he Pirate of Bonchurch rock formation, seen in the cliffs by holidamakers.
A COUPLE hunting for fossils at Bonchurch Bay unearthed an even more exciting find — the giant face of a pirate looming out of the cliffs.
Holidaymakers Ian Lambert and Ali Imiolek, visiting the Island from Cheshire, were amazed to spot the grizzled face in the crumbling rocks.
Ali said: "I was amazed to see this giant face staring down at me. It’s obviously a pirate or smuggler because it is wearing a bandanna.
"I have christened him 'The Pirate of Bonchurch’ because his swashbuckling face is right out of a Hollywood movie.
"I hope our discovery will bring a smile to Islanders — how long he remains will depend on the stability of the cliffs but I hope he will be written into local folklore.
"We told the locals in Ventnor about the 30ft face but nobody had heard of it — so its creation must have been due to a very recent landslip."
Ian said: "I was looking to add to my fossil collection when Ali made her discovery. I don’t suppose we will ever know whether this ancient face was carved with intent or is a naturally made phenomenon."
The couple, who run a boutique hotel in Alderley Edge, said they enjoyed a wonderful fortnight visiting the Island.
l Ian and Ali appeared recently on Channel Four’s Four in a Bed programme and met up in Ventnor with fellow competitors Nick and Andrea, from Hastings.
Their programme is due to be repeated on More Four on Sunday, September 22.