Looking Back, Friday, November 2, 2012

By Sara Bryce

Published on Friday, November 02, 2012 - 11:08


100 Years Ago - November 2, 1912

THE new ground of Cowes Football Club at Northwood Park was officially opened by the president of the club.

The ceremony took place in the grandstand, due to the unpredictable weather, before a cup-tie was played.


A telephone message was received at Newport fire station saying there was a serious fire at a farm near Ryde.

A crew rushed to the farm with the steamer, only to find they had been hoaxed.

The brigade called for the perpetrators to be found and punished.


A porter for a fabric dealer injured his leg badly when climbing over church railings.

He had been trying Sandown to recover his hat, which had blown over the fence, when he fell and his leg became trapped.

75 Years Ago - November 6, 1937

Mystery surrounded a badly damaged motor launch, which was washed up on Sandown beach.

The 18ft long launch was found opposite the battery revetment. It was caved in on the starboard side and had no engine.

It is thought it was cut adrift in the stormy weather.


Peter, a female gosling, died after 16 happy years as the pet of a Newport family.

Peter had been presented to Mr and Mrs Wheeler as a gosling in spring 1921, with the aim of fattening her as a centrepiece of their Christmas dinner.

But she soon became part of the family and the thought of killing and eating a much-loved pet could not be contemplated.

Peter also became a familiar figure to passers-by on the Forest Road and was also a good gatekeeper.

She could recognise the Wheelers footsteps from 50 yards away and would stand at the gate clacking a welcome until they entered, when she would follow them contentedly into the house.

No-one knew why she was given a male name.


At a meeting of Island-trained nurses held in Newport, it was agreed to form a branch of the College of Nursing on the IW.

Its purpose was to promote nursing as a profession, improve working conditions for nurses, aim for good pay, attract the best type of candidates and award scholarships.

50 Years Ago - November 3, 1962

An eight year-old boy was accused of breaking into a house and burgling money.

He admitted taking five shillings and six pence.

The boy told the court he took the money because a pupil at school refused to play with him unless he stole money to buy fireworks and he would be beaten up if he did not agree.


Budgerigars were still popular pets on the Island but they were becoming less popular as show birds.

The IW Cage Birds Society reported just 40 birds were shown at its latest show, held in Newport.

The club secretary said budgerigar breeding seemed to be dying out, to the club’s disappointment, though there was an increase in Yorkshire canaries.


Questions were asked at a meeting about the future of the hovercraft and whether a service running between the Island and the mainland would be beneficial to the IW.

One resident said they thought the press had greatly exaggerated the potential success of the service.

Another resident suggested a hovercraft service from Ryde to London in the future.

25 Years Ago - November 6, 1987

Rumours were circulating of black magic rites at a neolithic burial site.

A police officer said a 3ft 6in coffin, made of chipboard and wood, was found by the Longstone, Mottistone.

It contained a papier mache figure of a man, with a nail driven into the head.

It was thought the man who discovered it took a sledgehammer to it and then burnt it.


Six days after he went missing from his Freshwater home, a nine-month old terrier was rescued from the foot of the cliff below the Tennyson monument.

The little dog was thought to have fallen more than 450ft, yet escaped with just a broken leg.


Ventnor Town Council agreed to give £2,000, one-fifth of its budget, towards the restoration of Ventnor Botanic Garden and the Bonchurch village pond area, following the devastation caused by hurricane-force winds a month earlier.

Councillors made an inspection of the garden, where more than 100 trees were felled or damaged by the winds.

It was expected the damage bill would run into many thousands.

10 Years Ago - November 1, 2002

Hundreds of Island homes were without power, buildings were damaged and trees brought down as a storm raged across the South.

The Island escaped the worst of the storm, which savaged the rest of the South and West, claiming seven lives.

Households lost power across the Island, with Rookley and Merstone worst affected, with 500 homes cut off.

Many other parts of the Island were also affected.


There was plenty of hubble, bubble, toil and trouble in the atmospheric surrounds of Havenstreet Steam Railway over Halloween.

Scores of visitors were taken on ghost walks around the station by Victorian characters carrying oil lamps, against a backdrop of blood- curdling screams, eerie sounds and mist drifting across the platforms.

A biting wind was blowing as Bellevue Players, in period costumes, told visitors chilling tales during tours of the station.

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