Looking Back, Friday, May 24, 2013

By Sara Bryce

Published on Friday, May 24, 2013 - 11:08


100 Years Ago - May 24, 1913

A NEWPORT man displayed a very large and early crop of ripe strawberries he had grown in his garden. 

George Clark presented his crop of berries to be admired in the gardens of the Newport Conservative and Unionist Club.


A painter was riding home to Newport from East Cowes when he was thrown from his bicycle.

The Pyle Street resident was descending a steep hill when a patch on the front tyre lifted, caught in the mudguard, which, in turn, caught in the fork of the frame and caused the bike to stop suddenly.

The man was thrown violently forward, hitting his face and hands on the road and was knocked unconscious.

He awoke to a soldier tending to his head wounds and was cared for in a nearby cottage, before being taken to the Frank James Memorial Cottage Hospital, where he was treated for two sprained wrists, cuts and bruises.


A young boy was playing on the steps on the public side of the pontoon at East Cowes when he slipped into the water.

A tailor, working at Messrs Morgan and Son, jumped in to rescue the boy, and two men on board a nearby cargo steamer helped to pull both the rescuer and boy out of the water.

75 Years Ago - May 28, 1938

A woman from Chale gave birth to a baby who weighed twice the average weight of a newborn baby. 

The 25-year-old woman gave birth to the 15lb boy, her second child, at Newman’s Lane.

The baby, whose parents were both around 6ft tall, measured 24ins in length.


A glider landed at the Somerton Aerodrome field in Cowes.

The pilot was a young German enthusiast, who landed in faultless style, having been in the air some three hours, having set out from Heston.

After communicating his whereabouts to Heston, a plane arrived later in the evening to tow him back.


A mysterious marine monster was reported at the Spithead, heading rapidly for Ryde.

The sea creature, which appeared to have five humps, was open to considerable doubt and was widely thought to be a school of porpoises.

50 Years Ago - May 25, 1963

A motorcycle burst into flames after it crashed into a wall in Shanklin. The rider, who was visiting from London, swerved to avoid a woman, who walked out.

Firefighters put out the burning vehicle. The rider received cuts to his face.


A mural from the 14th century at St Christopher in the Parish Church in Shorwell was restored.

Under the direction of a well-known London expert, the craftsmen involved also picked out in gold leaf the lettering on the carved oak rood screen and the date 1620 on the Jacobean canopy over the pulpit.

The elaborate tomb of Barnabas Eveleigh Leigh and his wife, in the Leigh Chapel, was also repaired.


Two ship workers were overcome by paint fumes while working in a vessel’s fresh water tank in East Cowes.

The red-lead painters were working on the new Leander class frigate HMS Arethusa at Messrs J. S. White, when they were found unconscious by fellow workers.

The men were found after one of the workers’ wives called in to see why her husband had not come home for lunch.

25 Years Ago - May 27, 1988

As his fishing boat sank beneath him, holed by an old wreck, Bruce Tindle literally stepped into another vessel, which came to the rescue.

The step to safety came at the edge of Bembridge Ledge after his 33ft pot boat, Couldn’t Help It, crunched onto the remains of the old paddler, Empress Queen.

Mr Tindle, of Wootton, was the latest of a number of seagoers to run into the hulk, which was on the rocks in shallow water.

Fortunately, retired coxswain of Bembridge Lifeboat Peter Smith was also pot fishing in the area and saw what happened.


A retired builder and Shanklin police officer were the heroes of a blaze drama at a Sandown residential home. John Callaghan, of Hill Street, and PC Richard Evans teamed up to fight the fire as it swept along the stairwell of the three-storey Moorlands Residential Home in Station Avenue.

Up to 18 people were evacuated and the men’s prompt action saved the home from extensive damage.


Hundreds of Mods due to arrive in Ryde for a weekend rally found themselves banned from an entertainment venue they had booked.

Red-faced Medina Council chiefs found out just days before the Mods had made the three-day booking of Ryde Town Hall and immediately cancelled the booking, before trying to make last-minute moves to avert the risk of chaos and confrontation.

The council was trying to get an alternative venue for the Mods together before the 500 to 600 predicted turned up.

10 Years Ago - May 23, 2003

Troublemakers on school buses were being made to travel in shame on a gaudy pink punishment bus — one of the oldest and certainly the coldest and most uncomfortable vehicle in the Southern Vectis fleet.

But it emerged the pink peril had been operating on a trial basis for three months without a risk assessment having been carried out.

Leading safety campaign group, Belt Up School Kids, said in the event of an accident the council could find itself liable to pay out millions in compensation under the corporate manslaughter act if it was proved it was negligent.


An Island doctor prepared for an epic trek in aid of the Earl Mountbatten Hospice and another hospice in South Africa.

Hospice medical director Dr Ian Johnson headed out on a ten-day motorcycle journey around Great Britain just days after getting married to Marianne.

The intrepid doctor travelled anti-clockwise around the country, starting on the south coat before travelling north along the east coast into Scotland.

He also hopped over to the Isle of Man to watch the world-famous TT motorcycle race.

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