Looking Back, Friday, October 26, 2012

By Sara Bryce

Published on Friday, October 26, 2012 - 11:08


100 Years Ago - October 26, 1912

A FIRE on a yacht having alterations caused some alarm at a yacht yard in Cowes.

A hot rivet was accidentally dropped and fell on a piece of paraffin waste, which quickly ignited.

Although the tide was out and water was difficult to get, plenty of assistance was available and the fire was extinguished by workmen, before the arrival of the tug Irishman, which had been summoned.


A Sandown resident had a big catch of eels, one of which was more than 6ft long and weighed more than 40lb. The catch also included eight other large eels, weighing 10lb and upwards.

A fine skate was also caught.


A cycle accident occurred in Binstead as a young sailor from St Helens, stationed on HMS Liverpool, was cycling down Binstead Hill. He collided with a bus and sustained a broken leg, the limb being fractured in two places, and a severely cut face.

He was relayed to the County Hospital.

75 Years Ago - October 30, 1937

A woman nurse recently joined the hospital staff at Parkhurst Prison.

The nurse is thought probably to be the first woman nurse in the world to care for the male convicts in a prison hospital.

The appointment is part of the government’s prison reform scheme and, if successful, women nurses may be sent to other men’s prisons in the country.


Another electric light failure has affected the upper part of the High Street in Newport.

The failure, like the one before, was caused by the heavy rain and flooding, affecting the underground cables at Little London.


A Brading resident met with an accident which necessitated his removal to the County Hospital.

He was working at Adgestone chalk pit with two other employees, using a pick-axe on the face of the pit.

As he turned to go and assist a colleague, a large fall of chalk fell from the top of the pit, knocking him over and burying him, excepting his head.

His colleagues quicky extricated him.

50 Years Ago - October 27, 1962

Port wine formed into puddles at Hunnyhill, Newport, when two large barrels fell from a lorry.

The incident occurred after the driver of the vehicle had to brake sharply to allow an oncoming car from Newport to pass.


A Gurnard man was injured in an unusual tree-felling accident near the junction of Baring Road, Cowes, and Battery Road.

It is understood the Gurnard man was working with three other men. A rope round his waist was secured to the top section of the tree and when this fell in a different direction to what had been expected, he was thrown against the tree and received abrasions.


A fossil skull, recently found at Colwell by a Carisbrooke Grammar School pupil, has been identified by the department of palaeontology at the Natural History Museum, South Kensington, as belonging to the species palaeotherium magnum, a sort of tapir.

There have been previous finds on the Island and the department has several such skulls but the museum has said this find is a much better specimen.

The skull was aged at 35,000,000 years old.

25 Years Ago - October 30, 1987

When two Shanklin police officers stumbled across a good quality fishing rod with a two foot bass still attached to the line, and a single shoe nearby, it appeared they had a mystery to unravel.

Two hours later, a Binstead fisherman turned up to the station to claim the rod and the bass.

He told police he had been fishing from the beach at midnight the previous evening and while in his tent he heard the bell at the end of his rod. He was too late, however, to prevent the fish pulling the rod out to sea.

It is thought the fish later died and the rod washed up.


There is every sign that by the end of this week, October will have proved the wettest month the Island has experienced since 1918, when records officially began in Ryde.

A Binstead weatherman said: "What with the hurricane winds and the rainfall, this October has been a double for the record books."


Less than one month after a £4,000 restoration by craftsmen, the eye-catching Victorian drinking fountain at Princes Green, Cowes, has been seriously vandalised.

The damage was thought to have happened only days before Medina Borough Council was due to erect a protective wooden structure around the fountain.

10 Years Ago - October 25, 2002

One of the Island’s quirky landmarks is no more.

The leaning oak tree in the middle of Folly Lane, Whippingham, has been felled by tree surgeons after an arson attack rendered it unsafe.

One resident said the felling of the tree marked an end of an era.


The Island could become one of the country’s leading sites for red squirrels providing stock to replenish depleting numbers on the mainland.

Suggesting the Island as a sanctuary for red squirrels, a professor has already said it was one of the most important places in the country for conservation of the endangered creatures.

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