normally performed.

The ultimatum to Ventnor Town Council came amid its controversial recommendation it should retain the pier’s penny toll.

Regatta organisers explained they used to get as much as £20 from the toll but it was reduced to £4 by the town council, which left it in an impossible financial position in which to organise a regatta.


The IW Rural District Council turned down a proposal — following complaints of dust problems in the village — to have the main road through Carisbrooke tarmacked as it was deemed a risk to local fishery stocks.


Cowes Football Club celebrated its tenth anniversary with the presentation of a cup to commemorate securing a ground at Northwood Park.

The donated trophy was named the Westwood Challenge Cup — played for annually by the club’s first team and another club by invitation, with proceeds from the match to go to the Hampshire Football Association Benevolent Fund.

75 Years Ago - July 30, 1938

Comedian Tommy Trinder topped the bill in the comedy play After Dinner at the Pier Casino on Shanklin Pleasure Pier and at a garden party at Barton Manor, East Cowes.


The annual Calbourne Show was cancelled following an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Thorley.

After taking advice from Ministry of Agriculture officials, show organisers of the Calbourne, Shalfleet and Thorley Horticultural Society pulled the plug on the event.

The outbreak of the disease, at Newclose Farm, Thorley, led to the destruction of 20 dairy cows, 14 heifers and 16 pigs.


The BBC broadcast a special summer show — which featured an operatic cricket match — from Sandown Pavilion Theatre.

The broadcast was described as a feat of broadcast engineering and involved the use of nearly 1,000 miles of landline.

During the live broadcast, comedy actor Arthur Askey, who was in Hastings, sent his greetings to the people of Sandown.


A crop failure on the Island resulted in a huge shortage of potatoes and put a strain on fish and chip shop businesses, according to a report aired at the annual meeting of the National Federation of Fish Friers in London.

An SOS from fish and chip shops on the Island was sent to the Portsmouth branch of the Federation of Fish Friers, who complained potatoes were unobtainable on the IW for a large portion of the year.

The shortage between April and June drove up the price of chips considerably. Nationally, the problem resulted in the closure of more than 300 fish and chip shops.

50 Years Ago - July 27, 1963

Island MP Mark Woodnutt used the opening of a fete in Shalfleet to praise prime minister Alec Douglas-Home for arranging the Moscow talks on nuclear weapon tests.

In his speech to open the event, organised by the Shalfleet branch of the Conservative Association, Mr Woodnutt said the government would have its say in trying to negotiate an agreement of the tests and to put an end to a 'terrible era of fear’ in which the whole world was living.


Island planners were asked to consider ambitious plans to build a new exhibition hall and sports centre.

The centre, proposed to be built at the Racecourse, Binfield Corner, Newport, on part of South Fairlee Farm, was to be 46ft high, centrally located and on the main bus route.

Planners granted limited approval for the scheme, pending an investigation into how such a large project could be financed.


The vicar of Newport called for the Church of Sts Thomas to be designated as a pro-cathedral following a ruri-decanal conference supporting a four-parish boundary review.

At the meeting, held at the Unity Hall, Newport, the Rev A. Lumley attacked an 80 per cent increase in the church’s diocesan quota as the church was unable to meet it, describing the £429 apportionment as wicked.

Although a request to consider the church as a pro-cathedral was rejected, a boundary review of the four parishes of Newport, was accepted.

25 Years Ago - July 29, 1988

Ventnor Town Trust received the green light to push ahead with a £1 million scheme to restore Ventnor Pier.

South Wight Borough Council agreed to pay a grant for £250,000 of the cash, but warned the trust it was on condition the trust could raise the remainder within nine months.


Defiant villagers reeling from the destruction of the Brighstone Show’s huge marquee, said the 92nd annual event would still go ahead despite the actions of arsonists.

The fire that destroyed the £25,000 tent was started just three days before the event, which normally attracted around 2,000 people.

When word spread around the village, residents rallied to help get the show on with a hunt for smaller tents to house 500 exhibits.

Charlie Warne, chairman of the Brighstone, Brook, Kingston, Motttistone and Shorwell Horticultural Society, said: "The fire will definitely not stop the show."


The idea of creating a Solent tunnel or bridge link with the mainland was floated with the IW County Council.

Sponsorship for a £160,000 feasibility study was promised for a fixed link scheme estimated to cost around £200 million.

However, the study was dependent on the county council’s attitude towards the idea, said Gareth Murfin, who persuaded the Tarmac Construction Company to stump up its cost.

Morris Barton, leader of the county council, said any benefits from a fixed link would have been far outweighed by the harmful effects to the Island holiday trade and its quality of life.

10 Years Ago - July 25, 2003

Ventnor Golf Club aimed to have the best course on the Island after it put in a £1.2 million lottery bid.

The club, which had 320 members, wanted to replace its crumbling 1960s building with a new two-storey clubhouse and to buy and landscape an additional 100 acres of neighbouring farmland to increase its size from a 12-hole course to an international length 18-hole course.


Trustees of Brading Roman Villa celebrated a £2 million lottery windfall to secure the villa’s future and that of its Roman mosaics.

Together with a vigorous fundraising effort from trustees and the generosity of Islanders, mainland organisations and trusts, the villa reached its target of £2.8 million.

To secure the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the trust had to find at least £700,000.

The villa’s corrugated building was to be replaced by an innovative semi-circular building to house the mosaics and other Roman artefacts.

Trust chairman Anthony Turnbull said: "We are absolutely delighted with the response. It demonstrates huge support for the villa."

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