100 Years Ago - October 18, 1913
ELECTRIC lights had been installed on the floating bridge between Cowes and East Cowes, replacing the old gas lamps, it was announced at a joint Cowes and East Cowes meeting.
After the announcement, one member moved to suggest that the committee should provide winter clothes for ferry employees who had to work in all weather conditions and deserved some consideration.
For the first time in the history of steeple-chasing at Ashley, an autumn meeting was held on a Thursday.
The venture proved a decided success. The weather was all that could be desired, and the course was in splendid condition.
The IW Fire Brigade was called out to deal with extraordinary flooding at a premises on the High Street. In one room beneath the stairs, the water was 15ins deep. It took the fire brigade five hours to clear away the water and deal with a burst service pipe.
75 Years Ago - October 22, 1938
The chairman of Cowes Town Council recommended purchase of the May Lady Tennyson motor ambulance. When new, the vehicle cost £800, but was available for just £650. A member agreed that it was extremely necessary they should have a motor ambulance in the town.
A large audience gathered at Arreton School for a public meeting concerning a request to billet Portsmouth schoolchildren in the event of war.
The Island has been asked to make arrangement for 24,000 school children with 400 going to Arreton.
During the meeting, questions were raised concerning the village’s water supply and it could cope.
Considerable anxiety was caused at the news there was a suspected case of foot-and-mouth disease in the West Wight. Happily the suspicion proved unfounded.
50 Years Ago - October 19, 1963
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution decided to install high frequency radio telephones in all of its lifeboats. The purpose was to improve communication between its boats, helicopters and other search and rescue aircraft. The UFH installation has two channels as opposed to the one channel VHF previously used. Other improvements included more powerful diesel engines, costing a total of £80,000.
A speaker at the Women's Institute demonstrated to members how to use a washing machine.
The medical officer for Sandown and Shanklin recommended adding fluoride to the water.
He said that studies showed that dental decay in children would be reduced by 50 to 60 per cent if it was increased to one part in a million.
More than 60,000 people signed a petition protesting against the closure of the Island railway.
25 Years Ago - October 21, 1988
A crowded public meeting at Ryde Town Hall rejected four proposals to develop the George Street car park site.
The meeting, called by the Green Party and chaired by television presenter David Icke, agreed any development should not extend beyond the exiting car park limits.
A desperate need for housing in South Wight was highlighted in a report. It found that 100 households were classed as potentially homeless.
It further found that 281 other households had serious issues. At the same time the demand by council tenants to buy their own home was so great that the borough council had to bring in a local estate agent to help.
A clash between the IW Hunt and saboteurs ended in noisy scenes on Brighstone beach and the police being called in to restore order.
It was claimed a huntsman had attacked saboteurs with the bone handle of his crop.
10 Years Ago - October 17, 2003
A collection of rare teeth belonging to a species of Island dinosaurs had been acquired by Sandown’s Dinosaur Isle museum.
The five teeth, which dated back to the early Cretaceous period, between 120 and 125 million years ago, were the first of their kind to be found on the Island and were a rare find in this country.
They belonged to a species related to velociraptors and ranged in size between four to 15 millimetres.
Businesses on Ventnor Esplanade were up in arms over plans by the town council to pedestrianise the seafront.
Traders believed it would damage their sales.
One business owner suggested that even a ten per cent drop in trade could lead to him laying off employees.
Ventnor Town Council was concerned about the traffic being dangerous, but traders said it would be ridiculous to expect deliveries to be made by foot.
Gatcombe House was put on the market for £3.7m.
The Grade II listed Georgian house was being sold along with its grounds and 48 acres of woodland and parkland. The lot also included a stable block containing two cottages, offices and a farm building.