Looking Back for July 4

By Matthew McKew

Published on Friday, July 04, 2014 - 13:30



100 Years Ago - July 4, 1914

THE West Wight drew in crowds of day-trippers to its four beautiful bays.

The Freshwater, Yarmouth and Newport railways ran cheap trips and around 500 people came from Newport alone.

The boat excursions were also largely patronised. At Totland and Colwell, the bathing machine proprietors had a very busy time.


Realistic operations were performed by members of the Red Cross at an outdoor demonstration.

Around 18 female nurses patched up members of the 5 Hampshire Howitzer Battery R.F.A. Territorials, who acted as patients.

The "wounded" men, with heads, arms, and legs bandaged, caused a good deal of amusement to the general public.

75 Years Ago - July 8, 1939

Three aliens, of unknown origin, pleaded guilty to landing at Newport without leave. The three men were to be deported after arriving by ship.

The presiding magistrate said although he felt sympathy for the aliens, of whom dozens were appearing each week, the country would soon be flooded with them if it went on.

He said: "What on earth things are coming , I don’t know. These people are simply pouring into the country wholesale."


Around 50 members of the Observer Corps, who were trained to detect and give prompt warning of the approach of raiding aircraft, visited Calshot Air Station.

They spent seven hours at the airfield and were shown the latest seaplane.

50 Years Ago - July 4, 1964

British Westpoint Airline Ltd asked the Air Transport Licensing Board in London for a licence to operate an all-year-round service, of 22 flights a week in each direction, from London Heathrow to Sandown. The proposed fares were £3 single and £5/10 return.

The application was supported by the county council, but opposed by the British Railways Board.


The Wessex Regional Hospital Board decided that St Mary’s Hospital should be the preferred site for a new district hospital.

A site at Whitecroft Hospital had been discussed but was overlooked because the board estimated an extra £500,000 cost to the already £3 million hospital project.

25 Years Ago - June 30, 1989

Resistance to plans to replace the Esplanade Pavilion in Ryde with a Water Planet — a two-storey building with a marine theme — was growing.

The amenities and tourism committee had unanimously backed the scheme but the Green party condemned the idea. A nearby hotelier expressed fears and a shock wave went through the 2,000-strong Conserve Our Pavilion and Seafront Group.


A takeover of Red Funnel by the Sally Line looked set to happen.

The Cowes-Southampton ferry provider was resisting a £21 million bid but the Ramsgate-Dunkirk operator was keen to get a foothold on the Island route.

10 Years Ago - July 2, 2004

More than 10,000 protesters were expected to sign a petition calling for Newport Post Office to be saved from becoming a supermarket.

The Post Office intended to sell the High Street branch, the Island’s last crown post office, to convenience store company Primeco Ltd.


The Island’s CCTV network was praised in an independent report for cutting shoplifting, car crime and criminal damage.

The system, which was installed six years before, was hailed a success.

Reporter: matthewm@iwcpmail.co.uk

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