100 Years Ago - October 25, 1913
THE County Press’s vegetable of the week was an unusual choice and was the subject of much national discussion.
The mangelwurzel, a root vegetable grown for animal fodder, was chosen in the rural notes section but was criticised for its irresistibility to the 'voracious’ pheasant in a host of letters to Punch magazine, of London, which were reprinted in the County Press.
One likened the 'rascally’ bird’s delight in the vegetable to an eagle carrying off a young lamb.
A Cowes man, who worked as a steward on a Royal Mail steamship running between Southampton, the West Indies and New York, was praised for a plucky life-saving deed.
Edgar Sibley saved a 15-year-old cabin boy, who was swimming when he was seized by cramp, leaving him in danger of drowning or being attacked by sharks. Sibley leapt overboard immediately and rescued the boy.
An Antarctic hero gave a lecture to naval cadets at the Royal Naval College at Osborne.
Cdr E. R. G. Evans talked about Captain Scott’s Antarctic expedition, giving a vivid account of the adventures surrounding the fateful trip for which he was second in command.
The lecture was accompanied by lantern slides and cinematograph pictures of the expedition.
75 Years Ago - October 22, 1938
A motor ambulance was to be bought for the town of Cowes, Cowes District Council heard.
The May Lady Tennyson ambulance at Freshwater was on sale for £160, had been on the road for five years and was newly upholstered and fitted with the latest medical appliances, including an air bed for the comfort of patients.
It was said to be necessary for the people of Cowes to have access to a motor ambulance and the motion was carried unanimously and the ambulance bought.
It had been reported the previous week about a monster pear grown by Capt C. A. Stanton, of Yarmouth.
The pear, which weighed an impressive 1lb 10oz and was displayed at the County Press head office window, was found to be far from the record for the variety Pitmaston Duchess, after reports of a pear grown in Jersey weighing 2lb 10oz came in.
A reader, who had lived in both Jersey and the IW, said they felt encouraged that even bigger pears could be grown here.
A new 32ft motor lifeboat, built by Messrs Groves and Guttridge at East Cowes, for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s station at New Biggin, Northumberland, was launched from the builder’s yard. The boat, named Augustus and Laura, was equipped with two 12 horsepower engines and was capable of carrying 40 people.
50 Years Ago - October 26, 1963
The crash of a Dakota aircraft on St Boniface Down, Ventnor, a year before in which 12 people died en route from Jersey to Portsmouth, was found to be was due to an error of airmanship.
The Ministry of Aviation’s report into the incident also revealed Portsmouth Aerodrome was not equipped with radio communication facilities and no radio approach was located at the aerodrome.
Strong tremors, the source of which had not been discovered, were felt in parts of the Island in the early hours of the morning. The centre of the mysterious shock wave, which shook houses and caused police stations to be inundated with inquiries, appeared to have been Portsmouth.
When similar tremors had been felt on the Island, the cause was found to be an explosion in the dockyard.
A selection of news in brief stories revealed one Island man playing a round of golf retired after losing four new balls — and one he had borrowed from a friend — in the first six holes of the course, and that after an extensive check on all suspicious objects on Island beaches, a party of bomb disposal experts from HMS Vernon returned to the mainland.
25 Years Ago - October 21, 1988
The Princess Royal was greeted by scores of schoolchildren during a visit to the Island.
Princess Anne visited Brickfields Equestrian Centre, watched a display of horse riding and a demonstration by the driving section of the Riding for the Disabled Association. She also visited Parkhurst prison and had a tour of the prison hospital to see a new operating theatre.
The president of the Save the Children fund then attended a private Save the Children lunch at Northwood House.
Multi-million pound plans were in the pipeline for a major leisure development at the former Warner’s holiday camp site at Woodside, Wootton.
The owners, Mecca, signed a contract with the London-based Rotch Property Group for a development which envisaged a hotel, indoor tennis courts, squash and other facilities.
The clock on Sts Thomas’s Church, Newport, was repaired in time for the return of Greenwich Mean Time when clocks are put back an hour.
A spindle, which operated the hands, had broken and needed replacing but the problem was how to get someone up to the clock face on the tower.
By coincidence, the IW Fire Brigade’s £180,000 hydraulic sky-lift was ready the day the clock expert arrived and he was able to be taken up to the clock to make the necessary repairs.
10 Years Ago - October 24, 2003
A decision to stop parents taking photos of their children during harvest festival assemblies was defended by the head of Barton Primary School.
The school wrote to parents asking them not to bring cameras, videos or picture-taking mobile phones to the festivities.
In the letter, head Jean Boyle said: "I realise the ban might be seen as stupid or unnecessary, however, staff have discussed the issue thoroughly. In the end, we decided we could not take the risk of people taking inappropriate pictures and editing them on computers."
There were fears a huge beech tree would tumble down onto a Bonchurch house when its 3ft-diameter trunk snapped in windy weather. The tree, in a garden at the back of Maples Drive, fell onto Leeson Road at about 6pm but avoided any traffic.
However, because it was precariously perched 100ft above the property, there were concerns it could topple down the steep incline. Using ropes to secure the trunk, a crane was used to free the branches and remove the tree.