Looking Back, Friday, November 23, 2012

By Abby Rugg

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


100 Years Ago - November 23, 1912

JABEZ Wolffe, who claimed to be the champion long-distance sea swimmer of the world, visited the Empire Theatre, Cowes.

He gave a talk on his attempt at swimming The Channel, followed by an announcement of his plans to try again in July 1913.

There was a large audience to see Jabez, who appeared in a bathing costume with swimming decorations over his chest.


A man broke his wrist after falling off his bicycle in Freshwater. As he was cycling down the steep hill to the Needles Battery, his bike skidded and he was thrown off.


A cadet who rescued two women from drowning in Yarmouth was awarded the life-saving medal of the Royal Humane Society.

The women were rowing ashore when their boat capsized.

The cadet, from the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, helped the women reach land.

75 Years Ago - November 27, 1937

A man who saved a sheepdog from falling 400ft on Culver Cliff was awarded the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ bronze medal and certificate at a presentation in Ryde.

The dog was found stuck on the cliff by its owner after going missing for four days.

The owner appealed to the Culver Cliff station, where the rescuer, who had previously saved two other dogs that year, volunteered to be lowered to the dog and carry him to safety.


The death of a cow sparked a legal dispute at the IW County Court between the tenants of Nettlestone Farm and Nunwell Estate.

A cow had to be put down after breaking its leg while trapped in the branches of trees.

It was argued notice of felling in the small wood around the estate and farm should have been given.

The defendants were not found liable as no proof was found the tree fell on the cow.

It was believed the animal had entangled itself afterwards in the branches.


A fire broke out at the Church of England school in Ventnor when the floorboards near a stove caught fire.

The captain of the fire brigade quickly arrived at the school and, with a colleague, cut away burning timber to prevent further damage.

50 Years Ago - November 24, 1962

Bembridge Lifeboats were called out to rescue a local fisherman whose boat got caught in his own net. 

The fisherman fired flares near the Warner Buoy after his net fouled the propeller.

He was towed into Bembridge Harbour by the launch.


A proposal for establishing an Island sports centre at Binfield Corner, Newport, was devised by a member of the IW Rugby Club.

Support from Island sporting associations was asked to submit applications for a grant.

Planning approval was granted in principle and the project had the support of the mayor of Newport.


A woman’s eyesight was saved after a car engine burst into flames in her face.

As her husband was having trouble with the ignition, the woman bent over the engine to look at the leads, not realising it was coupled to an electrically operated petrol pump, which was still operating.

The woman was engulfed in flames and taken to St Mary’s Hospital, where doctors saved her eyesight and treated her burns.

25 Years Ago - November 27, 1987

For the first time in more than a century, deer arrived back on the Island to live on a farm on the outskirts of Godshill.

It was said the Island was a suitable place for the project, which aimed to increase the numbers of deer to 600 within a couple of years.


The history of some of the Island’s haunted manor houses was recounted to Ventnor Rotary Club.

One of the stories concerned Appuldurcombe House in the 18th century, and the scandalous tale of the wife of Sir Richard Worsley, who admitted having 27 lovers.


Controversial plans for 78 luxury homes in Godshill were rejected at a public meeting in Shanklin Theatre.

Only nine village residents were in favour of the scheme.

The proposals for the homes, with prices in the £100,000 to £200,000 range, were linked to the funding of a multi-million pound hotel, golf course and leisure complex.

10 Years Ago - November 22, 2002

A start was expected on the much-delayed £4 million Castlehaven coastal defence scheme, following the surprise signing of an agreement with the farmer who owned vital land.

The news was welcomed by the 100 Castlehaven residents, who had been living on a knife-edge of uncertainty since a huge landslide eight years earlier.


West Wight Sports Centre, with extensive facilities including a pool, was saved from closure by a £30,000 emergency grant from the IW Council.

More Features

1 - 2 - 3 - 4

View our Elgin Traffic & Travel Map
Travel News