Looking Back, Friday. March 23, 2012

By Jamie White

Published on Friday, March 23, 2012 - 11:08


100 Years Ago - March 28, 1912

After an interval of two years, Cowes Camera Club held an exhibition at the Town Hall.

There were more than 75 competitive exhibits, with the principal pictures that of a local theme.

Members were delighted with the return of the exhibition, which was well attended and deemed to be a huge success.


For the first time in the history of the IW, the Island was rocked by the arrests of four suspected German spies.

The four men were spotted acting suspiciously in Freshwater and Yarmouth with cameras, photographs, notes and other equipment.

The men said they had come from London but their actions and responses were deemed to be unsatisfactory, so they were remanded in custody at Newport Police Station.


A Newport labourer pleaded guilty to having been drunk and incapable.

P.C Lawes commented he saw the defendant falling about in South Street and struggling to walk.

The defendant claimed he had drunk some beer with whiskey in it and hadn’t eaten, which resulted in the alcohol getting the better of him.

The 31 year old was fined 5s and 4s costs.

75 Years Ago - March 27, 1937

Snow unexpectedly hit the Island, with reports of around two inches of the white stuff in some areas.

The snow covered houses and trees and even wireless aerials, making for a spectacular sight.

It didn’t last long, however, with the morning sunshine soon melting it, just leaving some scattered on hill-tops.


Despite a freak snowstorm, the number of visitors to Island over the Easter period was said to be the best for years.

Many of the holiday camps and hotels across the Island were busy, with several fully booked.

Extra boats had to be run on the Portsmouth to Ryde and Lymington to Yarmouth routes and a large number of cars were transported to the Island from the mainland.


A Ventnor woman had a surprise while she was peeling potatoes at her home.

The woman, from Upper Ventnor, discovered beneath the skin of a tuber, the number 98 on the potato.

But it wasn’t a cryptic mystery — the number, which could be clearly seen, had been formed by the roots of two shoots.

50 Years Ago - March 24, 1962

Eleven mortar bombs were discovered on the shore at Whitecliff Bay.

The find was made by a man walking his dog, when the tide had gone out near an old wreck.

The man informed the police, who in turn called Portsmouth Bomb Disposal Team and they moved the mortars to an isolated area and detonated them.


A policeman was given huge praise after he rescued a dog from a disused reservoir in Moor Green Road, Cowes.

The dog had managed to scale a wall around the reservoir, before falling more than 10ft into mud, water and rubble.

The police officer climbed into the reservoir with a piece of equipment known as a dog grasper and pulled the dog, which was unharmed, to safety.


A stretch of road in Newport was singled out as being potentially life threatening, with members of the IW Joint Road Safety Committee asking the County Council to act before it was too late.

The particular section of Staplers Road caused concern as it had no pavement either side and people continued to walk along it, taking their life in their hands. The Staplers Road Improvement Scheme was urged to begin sooner than scheduled to prevent a fatal incident.

25 Years Ago - March 27, 1987

The first ever laser light display on the Island was planned for Ventnor.

The display was to be part of the Festival of Fragrance, organised by Herbes de Galles, a perfume firm that moved to the town.

Mr Richardson, who was leading the plan, said that with the use of strategically placed mirrors and laser beams, much of the town would be covered.


Owners of dogs found roaming unsupervised on Island highways were to face the wrath of the IW Council.

Rather than being cautioned, they could face immediate prosecution under four new guidelines.

Members of the council felt the new guidelines would act as a deterrent to owners.


Wight Light rock gospel festival organisers called for a public meeting in Shanklin to clarify any matters of concern regarding the controversial event.

There were fears the event, which was planned for farmland at Apse Heath, would attract big mainland crowds and open the door for future pop festivals and rallies.

10 Years Ago - March 29, 2002

More than 3,000 tickets for the IW Festival rock concert were snapped up by music fans across the country, in the first three days of going on sale.

Organisers Wight Leisure reported a boom in early ticket sales, with the announcement The Charlatans and Robert Plant were headline acts.


Parkhurst Prison was said to be sliding into chaos because of Home Office cutbacks — according to a new damning report.

The jail, which had housed some of Britain’s most notorious convicts, was suffering from hostage taking, rooftop demonstrations, increased drug taking and cell fires, its Board of Visitors warned in its annual report.

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