100 Years Ago - November 1, 1913
A STORM of great violence swept over the west of the Island. A heavy dark cloud came up the Channel and the storm erupted with flashes of lightning and heavy thunder.
An extremely strong wind prevailed and rain and hail fell in sheets solidly for five minutes. A 4.15pm train from Newport had arrived at Yarmouth Station but passengers were unable to alight until the storm eased off.
Trials to test the damage caused by dropping bombs on to warships from aeroplanes were carried out off the Island. The trials were understood to be carried out at the same time as other tests to determine the effect of submarine explosions, such as those caused by modern underwater mines.
Despite reports in the national press about unsanitary conditions at the Royal Naval College, Osborne, there had not been a single case of illness among the cadets.
Around 450 boys lived at the college and the clean bill of health was thought to be proof the allegations were untrue. It was questioned as to whether the clean health record was equalled by any large public school in the country. The only reports were of accidental injuries sustained during football or roller skating.
75 Years Ago - October 29, 1938
The grounds of the Frank James Hospital, East Cowes, were awash with flags and bunting for the opening of the King George V Memorial Wing.
Princess Beatrice delegated Lady Baring to open the wing, who was wife of Sir Godfrey , vice president and treasurer of the hospital. Lady Baring spoke at the opening and said Cowes is an industrial town and accidents occurred, and immediate medical attention could mean the difference between life and death and the hospital was now equipped with the latest in medical equipment.
A farmer in Shalfleet lost a toe in a freak gun accident. The 25 year old was on his way home and pulled into a field near Newbridge Road, when he loaded his gun in case he had a chance to shoot a rabbit.
He stopped on his journey to talk to his brother and a farm worker and, while doing so, rested the barrel of the gun on his right foot. When he lifted the gun to continue his journey home the trigger caught in the buttonhole of his coat and the gun went off. The second toe was completely severed and the big toe shattered and it was many months before he could use the foot again.
An unusual pet dove belonging to a Bembridge woman died at the impressive age of 24. The dove was caught by a Mrs F. Griffin and her son in a butterfly net and it lived with her family and would coo whenever they returned home. One of the bird’s favourite perches was on Mrs Griffin’s head where it would sit while she sewed or read the papers. Mrs Griffin’s mother had also kept a pigeon in the cottage which had lived for 20 years.
Another unusual pet was Peter the swan, who had been rescued by Mr W. Chappell after it was injured during the mating season.
50 Years Ago - November 2, 1963
Two Islanders found themselves having an unplanned swim while travelling around the Island.
A car driven by a Bembridge man somersaulted over a bank in Embankment Road, Bembridge, and flew into the harbour. The driver, who was rushing to catch a ferry, was uninjured but the gangway of a houseboat was damaged.
A teenage boy was enjoying a bike ride along Ryde Pier when he suddenly disappeared over the edge.
He was rescued by two sailors who threw him a rope and his bike was recovered by Vectis Boating and Fishing Club using a grappling iron.
Members of Ventnor Professional and Business Men’s Association were puzzled as to why the town was tenth position in the summer sunshine league while Shanklin was top. It was revealed the sunshine recording instrument, which was situated in the park, was in the wrong position as the park was often subject to early morning mists. The recorder had previously been in the Salisbury Gardens area where better sunshine records had been kept and ideas for a better location were called for.
A midwife, who was called the 'Angel of Carisbrooke’ and had delivered almost 3,000 healthy babies, retired after suffering ill health.
Rosa Emily Snow, 85, never lost a baby she delivered in her long career and became known as an angel due to her selfless devotion to the new mothers and their babies — even travelling at midnight across the Island on her bicycle to a mother in labour.
The octogenarian was described as suffering increasing deafness but was undaunted in spirit and rested at the home of her granddaughter, Mrs D. S. Yelland, of Shide Road, Newport.
25 Years Ago - October 28, 1988
A five-year-old spina bifida sufferer touched the heart of the Princess Royal when she walked with the aid of crutches to present her with a cheque.
And it was a particularly proud moment for young Hayley Price, of Seaview Road, Cowes, because she was wearing new 'princess’ shoes for the occasion.
Since the age of two, Hayley had to wear surgical boots but had recently had a different type of leg splint fitted that allowed her to wear ordinary shoes.
Hayley, who represented her school, Love Lane Primary, was one of many children to present the princess with cheques for the Save the Children Fund.
THE Princess Royal also went to prison during her visit to spend time with some of Britain’s most hardened criminals. She visited Parkhurst Prison, which housed some of the most notorious criminals, and was at ease as she met and chatted with inmates, including some lifers.
The prisoners were visibly pleased to see the Princess with one inmate saying: "Cor, it’s Princess Anne. That’s all right, ain’t it?"
The princess, who visited as a patron of the Butler Trust which gave an award to the prison’s C-Wing, also met the governor and prison staff and had a look at the operating theatre, which was equipped for everything from minor to brain and open-heart surgery.
PLANS for a £65 million marine village and harbour at Ventnor were overwhelmingly rejected at a public meeting. More than 300 people attended the meeting in the Winter Gardens called by the town council to discuss the proposals by local businessman Anthony Wade. A show of hands at the end of the long and lively debate, during which Mr Wade was called upon to answer a succession of questions, indicated only ten in favour of the scheme and the remainder strongly against.
10 Years Ago - October 31, 2003
A seahorse was found off the Island’s coast for the first time. The long-snouted seahorse, hippocampus guttulatus, was found stranded on the beach at Bembridge Point.
The seahorse, which featured prominently on the IW county crest and the logo of the IW College, yet was virtually unknown around the Island’s shores.
Remarkably, the little animal, a young female measuring 6cm, was still alive and was taken to Fort Victoria Marine Aquarium, Yarmouth, where it was revived in bucket of aerated seawater.
A rare gold sword belt ornament, which could have belonged to the seventh century Saxon king, Caedwalla, has been found on a beach — and there could have been another hidden under the sands.
Discovery of the intricate gold decoration, encrusted with garnets, is regarded as being especially significant because it could have belonged to the king reputed to have put a quarter of the Island population to the sword in his bid to convert them to Christianity.
Enthusiast Darren Trickey, 21, had gone out for a few minutes with his metal detector when he came across his find of a lifetime.