Looking Back, Friday, March 16, 2012

By Jamie White

Published on Friday, March 16, 2012 - 11:08


100 Years Ago - March 16, 1912

A £100 reward for information was put up by the victim of a burglary at Conston House, Ryde.

The homeowner and his servant woke in the early hours to find three rooms had been ransacked.

Four gold brooches, a bracelet, chain and bangle were among the items taken.


A submarine, which sunk off Bembridge in February, was moved to a sheltered position in St Helens Bay.

The vessel was then transferred to Portsmouth and the bodies of those who had died in the tragedy were taken ashore.

It was believed a block of wood found in the ship’s propeller was to blame for the accident.


A Niton man had to pay 4s costs after obstructing the highway with his car, in Newport.

PC Summers said the car was left unattended for almost an hour in a narrow part of the High Street.

The defendant, who had a clean licence, said he didn’t realise he was blocking the road.

75 Years Ago - March 20, 1937

The IW branch of the National Federation of Post Office Veterans was formed at a meeting in Young’s Hotel, Ryde.

Mr W. H. Ellis, a member of the federation and initiator of the club on the Island, said there were 50 branches in the country, with a membership of 5,000.


An unusual catch was made by Sandown longshoreman, Charlie Duff, who caught a large salmon in the bay, much to his surprise.

The salmon weighed 43lb, was 50 ins long and had a girth measurement of 28 ins. It was thought to be a record for the bay and probably for the IW.


The sixth rick fire in the Cowes district in the last couple of months happened in Gurnard.

Cowes Fire Brigade was called to deal with the blazing five-ton rick in a meadow in Worsley Road.

50 Years Ago - March 17, 1962

A vanishing gate was causing grief to a resident of Carisbrooke Road, Newport.

A few weeks earlier, the heavy metal gate had disappeared and was found down the road.

It then disappeared again and, after a search, was found further away.

Days later, the gate vanished for a third time and was found even further away from the property.


A new fog warning system was tested at St Catherine’s Lighthouse, after being installed by an East Cowes company.

The power of the horns was stronger and the new signal could be heard four miles away, at Ventnor.


A prisoner at Parkhurst Prison won £5 on ITV’s Take a Letter programme.

A spokesperson for the prison said: "Prisoners are allowed to go in for competitions with small prizes and they are allowed to keep up to £10.

"Naturally, they cannot go in for competitions when the prize is a tour of Italy, or something like that."

25 Years Ago - March 19, 1987

Sudden overnight snow took the Island by surprise, causing power lines to fall and bringing trees down as well as causing chaos on the roads.

Worst hit was the northern part of the Island, with around 1ft of snow, making roads impassable in Ryde, Cowes, East Cowes and Bembridge.

The South Wight was also hit, with several inches of snow, and 8,000 homes were hit by power cuts.


Travel by taxi-bus was an option being considered by Southern Vectis.

Giving backing to a year’s trial on six rural routes, the public transport sub-committee heard the plan was for taxis to be used in the evening, where a normal bus service was not justified.

If the plan was to go ahead, the Island would be the first rural area where it had been tried.


A multi-million pound project to transform Bembridge Harbour was put to IW planners.

The intention was to provide a new marina and reclaim land for luxury homes on the other side of Embankment Road.

The ideas were put forward by the Bembridge Harbour Improvement Company.

10 Years Ago - March 22, 2002

Up to 100 people went to London as part of the campaign to be treated separately from Hampshire for state and European funding.

Three buses left the IW at 5am with demonstrators, many of whom were highlighting the plight of sacked GKN workers, outside the House of Commons, before moving to Downing Street.


A report in a national newspaper claiming motorists could be charged £5 to enter Newport to cut traffic jams at Coppins Bridge was dismissed by the IW Council as "nonsense".

The Mail on Sunday claimed the council was one of 35 authorities, which had been in talks with the Department of Transport about introducing congestion charges.

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