Whippingham by Victoria Snow

The Story of Queen Victoria's Osborne Estate Royal and Rural 1845-1987



Picture of the book

Queen Victoria's Osborne Estate Royal and Rural 1845-1987. Written by Victoria Snow.

"I dedicate this book to my husband Leslie Snow who has helped me complete it. He was born on the estate and worked there for many years lately as groundsman."

Victoria Snow was born at Wootton Common [in the area of Briddlesford crossroads] in 1910, her mother was called Amy Lintern. In the 1911 census she was staying at a house in the village near the present day Harwood's Garage.

she married Leslie Snow in 1932 and had two sons and a daughter William, Leslie and Sheila. The family moved from Wootton to a house at the bottom of Lushington Hill, near the present day roundabout, before moving to East Cowes where she wrote her books,

In addition to her writings she liked to paint. She died in 1998 and is buried at Whippingham Church.

Web Version: Tony Hudson May 2011.

Chapter 1

Osborne House

Picture of Osborne House

Osborne House or Palace as it was called, purchased in 1845 by Queen Victoria, was described in an old book of 1859 as the beautiful marine residence of Queen Victoria. It is situated about 1 mile south east of East Cowes.

It is on a gentle eminence at the head of a magnificent lawn, which stretches down in gentle undulations between the rocky and well wooded hills in the margins of the Solent sea, and commands some of the most picturesque scenery in the South of England, including Spithead and its men of war. Also the town and around Portsmouth and the White Towers of Anglesay and the hills of Ports Down.

The Manor of Osborne formerly fluster Bourne, of East Down, was held by a family not named in this report, but in the reign of Henry VIII it passed bymarriage withThelmat, Heiress toJohnAimey, who in 1619 sold it to John — from whom it was purchased in 16— by E—, who is said to have buried a large sum of money during the Civil War in a wood on the Estate. It is known as Money Copse (or as the local people know it, as Buckets Copse).

There is nothing to distinguish the precise place and no markings anywhere either. So no-one has been able to recover any of it in more peaceful times. Men keep going to the copse to try to find the treasure but are always unsuccessful.

E—'s granddaughter leased his Estate by marriage to Amy Blau, who came from Sand near Fording Bridge. Their grandson built a large and handsome mansion upon it. It was one of the best in the Island.

In 1845 Lady Isabel Blachford a relative of Barrington Pope Esq. sold the mansion and the Estate to Queen Victoria, who has entirely rebuilt the former and considerably enlarged the latter by subsequent purchases so that it now comprises nearly 2000 acres. Extending more than five miles in length from north to south and two miles in breadth from east to west.

It is bordered by the roads leading from Newport and Ryde on the west and south. It is bordered by the Solent and the wooded shores of Kings Quay on the west, and by the grounds of Norris Castle on the north. It is traversed by upwards of 20 miles of road (private) forming picturesque and photographic and charming drives, amid a variety of hill, dale and woodland scenery changing at every angle and presenting many beautiful views of the sea and the opposite coast.

A beautiful sandy beach on which is a large bathing house with machines which can be raised or lowered at pleasure by means of tramways and pulleys so that bathing can be performed without danger.

Further along is the landing house and pier. The pier extends for 300 feet into the sea and is substantially made of stone.

The Palace stands about a mile from the shore and is a magnificent structure in the Palladium style. It was built by the late T.E. White Esq. from drawings by H.RH. the Prince Consort.

He had admirable taste and exemplary knowledge of the fine arts are displayed in parts of the building. It occupies the site of the old building and was commenced in 1845 and completed in 1849. In 1859 extensive mews (or stables) were built for fifty horses at the south entrance to Osborne by the East Cowes Road.

The gardens too had been extensively laid out. Shrubs and trees planted, the clumps of trees were supervised by the Prince who decided where they were to be planted. Flags on sticks were put in the spots where the trees were to be planted. Then the Prince went to the top of the tower with the head gardener, to see if they were in the right place. If not they were moved until he was satisfied, I'm told.

Chapter 2

The Story oF The Tricycle!

Picture of Qeuuen Victoria and Prince Albert

One day when the Queen was out riding in her carriage, it was said that she saw someone riding along the road to East Cowes on a machine some-what like a bicycle, only it had three wheels, one at the front and two at the rear end.

It was a new invention known as a tricycle. She was very interested in this and found out who was riding it, and asked the lady to come to the grounds of Osborne so that she could try it out, as she thought it might well be nice for her to ride through the estate roads. So she had a trial run on it, but she didn't think she would master it and also that it would not be suitable fora Queen. She felt she might look ridiculous on it, so of course the idea was given up.

It would have been awkward too if her ladies in waiting had to be with her, they too would have had to ride either a bicycle or the tricycle to keep up with her.

Queen Victoria was very thoughtful of those who accompanied her at all times. I have heard the story from my father-in-law about the time his men were asked to make up a road in the area. The agent told him to make it with a camber each side, which is a rounded edge so that the water runs off, but the Queen said, people who walked by the side couldn't walk comfortably, so it had to be flattened, and of course all the roads in the grounds of Osborne were made the same.

The roads through Osborne and its woods and sea shore walks have been ideal places for romance, and we know that Princess Alice was married in the Palace of Osborne in the drawing room in 1862, so no doubt she and Prince Louis of Hess whom she married, spent some happy times walking there. Also the Princess Hellene was married to Prince Christian Schleswig at Whippingham Church in 1866 only a little time after Prince Albert's death, so not much was made of it.

The Queen, being very mournful and shut in her rooms for so long afterwards, must have made it very depressing for Princess Hellene. They must have had a quiet wedding, because so little is known of it by the public. Of course when Princess Beatrice was married there in 1885, the Queen had recovered from the sad time of Albert's passing, so Beatrice had such a lovely wedding and pictures of it hang on many walls of the local folks. We had a lovely picture of them, but when we moved house, someone took a fancy to it and I have never seen it since.

The Prince of Wales too loved roaming around the roads and was often seen walking by the cottages there. Such nostalgic times for the local folk.

When Prince Albert died in 1861, the Queen was very depressed and could not be rallied from her sorrow by anyone. Dr. Sir William Jenner was the Queen's physician then, and he tried all ways to help. He looked after all the family and staffs sickness at Osborne. He was the President of the College of Physicians.

Anyhow, after a time they thought of getting John Brown to bring the Queen's pony carriage to Osborne, and from that time on the Queen began to recover and would read the papers sent to her from the Government, which they had not been able to get her to do before.

Chapter 3

Osborne as it was in 1901, when Queen Victoria died remained very well kept for some years. But in latteryears it has really deteriorated. Some parts of the Estate have been sold off.

In 1904, King Edward gave Osborne House to the Nation. This public part has been well kept. The King kept on Barton Manor and this too was well kept.

The roads and borders round the house are lovely still but the plantation, road, Sailors walk, Valley path, etc., are all grassed over. Swiss Cottage Road is fair, but asmyhusband says its so much worse these days.

There is talk of getting it back to look as it did when the Queen was there, but it would take a lot of work and workers to do that and the people who know it as it was in the Queens time have nearly all died. If my husband's father had not been in charge of all the work done there I would not have known so much about it either.

My husband's father, who had been Foreman of the roads and pleasure grounds at Osborne, gave up this job after the Queen's death and took the job of Head Gardener at Barton Manor. Barton Manor is mentioned in the Domesday Book when it was founded and endowed as Barton, an Oratory of Augustines for six priests and a clerk of the Augustine Order by the then Rector of ShaMeet John D. Insula and the Rector of Godshall Peter D. Winton. It was dedicated to the Holy Trinity and placed under the patronage of the Bishop of Winchester.

Before that it had passed at the time of the conquest into the hands of Norman F. then to Stur in whose family it remained till the reign of Henry III when it passed by marriage to Walter D. Insula. about 1282.

The King thought very highly of my husband's father, and twice commanded him aboard the Royal Yacht in Cowes Week to receive gold pins. One was the Prince of Wales Feathers on blue and gold enamel. The other, a Gold Crown with jewels in it.

The King did not stay at Barton Manor, but let any of his friends stay there to convalesce if they had been ill. A number of well known people including High Ranking Naval people. The Earl and Countess of Athlone,General Sir Dytom. Probham V.C., Lord and Lady Suffield, Sir Francine Laking, the King's Physician, Captain Cunningham Graham, Canon Harvey and others.

Sir Guy Laking came to record all the children things and all other gifts given to the Royal family and of interest to the Public when they visited Swiss Cottage. The things all had to be named and numbered in the brochure.

On one occasion King George and Queen Mary came to stay so that they could see their two sons who were at the Naval College at Osborne in April 1909. A paper report says they were there twice, but my husband says this is not so. His father would have known.

His mother too was caretaker of the Manor and she would have known about the visits. Their Eldest son was asked to go and pick primroses each day for the tables as Queen Mary was fond of them.

No doubt they came in Cowes Week and brought the Tsar of Russia and his family. We have a picture of them, they were cousins of the King. The Tsar and King George resembled one another. All the family were shot in the Revolution, poor things.

Chapter 4

In 1908, the grounds of Barton Manor were considerably altered. Before that there was no road except the one that ran by the side of the Manor. That went to the cottages where the workmen lived below the Manor House.

There was a gate at the top end by the farm and one at the lower end. These were just ordinary wooden gates. The drive wound across the grounds at the lower end and skirted the lake and came out on the avenue which leads to Alverstone Lodge and its gateway.

The road round the lake was called Dog Kennel Road and the corner on to the avenue was called Wilderness Corner and along the avenue one came to Winkle Lake. Then the Shop Copse and side road to Woodhouse Farm, on from there to Coburg Cottages and Primrose Cottage and Alverstone Lodge.

At this junction the Dog Kennels lay to the left at the top of Brooks Copse Road. New iron gates were erected at Barton Manor in 1908 at each end ofthe drive and the stones for the pillars was cut from stone in Osborne Bay.

At this time a new road was made out through the field from the Cork Plantation and down past the Dairymead Cottages and the workmen cottages to meet up with the road to Barton shore. On it was one leading to Swiss Cottage so that Barton Manor drive and grounds could be more private. Also a new road was made round the farm so that this should also be private. It skirted a lake with a lovely forsythia tree leaning over it, (a large one) the like I had never seen before. The road leads onto the avenue and also to the avenue that leads to Barton main gates and cottages each side on the East Cowes Road.

There was a skating rink made by the side of the lake in the Queen's time and this had been specially flooded in the cold weather so that the Royal Family could skate there. My husbands father was in charge of this.

The Queen wasn't too keen on the Royal Ladies playing ice hockey as she thought their clothes being so long would be spoilt so she forbade this any how. They did walk with sticks around the grounds so they used these as hockey sticks and took the balls with them. As soon as they saw the Queen coming they threw the sticks on the bank and put the balls in their pockets.

There was a chair with flat pieces on the bottom with skids on. This no doubt was used by the Queen when she wished to use the skating rink.

During the Queens time there the grounds of Barton Manor were just a field with the road through to Wilderness Corner as mentioned before. The Queen's Equerries lived at the Manor and there was a path across from Swiss Cottage Road through a field and it came out by the Cork Plantation at the lower end of the Barton Avenue and the road across to Osborne.

The Equerries would come from the house (or palace as it was called) and proceed along John Browns walk to the Mews Plantation and the gate on the Swiss Cottage Road. In those days short cuts were made to cut off comers.

There was a wall around the manor on the field side and one by the garden side of the house to enclose the garden. One day the agent said to father about ivy on the wallwhich he wished to be cut away, but father said that it held the wall together. So pull it off, said the agent, and so he cut it and the wall fell down, so they built a new one.

When King Edward VII took over the Estate, he had the grounds all laid out with shrubs, terraces of steps with stone walls each side and the wall round the house had a wide border of flowers all the way along it.

The lake was made more shallow for safety and the surroundings shrubbery was planted with daffodils from Holland, two hundred and fifty five thousand.

Father threw them out and the men planted them where they fell using pick axes but as he has often said no doubt some of them were put in the men's pockets instead of being planted, as that sort of thing goes on all the time doesn't it.

Some were planted by the iron fences between the two gates on the Manor too. It was a lovely sight when they were out.

There was a bricked up filter by the side of the lake so that water could be pumped to Osborne reservoir for the use in the gardens for fire purposes. A boat house was built over this and it was thatched with heather. There was also a Inter by the pond on this farm.

A little story has been told to me many times about an agent who was very officious. He came to father who was head gardener at Barton Manor, and one day said the King (Edward VII) is coming to look round the gardens and grounds, so you needn't come along. But father thought differently. He dressed in his Sunday best clothes and went along to the Manor where he stood waiting with the others to see the King. When he came, he went straight to father and shook him by the hand and said , "show me round Snow", and the agent had to walk behind. So being officious didn't pay off.

Flowers and vegetables were taken to the Royal Yacht by father in Cowes Week every year and it has been said that he was a most straight forward man who kept all accounts of things he sold to shops and never kept a penny for himself.

As I have said about the farm at Barton, it was a model farm. I did leave out a few details though. A couple of lines to run a truck on went along by the cowsheds. These were about two feet apart and ran the length of the sheds and across the farm road to another shed on the other side of it. The truck was about nine inches in depth and cake, barley meal and a little chaff were put in it. This was fed to the cows at milking time, a hand bowl made of galvanise with a wooden handle was filled and given to each cow while she was being milked. Most country people had one of these bowls and we used them to scoop water from our coppers in those days. When the truck got to the end of the road it was brought back to the other end ready for the next feed. The man just wheeled it along.

On the long end of the building there was a steam engine, a horizontal one which was put therein Queen Victoria's time. The boiler was renewed in 1907 when my husband was a boy. They had to take the front of the boiler house down to get it in, as it was such a large engine. It was of about eight horsepower. For many years a man named Murricey Streets was in charge of it and I have heard my husband say many times what a good man he was at his job.

Adjoining the Boilerhouse there was a carpenter's shop and in this there was a saw bench and a circular saw for the use of the carpenter. This saw could be connected to the engine by a felt which was put on the fly wheel and this was put through a hole in the wall made specially for the belt to drive the saw. Then there was a bearing in the wall and on the other side there was a wheel. On this wheel there was a belt that went up to a shafting that ran the whole length of the building. On this shafting there were wheels in different places. The first wheel drove the thresher and elevators; further along it drove a machine for cracking the oil cakes. It also drove a millstone used for grinding barley meal. There was a machine for crushing and another for slicing mangols and turnips - this one was not used so often. This engine was to work all these things. There was also a chaff cutter, a chute for this went into two houses. When they had filled one house they could shut it off and fill up the other one. Electric lights were put in about 1908-9 for the cowsheds, but there was none in the carpenter's shop. Mr. Tommy Foakes, who worked there in the Queen's time, was carpenter and joiner and also a wheelwright. He made the wheels for the carts, John Hawkins the blacksmith made the iron rings to go around them. He had a special place in his shop. Tommy also repaired drardarts, also he made shafts for the carts. When any wood had to be i a man was sent from Osborne to do this. There was a well in the court nearby and by the entrance to the carpenter's shop there was a room a small engine in. This was a steam pump which pumped water fron well to Osborne House for drinking purposes. It was fed by the steam the large boiler. This was done till water was laid on from Carisbrool was connected from the mains down the Barton Manor drive someu about 1908-9, so it was not a sawmill as such.

A little about the work that went on in those days on the Est,, worthy of note, I think, as what was done in the woods is a thing of the i well remembered by my husband and also partly by me. Just below' q Cottage in the woods there, a shed with a thatched roof was built. Tine where the woodman did his work. He was second to none in my husbg opinion. He made hurdles, spares and pumps which were used for hgl the fires at Osborne. Also he was the master of coppicing as it was c in those days. He had workmates in this of course. The copse was c seven parts, one seventh every seven years. Some of the trees wen down in May. The men started at 5.30 a.m. cutting all boughs off first, the bark was stripped with special tools. The bole of the trees then to white like ghosts. Mostly oak trees were cut. The bark was loaded of horse-drawn trolley send from Newport by a firm named "George remember them well. The load was about ten feet high. It was used t leather which was the work the Georges did.

Then the tree was taken on a timber carriage to Moreys or Mai of Newport. Some was cut for furniture and other for oak coffins.' trees, too, I remember seeing en route. The limbs of the trees were ci 4 feet lengths, a stick was cut to measure them. The lengths were E a cord or half a cord. The thickness of the wood was from three to five or so. No branches were used. Four stakes were driven into the g four feet each way and four feet high. The wood lengths were then y to the top. This was half a cord so would fill a cart. Anyone could bu or half a cord. The surplus was taken to Barton and stacked carpenter's shop, about one hundred cords usually. Then in 0 horse and cart was sent to Newport to a man named Guy, who down a portable engine and a large circular saw about thre diameter - a very large saw. The engine was set up on the level, a lad drove the engine. John Guy was the sawyer. he also had a mate. The horse was put in the stable and then they would start sawing. Harry Fluxwould have some of his men there with barrels. They put it all in a shed there. It was cut into 5 and 6 inch lengths and large pieces were split with a feller's axe. This was sold to any coal merchant who wanted any for 6 pence a bushel.

Another little story I have heard, when the house of Osborne was looked after by House Governors. One of them who was nicknamed (Father Christmas) was a man who tried more than most to keep Osborne private.

He was like the agent of years before who was very officious. He got a workman to tell him what he knew of things that were going on there that was of a dubious nature, as he thought. The House Governor snooped around at all hours and watched people from his flat through binoculars. So one of the workmen who knew of his goings on, led him on a little. He told the House Governor when he asked him to tell him if he saw anything abnormal, that he thought there might be poachers about around the golf course and Pier Road regions. So the House Governor would go there and hide behind trees to see who was about.

There was a workman who looked after the septic tanks periodically. So one day as the man came up the road carrying his bag oftools, the House Governor jumped out from behind the trees and said, "Who are your But when the man got near he saw who it was and said "0 I'm sorry I didn't know it was you."

He told each man he would keep what they told him to himself and that any thing they told him would not be detrimental to them. But of course the men talked of this between themselves (at Fire drill), so they all knew what he was doing.

Some of the men who were convalescing in the house got friendly with the girls who worked there. They met round by the garages at night. So in one of the House Governors snooping ventures he caught them red handed as they say. Of course he may have been informed, so of course the men were sent home and the girls were given the sack.

In the Queen's time of course, the coast guards looked out to that side ofthis work and one day one ofthem called out to a lady picking flowers or blackberrying in one of the copse along one of the roads and said "come out of that copse" - - - - and when she did it was a workman's wife. "Oh" he said, "I'm sorry Mrs. - - - - I didn't know it was you".

One of the workmen used to sleep in the afternoon (he was a woodman) and it was the bane of some of the men's lives, that while they were working he was sleeping his time away, and getting paid for it. Father too told of a man who worked in his gang, many years ago in the Queen's time.

There was a large box that a new machine had come in on the garden grounds, so Ben - - - - who had a simple language of his own, got in box and went to sleep. Father came along and kicked the side of the when he saw him and woke him up.

So one of the other men said to him later, "I heard say somebody went to sleep in the box, Ben do you know anything about it?" So Ben said an indignant voice, "Me asleep in box if you want to know. You want, know a devil of a lot don't you?

Chapter 5

A Naval College was set up at Osborne in 1903. This was called HMS Racer. There was a full ships company. The cadets numbered 500. This made a lot of custom and interest for the trades people in the vicinity of East and West Cowes and surrounding country side and other towns on the Island of course.

They had their own Post Office too at Osborne House. My husband who lived on the Estate, was given the post of Telegraph Boy. At the age of 11, he had to come home from school at Whippingham and his father would meet him at the end of Barton Manor Avenue, and give him his tea to take across the connecting road to Osborne and he had to stay there from 4.00p.m. to 8.00p.m. each day. Saturdays from 3.00p.m. till 8.00p.m. and every other Sunday from 8.30a.m. till. 10.30a.m. 2/6 or half a crown a week with 3d for Sundays.

He relieved the boy who had the full time daily job. As he has said to me many times, while other boys went out to play he was working. When the Cadets were at the College in Osborne, they had their own band. Dances were held in the Nelson Hall. In the summer the band played selections of music in the field by Osborne Drive so this was nice for the people in the house as well as for the people living on the estate and of course the college people themselves while the cricketers were playing.

Sports days were held and what they called the assault at arms a gymnastic display. Tents were put up for refreshments by Scovells of Ryde.

When one of the first aeroplanes were made, one came over the gardens. The gardener who was talking to the groundsman said, "That man in that aeroplane is much closer to heaven than you will ever be George", "He will" said George "If I have to go up in one O'they here B- - He was a North country Man so he spoke with the dialect there.

Of course today people travel in the planes all over the world, so no one minds going in them, or at least not many. They are taken for granted these days aren't they?

At the vicinity of the College there was a sports pavilion. The boys had a canteen there too. My husband started work there at 13 with the groundsman.

Chapter 6

My Father and Mother in law lived at Alverstone Lodge, Whippingham at the end of the Barton Manor Road. They started their married life there in 1894.

Father was foreman of the pleasure grounds, roads and avenues of the Osborne Estate, which included Barton Manor. He had a gang of eleven men working with him. He was made foreman in 1885 when he was twenty five years old.

When the Queen came through the Estate on her official drives, Mother had to open the gate. The outrider would ride ahead on his horse and call out, " Gate - Gate", and she would run out and open it and stand behind it so that she could not be seen. She was very shy.

Sometimes she would be bathing the baby when he called out. She received one shilling a week for doing this. Today one can hardly visualize how it all looked.

The gate is broken and the avenue is a shambles. When in those days It was lined with Elm trees and so was the Alverstone Road. The gravelled roads with neatly cut hedges and grass verges were really beautifully kept. A thing of the past, only to be seen in the minds eye by those who are still alive and knew it as it was then. They are not so many now.

Walking through from Alverstone Lodge on a lovely summers day in 1931, just a short way from the gate there were two cottages called Primrose and a little further on at the left hand side were two more cottages called Coburg of German Style designed by Prince Albert the Prince Consort. The windows opened inwardly. There was also a Queen's room in the first one.

A little footpath ran through the field by the side of Coburg Cottages to the centre of Alverstone Road where six cottages are situated. The workmen from the Estate lived there. Turning right from Coburg Cottages, we went along side a lane and then left to Matthew Cottages on the comer of the Shop Copse Road. Right again for Wood house Farm, where years ago the Green Drive went along to Kings Quay. It was still there then but today is joined onto the fields with gates across. Turning left again along the road, two more cottages called Luddams with a lovely thatched roof and a view of the sea.

Then down a steep hill to Kings Quay Cottage. Another Queen's room was there. Then along parallel with the shore (for quite a long way), little gaps in the hedges and a steep bank to the beach where the families on the Estate enjoyed picnics and the fun on the shore.

At the end of the road there was a copse and one turned left to go to the Barton Manorgrounds. Awalk of some twentyminutes, to half an hour, through lovely wooded country and many beautiful trees including large monkey puzzle and fir trees and again the roads and verges in perfect condition. All spoilt today by the tanks of war time days.

Turning right one comes to Barton Hard. A nice secluded beach. There we sat and saw a Kingfisher, its the only time I ever saw one.

The wall then was all intact and one could easily walk round to the Bay. On the grassy path behind it, it extended as far as Kings Quay in those days. It is no longer possible to do this. It was never kept up any more.

The cottage at Kings Quay had a Queen's room in it too. But this cottage is said to have been built for the personal use of Queen Victoria. It had her Majesty's crest over it.

However, as the game keeper lived there fora good number of years and his family were from there, my theory is that after Prince Albert's death in 1861. the Queen never bothered to use the cottage and let it be used for her workmen and their families, keeping a room there in case she wished at any time to rest there.

Of course when the Queen died in January 1901, the new King kept things on at Barton Manor, so a new keeper was there after the first one retired. When King Edward died, the farms and woods were taken over by Woods and Forests Company and the Office of Works took over Osborne House and grounds. So the men who worked at Barton Farm lived at Kings Quay Cottage. Latterly it has been sold privately.

The beach there was a lot of rocks just at that part of the coast linetoo, so no good for walking round on the beach. However we made our way along and soon came to the Queen's bathing machine shed and the railway like lines running down into the sea. The bathing machine (which was the one made for the Royal Children), was taken to the farm at Barton Manor for a time and the chickens roosted in it I was told. Then it was taken to the New Barn House on the Osborne Estate, where the maintenance workshop was situated.

Before the 2nd. World War itwas removed from the New Barn House and to a site near Swiss Cottage grounds till 1947. The Queen's own machine was wrecked in a storm in August about 1890's.

Then a few yards further along there is an alcove, decorated round the domed ceiling and walls with a star spangle blue sky and a seat round with struts made in the shape of a fish and a floor of coloured tiles in a pattern. Stone vases with flowers planted in them, were each side.

Another little rest, then we turned left and a little way along the r we turned left again and walked back along a lovely gravelled road pa to the shore, with grass verges and woods either side and the sea glen through the trees. Lovely ferns, wild flowers and banks of mosses here, so there is much of interest for naturalists. A pink form of the blue bugle flower and in the late summer a little yellow cluster of daisy flowers in a pyramid shape like the Michaelmas daisy. I haven't seen it anywh else.

The road wound along back to Barton Hard, and then turning we walked up the Barton Avenue to my husbands home about half way the main road and on the lower side of the Manor. The lower wooded 1 of the avenue again abounded in wild flowers. The little five petalled pink flower with branching habit called a common century. Wild water mint . yellow sea asters, agrimony, yellow silver weed, knap weeds, enchan night shade, dog roses and honey suckles, spurge's, lovely gold and s glinting grasses, the wild St. John's Wort, white enchanted night sh - large and a small species of thistles, and the spring primroses, violets, b 7 bells and anemones and the common century, wild forget-me-nots.

There were fox gloves too and rhododendrons down by the bay, along the sea road and on up the hill a road called Rhododendrons to Swiss Cottage. All the lovely coloured rhododendrons as high as a lovely sight.

At the beginning ofthe road from Osborne Bay, there is a large fir with an iron slatted seat round it. While sitting there badgers have at play and once I saw a fox peep out at us. Also we saw a red and spotted mushroom the kind seen in books with fairies or elves si them, and this pleased me greatly.

What lovely times we had on the Barton Hard shore too. The lo shells we found there. As it was not a public beach, not so many shells, taken.

After swimming on a nice day with a zephyr breeze blowing on us, sand nice and warm, we would enjoy ourselves finding the shells.

In 1936, when the Queen Mary (our largest ship), left Southam! to come through the Solent on her maiden voyage, we were at: husband's parents for tea and we heard on the wireless that she wo leaving on the high tide and would take an hour to get to Cowes. hurried down Barton Hardwith the children , the youngest of 7 month - in our arms. Of course he would not be old enough to remember that, we have been able to tell him.

When the ship came round the trees at Barton Hard, she loomed above them and it was a marvellous sight to see, we were amazed at the size of her.

When the first Queen Elizabeth was built and she passed the Queen Mary in the Cowes Roads, that too was a sight to see and will not be seen again. The wash from them was terrific too I remember.

Sadly too after the War in 1946, BartonAvenue and woods and beach never looked the same again. Canadian tanks lumbered through the grounds and landing craft too on the beach, carried the tanks which cut up the wall and sea road as well and we could not walk that way from Kings Quay again.

Some young Canadians who drove their tanks by our house had to stop and mend their tank out side, so I took them out a cup of tea and Cocoa. Sadly most of them were killed on'D'Day in the 2nd. World War.

The Barton Avenue would have to be seen to be believed. All deep ruts and pot holes and water and after some years mostlygrassed over and filled with horses hooves in places, and you had to walk where you could and take your stick. If you had a pram or a pushchair it was a nightmare.

There was an old war time raft on the shore too and this was our venue if we could get there first. Trees were down in the water and the wall all broken up. Along the sea road from Barton to Osborne Bay too was no longer possible to walk as of old. All grown in and trees coming up in the road and deep muddy slushy tracks. I lost a shoe in one once, so sad.

The bay at Osborne of course was not touched, so one nice place left. The wall is no longer there though, so no walk along and no road walk except the short distance to Rhododendron Walk which was fairly well kept. People who saw it in the Queen's day are grieved.

Osborne Bay and Barton Hard are besieged by lots of yachts and boats there from other parts and though at Osborne Bay they have to stay some way out from the shore, at Barton some of the people in the boats come on to the shore and it is not so isolated and peaceful as it used to be.

The owner is very cross about this but there is little he can do. Osborne has a man and guard dog patrols there so it is a little better. However, the music on the boats and clanging halliards have spoilt the place really, people today think they can intrude anywhere.

The landing house is still by the shore at Osborne Bay, but the pier has gone and it looks very wild and unkept. Gravelled frontage is all grassed out with wild grasses. A rose bay willow herb there among the tamarisk bushes.

The Estate ended with a high wall beyond the landing house. 1200 yards further along the same beach and the wall went round the grounds of Norris Castle. By this wall the Queen could ride in her carriage.

The path was kept well gravelled. There was a seat erected over the place where lime kiln is, which was used when the wall was made about 1850 or there abouts. This seat was surrounded by trelliswork on a cement -base. The seat was called the Prince Consort Seat and a lovely marine view was to be had there. My husband's grandfather helped to make the road.

Norris Castle was built by James Wyatt and Lord Henry Seymor bought it in 1799.

When talking of who lived at Norris Castle, I should have just mentioned that .... when Queen Victoria was eleven she came with her mother to stay there. While there she laid the foundation stone of St. James Church, East Cowes. No doubt staying there was one reason why she was so keen to have a house of her own there in later years.

The Landing house at Osborne Bay was beautifully fitted out. There were two entrances, one the beach level and the other behind the building, which was on a higher ground where the road went along to Norris Castle Wall. Also there was a space laid out with a fountain and flowers around the entrance. This led down a wide carpeted stair way with rooms either side and a balcony with steps down each side and a gravelled frontage where carriages could assemble.

The heating too was laid on, the system with a chimney which came out away from the building. It was surrounded by the copse and stones were piled up round it. This was known as the Devils Chimney. It has long since gone and not many people know of it these days.

The road going up hill to the golf link is known as Pier Road, which has a copse each side so far up the hill and it is a nice walk. It is tarred now where it was gravelled years ago.

There was a place bricked up, a round structure of about eighteen to twenty feet in diameter, which is situated near the seventh green on the golf course. This is known to be the Elephants bath. It is let into the ground and so it is presumed the elephants must have been brought to Osborne when the Indian Muncies were there. That is what has been told us through the years.

Abdula Karim Khirmutoars was the Queen's Muncie and he was thought very highly of by the Queen. She consulted him on Indian Affairs till it was found that his father was not the person (a surgeon) he had made him out to be.

She had a bungalow built for him in the grounds of Arthur Cottage. There were women there who he called his aunts and lots of brightly coloured clothes hung on the lines on washing days.

We know too that Buffalo Bill came to Osborne. His real name was Colonel Le Cody and films of him with the Buffalos were made in the early part of this century but we don't know if he brought her buffalo or what he thought of her or she of him.

There is a pond on the right in the copse farther up with fallen trees across it, so nice for birds. On the left side in the copse, are yellow dead nettles called Archangels. I have not yet seen them any where before and they are rare.

There are some wonderful trees further along this road, when nearer Osborne House. This road forks off to the Avenue, and is filled with Cedars and Evergreen Oaks and leads to North Lodge. The gate mostly used by Royalty and the route which was taken when the Queen died.

Ice dinners were held in the winter at Osborne Palace in the winter. Of course, we don't always get as much ice and snow on the Island as the Northern counties do, but when there was plenty about the workmen. would gather it in using horse and cart. Fourteen of them I am told. This was placed in the ice wellwhichwas situated inthe woods halfway between Osborne Palace and the Swiss Cottage deep down in the earth. So when the job was finished, the men and their families were invited to the dinner.

The story I have been told is that some of the women who in those days wore long skirts which had a large pocket down one side in them, would take a large white cloth and as the large slices of beef and ham were put on their plates, would slide them off into this cloth and put it in their pockets. Then they said they hadn't got any and were given some more. Not many women did this of course, but there are always some who like to try-, these sort of things if they can, aren't there?

I remember in the 1930's when we were young we went to Christen. dinners at Osborne held in the Mens Dining Room at long tables. These to were happy times, some of the men got up to sing afterwards. Here too they were plates of meat of very large proportions, not to be seen to much today. After several years the then house governor retired and the next one changed the evening dinner to afternoon tea, which was held at his flat just below the flag tower. The view from there was lovely, looking over the Solent, so we enjoyed this very much. These times too changed. When the next house governor came it was decided to hold them in the Victoria Hall which was on the ground floor and was nice for all social occasions. There was a staff dance held just after Christmas, for some years.

My husband went to concerts there when he was young. All sorts o famous people came to these, singers and other artists from London. Thee was an organ there too when the Queen was there as it was used for church services etc.

Painting of Osborne Bay by Vctoria Snow Painting of Osborne Bay by Vctoria Snow

Chapter 7

The surrounding country by the Prince of Wales' gate, as it is known, is worth saying a little about. I have a picture ofthis gate which is decorated and has a message for Queen Victoria on her return to Osborne. It says Welcome Home and the one on the inside of the gate says, God Bless our Queen. No doubt the gardeners decorated it.

I know that the North Lodge Gate and its avenue which lead to the Palace was called the Royal Avenue and the entrance to it the Royal Entrance. This gate was kept locked.

The gate and the structure of this lodge (or two lodges as there is one each side of the gate) was built into the middle arch. As the Prince of Wales gate was decorated and the welcome home sign put up, she must have been thought to be coming that way at the particular time. We know too that the gate at Alverstone Lodge, Whippingham was used when the Queen so desired to go that way.

I was told that the Alverstone gate and the Barton Lodge Gate was kept locked after 1.00p.m. so any trades people who had to go round the estate had to be away by this time, or they could only go out by the "Prince of Wales", gate, and this entrance was the one used by traders to Osborne Palace.

Of course till the latter part of the Queen's reign a large part of the grounds on the west side of Osborne was a park with some large houses built in it. By the side of the Prince of Wale's Gate and between a house called Arthur Cottage, there was a road leading to the East Cowes Esplanade and Norris Castle. My mother said she rode this way on her bicycle. They had long skirts in those days and wore special clips to lift the skirt from the wheels of the cycle.

The Road by the side of the park was called Tower Road, so named by a house with a tower, I'm told and also there was the water tower. There were gates to the park by this road , the lower end by the town hall or just above it at East Cowes.

The house called Osborne Cottage was the home of Princess Beatrice and a large garden and a lodge was behind it which was separated by this road called York Avenue, when it was made about one hundred or so ye ago.

Osborne Cottage was linked by an underground tunnel to a house - a little further along called Albert Cottage, where royalty must have live The structure is lined with tiles and no doubt had lights along it. It is abo a hundred yards long. This tunnel could have been used by the staff to from one house to the other. There is also a glass covered passage ground level between the two houses as well, which could have been u by the Royal family. It is most unusual. I heard recently that the Rt. Ho General Sir Henry Ponsonby G. C.B., the Equerry to the Prince Consort 1868, Private Secretary to the Queen 1870 - 1895, Keeper of the a purse 1878 - 1895, also lived in Albert Cottage at some time.

When Princess Beatrice gave up Osborne Cottage in 1912-13, a Richard Burbridge, the Manager of Harrods Shops Ltd., London, bona it and also Albert Cottage close by. He also gave a donation of £92,500 to (Times) fund to buy the Crystal Palace. They raised £99,000. He wished commemorate the happy times he spent there when he was a student college.

Mr. Burbridge brought his coachmen to Osborne Cottage with The families lived in the two cottages, later used by the fire station ell by. After the War, 1918 or so, he left the Osborne Cottage and the Coro Mr. Joyce, lived there. A Mr. Wagstaff lived at Albert Cottage. He w. manager of the boat shops at J.S. Whites of Cowes. When he moved o the lease was taken over by the Honourable Mrs. Storrs, who was a wi with five daughters. She had come from Ireland. It was said that if she borne her husband a son, he would have had a large estate in Ireland , as she only had daughters the estate went to the next male heir.

Another house was Kent House and here the Duke of Argyle lived the Queen's guests. There were numerous other houses too but some these are gone now and only a few remain.

At the lower end of Tower Road, which was also the Queen's prop on the left side, she gave fields for recreation and ever green oak trees planted by the road. This lower part of the road was called Victoria Gre? Lately there had been much controversy. Should it be change# should it be left as it is that is the question as they say. Many houses h been built in the part of the area nearer Kingstons Farm and new ro• made through the playing fields but if it is not to be kept as recrea ground, the idea of a new set up would not be very favourable.

The road which is parallel with Mayfield Road used to be Klondike, but when the houses were built there after the First World the road was widened and pavements made. It was named Beatrice Ave and went as far as the corner of Crossways Road I remember when it was opened as such.

It is only during the last few years that the lower road to Whippingham via the Church and the road from there to the school at the main road has been called Beatrice Avenue too. For many years it was called Bottom Road and the main road from the school to Osborne was called Top Road. At the corner of Crossways Road and Beatrice Avenue, there was a path called Cadets Walk. When the Cadets were at Osborne they walked from the Pavilion gate way to the Crossways Road and Cadets walk took them to the River Medina, where there were machine shops and they learnt engineering.

The Torpedo boat HMS Racer, was moored there too. The college itself was called HMS Racer. When the First World War started the boats came to Kingston and took the Marines and other ranks off to join other ships in the war and a lot of them were killed.

Kingston and the Kingston Farm area has been changed out of all recognition to the local folk. At this time of writing a new venture is on the cards. A bridge over the River at Kingston has been suggested at a meeting of people interested in having a bridge instead of the little chain ferry. But though it would be nice to have a bridge, it would be nice to keep the ferry going for the sake of preserving some of the Island's old customs which in so many places are being done away with, wouldn't it?

The road from Crossways corner to Whippingham Church gives us a lovely view of the river looking towards Newport and if this is built up the last little bit of countryside will be gone. So surely we should try to hang on to that as long as possible. Traffic flies along there now too so walking is not so pleasant as it was years ago when life was more leisurely.

It is said that when the Queen rode along to the church service in her carriage a horse man went ahead blowing a horn. The people in the alms houses who weren't in church heard it and ran out to see her I was told.

We know of course that Queen Victoria's Estate was in the region of two thousand acres, by the time she had purchased further farms in the area. One was Kingston Farm by the power station which was built some where about 1926 - 27. Then by the Church at Whippingham there was a farm called Truckles. During the Queen's reign, this farm house was burnt down. They sent orders to the men not to try and save it as she didn't want any of them to be injured, (fire fighting was not done on such an up to date scale as it is today). Then the firemen didn't have such good fire fighting equipment, so it was burnt down and a new farm house built.

Also the Queen had seven Alms-Houses built for her workers when they retired in the vicinity, of the farm. Great grandmother lived at Whippingham and in later years lived by the church in the Queen's Alms-Houses. She was a Queen's nurse too. Sometimes the Queen on her rides around would go to Granny's fora rest, as there was what was called, 'the Queen's room' in her house (or bungalow as the Alms-Houses really were). The first one in a row of seven by the road opposite the church. The site of the new church called St. Mildreds was built there in 1860, and the farm pond was next to the church yard where there was also a sheep wash. But eventually when the Alms-Houses were finished the farm ceased to exist and the pond was filled in and the ground was added to the church yard to make it larger to take more people. Father's men did this and made up the new church yard. They also planted trees and shrub trees.

The college at Osborne was closed in 1921 and demolished in 1934 - 35, but while standing empty different groups came for holidays there. One such group were the VA.D. The gardening staff at Osborne were told to fill the palliasses (straw mattresses) for the beds in the dormitories for people to sleep (imagine sleeping on straw beds today).

All the VA.D.'s would go to the service at Whippingham church on the Sunday during their stay at the College. Soon the previous Sunday the Rector would give out that it might be better if the parishioners didn't go to the service as the seats would be all filled with the VAD.'s. One or two thought they would still go including my husband and the manager of Barton Manor Farm. Anyhow those who did go had to situp in the balcony behind the choir. So they had a lovely view of all the women in their white uniforms with flowing veils. My husband has said, he will never forget the picture they made (about 350 of them) as he looked down on them from the balcony, a beautiful sight. He said, the year was about 1926, so a long time ago. The House Governor of Osborne, then Major General Sir. Guise Guise-Moore was the instigator of the attendance of the V.A.D.'s and General Lord Plumer came to inspect them on the lawns at Osborne.

The man who farmed at Truckles in 1859 was James Duke. Whippingham Church was notorious years ago. It was thought there was a ghost roaming in the church yard, so it was a ghostly spot so to speak. People walking down the path by the wall of the church yard, to the Folly Inn by the River Medina were half afraid to do so. They had heard half a tale about the ghost, which is all one does hear sometimes isn't it? It is only a rumour in some cases. Anyhow it is said a form in white was seen nights roaming round the church yard. So people scurried down the path at night for fear of meeting THE GHOST. Eventually, someone walking back to the Alms-Houses, from East Cowes met up with three men who had come from the Folly Inn, after having an evening there. They were running along the road and were very frightened. When he asked them what was the matter they said they had seen a GHOST in the church yard all in white. The man thought he would investigate so one night he waited by the church gate, and after a while he saw as they did a form dressed in white, and being bold he went up to it. It didn't vanish as ghosts are supposed to do and he found it was a man from the Alms-Houses who said that he could not sleep some nights, so he got up and had a stroll round the church yard. He was wearing an off white Mac Coat, that a coachman friend had given him, so hence the white form, which did loom up in the dark or moon light nights. People around were not sure if the ghost was true or if the men who had been drinking had imagined the whole thing. There was a gate too in the wall at the lower end of the church yard and people from the Alms-Houses or the farm could come that way from the inn. The Folly didn't close till eleven o'clock so when the yarn about the ghost was told, a young man said to an older man," you had better look out or you will see the ghost one night". So the older man used to take his stick and one night as he came through the gate, he saw a form with a white sheet over it waving about, so he came down across it with his stick. It was of course, the young man playing a trick on him. Whippingham church yard was not a place to be at night by all accounts, was it ?

Whippingham got its name from Whippa. It was when the Roman Legion left Britain about A.D. 530, that Britons in the North were being harassed by the South so they called in some people from across the North Sea. Some of these landed on the North Coast of the Isle of Wight. We can imagine a large boat in full sail arriving at the head of the Medina River, she bears the Saxon sign of the white horse, on her bow was a gilded dragon. There landed a leader called Whippa and a tribe or (crew comp family). The tribe putting NG on the end of the name of their chief call- o' themselves the Whippings. They liked the country so much they though; they would settle in this part of the Island. So they set up their home o HAM. So we may believe the name became Whippingham.

Isaac Taylor in his book lays great emphasis on the use of Ham fo a home. It shows that reverence for the sanctity of domestic life, which gives the English their strength of unity.

Chapter 8

Wartime Memories

The road from the church goes up hill and turns right to go to Whippingham C.E. School. On this corner one can cross a field to the high or top road. This is a short cut for the people of Barton Manor or even Osborne and it is known that the Queen very often drove this way in her little carriage.

Of course the top road was gravelled in those days and in the first part of the Twentieth Century this was still so. When the first cars began to arrive on the Island, even though they didn't run very fast, when the weather was dry they stirred up all the dust from the gravel and clouds of it billowed out behind them. So people who were walking had to stand well back in the hedge.

On Sunday morning, Father and the two boys would be walking along from Barton Manor to Church, when they would hear a car chugging along and had to run to get to the kissing gates (as they were called), and quickly get on the field path or their best clothes would be covered in the dust from the road. On wet days it was very slushy.

There is a little story too of a cow with its calf being taken from Norris Farm to Padmore Farm just beyond Whippingham Post Office and some school children were walking along the top road when the cow thinking they were going to harm her calf, tossed one of little girls into the fence which ran along from Barton to the Whippingham blacksmith corner. Fortunately she wasn't hurt too much, but never forgot it. Neither has my husband who was one of the children there. My husband said "The cow just put its horns under the girls arm pits and tossed her." The cow man helped her to get up and go on again.

Opposite Barton Lodge gate in a field belonging to the Woods and Forest, an isolation hospital was built in 1908, for the cadets at Osborne who were ill with infectious diseases. This now belong to The British Hovercraft Company and before the hovercrafts it was used as a training centre for the boys working at Saunders Roe at East Cowes.

t stands out in my memory, at the time of King George VI coming to the throne and Queen Elizabeth his wife. A tea to celebrate their coronation was given there. Mr. Rann collected money for the people of Whippingham to use to buy the eats etc., also the Rector of Whippingham gave out that everyone would be welcome. However, there were two sittings as so many people turned up. So the food ran-out before the rest of us could get any. It was a lovely warm sunny day, I had taken our two children, one of four the other of two and we had to walk home (about half an hour) without any tea after having to wait such a long time. My husband, who was gardening when we came up the road had a good laugh at us as he had had his tea long since, so that is my memory of the place all those years ago 1937.

There is a large house half way along the road to the school called Padmore House. This is now a hotel, but in those days a retired clergy man lived there named Jolliffe. He had three daughters and they lived there for some years and were very kind people giving out cans of soup and puddings to the sick and elderly.

Then when they had gone it was bought by Samuel Saunders Esq. the head of the Saunders Roe, now B.H.C. at East Cowes. There was a larg orchard there too in those days.

What can be said of Whippingham School that I haven't spoke of my first book on Whippingham and Wootton. It stands on the corner of th. road at the junction with Top Road. There was a lady head mistress whe my mother was there, but when my husband was there it was a head master. Then it changed back to a head mistress when our children we there and there still is a lady in charge.

One of the teachers was organist at the church in my mothers da and in my husbands it was the head master. This didn't carry on beyon, those two.

Cookery classes were held in the school house and the boys has gardens to do. When my husband was there the children could have cooked meal fora penny he said, " Only once a week."

As I've said before, when the Queen was at Osborne for Christmas she came to the school concerts. My mother would tell me of these and ho, the little children would recite nursery rhymes to her. They were the mos exciting times weren't they for the children of those days. Most of the children came from East Cowes so that they felt it was a Royal School they went to.

The other side to the story was in the days of the World War Two when air raid shelters had to be made in the school playground. 0 children were there then. There was a gun site in the fields opposite th, school and the guns fired over our houses when the planes came over Some of the families lost children in the raids so these were very sad tim for everyone.

Well I must press on and say a little about the blacksmith works on the corner just below the school and the little Post Office on the right corner leading to Newport. Mr. Jack Hawkins was the blacksmith and of course all this belonged to the Queen. Mrs. Grey was the Post Mistress at the little thatched Post Office.

Mrs. Greys husband worked with the blacksmith and they had two children. After they left, the Post Office was taken over by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Rann. Mr. Rann also took over the blacksmith's shop. It is worth mentioning that they had twelve children, nine boys and three girls. Some of the boys were killed in the Second World War. Mrs. Rann was a buxom lady and she told me she always gave the children a twelve months good nursing then they were O.K. One of their sons is the blacksmith today and he could tell you of all the changes that have happened there.

Incidentally I should mention that the house used asthe corner shop and post office in recent years is named Dashwood House. This is known to have had people named Dashwood living there. The field it stands in is also called Dashwood's, so obviously belonged to them. In the latter part of the Queen's time at Osborne though, Mr. John Hawkins the blacksmith lived there. After that the manager of the Barton Manor Farmer's son and his wife lived there for some years, their name was Gregson.

These days there is another hall (come school) opposite them and the houses and corner shop, all along Alverstone Road. There are houses and roads behind him in the fields which belonged to Barton Manor and where the gun site was during the war.

A lovely view is to be had on the corner and it looks over the River towards Newport, as the Post Office and Blacksmith stand at the top of a steep hill and the hill runs down to another hill to the valley below. By the side of the Post Office a lane leads down hill to the Folly Inn by the River Medina, and opposite the Post Office is Padmore Farm. It only had two farm cottages. The farmer also had the Norris Castle Farm, so he lived there.

But when Samuel Saunders bought Padmore he took over the farm and soon after built what was thought to be two farm cottages for the men, but they were made into one and his son lived there fora time. Then a Mr. Frank Thomas brought it in latter years.

Now going down the Next Hill the farm fields lead to the River. This part is very damp at times. This too belonged to the Queen. Across the road there is Alverstone farm and this also was the Queen's property. These farms and Kingston Farm have all been sold off now.

Coming to the valley and cross roads, one leads straight'on to Ryde and another to Newport and the left one back to Barton Manor and Brocks Copse.

From the cross roads and on the left side of the road to Newport there is the Queen's Brickyard and a copse behind that with three cottages and their large gardens . A little further along the road, a large field gate was by a cart track that lead behind the garden of the 1st. house which was the foreman of the brickyard's house.

The bricks formost if not all of the houses on the Queen's Estate were made there and they were very hard bricks too, very hard to break The foreman's name was Cooper. The brickyard house's were built there in, 1860, it was marked on a bedroom window ledge. I do know that because we lived there for some years.

Although it was a small stream running through the copse, one could wander there and standby the stream on a Summer evening and see and hear the nightingale on a bough over head, warbling, its little throat bubbling. A thing of the past I suppose, but it may still be there, I don't know ?

A path leads through the copse to a road gate on the Ryde Road. This was a short cut to our house for friends and relatives. Wild flowers grew here too and there were other birds and rabbits and also pheasants which came into our garden. There was a barn owl flying around too and of course the swallows were under the roof tops and in the sheds, which had slatted windows very high up.

I remember during the Second War that the men had to be out fire watching and we were up during the night too at times. When the planes came over and the Whippingham guns fired to drive them off or try to shoot them down, lots of fire bombs were dropped and other bombs were also dropped round about. During all this in the Summer, we would hear the cuckoo and the nightingale vie-ing with each other. One night and early morning he kept on, I could have thrown something at him.

The milkman lived next door to us and a farm worker the other end for some years.

There were two cottages on the Ryde Road which were for the workmen at Alverstone Farm and these were badly bombed. Six little children, who had been to tea with us one Saturday, were killed by the bomb and two people and a child in the other house were killed too. This saddened us for some time. The houses were demolished and now the new round-a-bout is there in place of them.

What The Country Around The Queen's Brickyard Area Was Like

There was quite a number of things to do (country-wise). In September one put on an old pair of shoes, crossed over several fields to the edge of the River Medina's estuary, where you could pick crab-apples from trees growing thereto make crab-apple j elly. These looked very pretty with their bright orange-red colouring when ripe. The jelly too was a clear bright red. There was also a wild pear tree with small, very sweet pears on it. They are all gone now, I expect - sixty years ago or more. There is a yachting marina in and around the inlet now, just a little way from the Folly Inn.

We also went mushrooming in September, very early in the morning. I went alone and only saw the cows for company at 4-5 a.m. You were safe in those days.

We went blackberrying, too. Then there were sloes - a kind of small plum or damson with its dark blue colour, and one could make sloe gin - a very potent wine.

Of course, further along the river on the Newport and Cowes side of the river, one would see the cement mills and its chimney belching out white dust, which covered all the hedges around its vicinity, so it was no good picking blackberries there. This has long since gone (bombed in the War). Its whistle in the mornings woke us up, too.

Just at the entrance to the river inlet there is a large cottage with its garden leading to the water. So very nice - a garden I would have loved too. The owner of the water mill, by the name of Roach, lived in the cottage and by the gate there was a stump of stone to help people get on to their horse. By the riverside, about a hundred yards away from the cottage, there was a building which was made in the 17th Century and was used as a barracks for prisoners ofwar during the time when the French soldiers invaded our Island. About twenty-two prisoners died of fever and are buried opposite the bell tower in the old part of St. Mildred's churchyard. The barracks was later turned into a water mill, which Mr. Roach took over. He was a churchwarden at St. Mildred's. The family came to church each Sunday in their pony and trap, as we used to call them. The miller delivered corn and meal to the farms and places around the Island in this horse and cart. When he died his son took over and we used to see him riding along our road on his bicycle. A tall big man, with a beard. He used to collect the money owed to him by the farmers and people who bought corn and meal from him.

Cars had come into being by then, also lorries to carry things in, so horses and carts were not used so much. From the mill to the main Ryde to Newport road there was a lane of about half a mile. It was gravelled, of course, and very rural in those days with lots of wild flowers. The blackberries, thought, were covered with the cement dust so were no good to pick. Just opposite the miller's cottage there were two mill cottages. There is a farm about half way along the lane called Binfield Farm. A nice quiet spot. The farmer, years ago, was a Harry Pirmick. He had two small cottages built. on the cornerby the main road. Into the red bricks of the side wall he had the letters H.P. put in yellow bricks. I always thought of these as HP sauce when I was young.

These cottages and the farm and miner's house are still there, but the mill cottages are pulled down. Some people name Phillips lived in one of them. One of their daughters married Uffa Fox. She was a beautiful gir with long golden hair which she plaited and wound round her head. I hav a photo of her which was taken by my aunt and uncle, photographers o Cowes at that time.

The farm cottages and, of course, the mill have all been pull down. All the square there has been changed out of recognition. The love country rural scene has gone - only a few of us today are here to remembe it as it was. We could walk by the riverside along the path to Newport Quay or along the dam path and along the river to the Folly Inn. Also on over the fields to Whippingham Church or along and up to Padmore Farm by Whippingham Post Office - the little old one, of course. So many nice walks I remember in 1932 we walked to the Rectory from my home at th Brickyard to have our banns put up. Then we took the path by the Church, downhill to the Folly Inn, where we refreshed ourselves with a drink. Then we walked along the river to Newport Quay - a long walk, but lovely. The shops were open till 9 p.m. then so we could buy a bedspread we saw, then we got the bus home. A lovely sunny evening in July. Such happy, memories.

Now, returning to the mill area, where today all is concreted and long last the road has been tarred, I believe after being rough these last f – years due to all the traffic . There are yachts in a marina and a boat wh w the mill was, called the Ryde Queen. Then there had been the pirate sh Oust fancy - in our little river inlet) but it has now moved to Newport Qu I hear. All the place changed with a lookout post and lots of other n things. Going over the dam I suppose and walking along to the Folly so different to the place in my early years. Uffa Fox started the change building his house in the field next to the woods near the Folly, somewhe during the thirties. Then he bought an old ferry bridge that had been u over East and West Cowes. He used this as a workshop.

The old bridge was made in the late 1800's and carried a coach four (which means four horses) -there were not then any cars. It was o a single storey bridge. The later ones had stairs and upper deck with around and seats, of course. The latest ones seem to have gone back to old style. The old bridge had a large wheel on the wall in the middle of which lowered or lifted the prow. It was a chain bridge, driven by a steam engine at each end and there was a chain with a bell connected to the engine room. When the man in charge wanted to stop the bridge, he gave one pull on the chain so that the engineer could restrict the speed a little, then he gave a second ring and the engineer would check it a bit more and on the third ring the bridge would stop. Then the man would turn the wheel and lower the prow. There was an anchor on a wall at one side for use if the chains holding the bridge broke. The fare was one halfpenny each way - in old currency of course!

Along this part there were little inlets of water with little bridges, a bit rickety to walk over, so in one of these Uffa could park his bridge. Two caravans were parked in the field and now the whole place is filled with them with roads winding round. It's quite a built up area. The fields next to that are very damp. They go right back to the main East Cowes Road and are next to Heathfield Farm with Four Cottage Hill the other end. In the winter when there is frost and fog, this stretch of land is very damp and chilly at night. When we used to walk home from our relatives in the evening one always felt the extra cold chill air just there.

Of course, Saunders Roe, as BHC was called then, built their factory SARO Laminated works on the left side of the path going uphill from the Folly Inn sometime in the 1920's and before that the flying boat hangars were there where Uffa's bridge was in an inlet. This was 1911-12 or so.

Samual Saunders, head of Saunders Roe, created wood for making boats called consuta wood. This was different thin woods sewn together with copper wire. He used this wood to make the flying boats. It was an ordinary boat with an engine with a propeller attached and wings. There was only room for the pilot and one passenger. There was no cover, they were in the open air. This was developed more and was later called the Walrus. The Navy then took them over. The well known aviator, Mr. Hawker (an Australian), used to fly the boats and my husband saw him there many times at the Folly. My brother in law, too, took his girl friend fora walk there. They wrote their names on the wings, so he told us -so very romantic, wasn't it?

My husband saw the Wright Brothers. They were the designers of sea planes. Some were made at Saunders Roe, some J. S. Whites of Cowes. Tommy Sopwith, too, came there - they raced at Cowes for many years. He also had a share in the building of sea planes. A large flying boat called The Princess was built. Later on though this never succeeded in getting to any successful outcome. We did see it fly round once or twice. A couple them were cocooned along the Southampton waterside. The path up by the SARO works was eventually made into a road. The path by the Folly Inn went up across the field and comes out by the side of Whippingham Churchyard wall. This is a favourite walk - also the works people came that way. A bus was laid on for the Folly road.

When my husband was a boy, Mr. Bob Savage of the Folly Inn taught the schoolboys to swim. The boys' nicknames are interesting - one was called Bogy Bright, another Cunning Cooper, one Bunny Cooper, another was Hissy Hendy, Spider Ide, Spadger Snow, Anner Snow, Jarlow Snow, Mad Hoss Galton, Powder Jolliffe, Itchy Jolliffe, Twitter Jolliffe, Merle Morris and others, of course, not remembered now.

Years ago, before Bob Savage was the Folly Licensee, an aunt of my father's was there. Her name was Polly Mead. I don't know how long she was the licensee as my people died early on, so I did not hear so much about it. Some years ago the little daughter of the then licensee was burned to death while her parents had gone shopping. She got her clothes caught in the electric fire, poor little girl.

We spent happy times thereby the river. In September there wo if be the Folly Regatta when all boating and swimming enthusiasts took part. Some swimmers did a race from East Cowes and, of course, if they want --k to go to the Regatta they could come along in their boats. I expect I did very well, too. So this made a nice day's outing. The weath was mostly very kind and a lot of people on holiday hereon the Island t - 1, to miss the little side road attractions and rush by in their cars. What a pity to miss some of our Island beauty spots, isn't it?

The legend of the Folly Inn is that it is supposed to have been built over the wreck of a sunken barge - it was folly to do so, hence the Folly. If it is a legend, then it is only a story so is not true.

Lots of wild flowers and birds abounded there years ago, but tod. some of the flowers have disappeared. Mostly the sea birds are still the like the curlew and cormorant and seagull species. There are no woods fi, the nightingale though, or perhaps the cuckoo.

When we lived at the Brickyard we would often see a large whi barn owl flying low over the field where there was a large rubbish tip, b I expect this is a thing of the past. Horses and carts travelled the roads those days, whereas today lorries are used. When the owls flew around was said a new baby would soon be on the way so one had to look out.

I will return to the Queens Brickyard again now as I have he. lately about the country cottages of years ago having large gardens. • - when we had a Victorian Service in Whippingham Church about fiftee years ago the Rector was talking of Prince Albert, the Consort, desi-!j the Osborne Estate. The cottages there, he said, had all mod cons. It is true these cottages had nice rooms, but the toilet situations were not in my opinion modern. Having come from where WC 's did have an up to date lavatory it was like going back in time to me, as we only had earth closets at the brickyard houses. We did have a large brown stone sink in the kitchen, also a copper in one corner and a kitchen range; a large pantry too, then the living room was a large room with two diamond-shaped glass windows and a fireplace with an oven at one side. Three very good bedrooms with stairs and hall. Some of the houses on the Osborne Estate had these diamond-paned windows as did the point cottages, bombed in the War, by the roundabout.

Some cottages were made of stone and these had windows with panes of glass about 15 inches long and 12 inches wide. Alverstone Lodge had a large box-shaped bay window upstairs and down.

At Dairy Mead the cottages had flush lavatories put in when King Edward took over in 1902. These were supplied by well water and had to be drawn from a tap by the shed as they had no water indoors. Our house did have water laid on when we were there. I don't know for how long that had been as there was a well in the garden. The cottage, like others, had these large gardens. Then there were the outhouses -three: a large wood and coal shed with the earth closet in for each shed then a large building in the middle in which there was a large oven and a row of wooden bowls erected under the wide diamond paned windows for making bread, of course. Each one had to take turns but I suppose could work together. The kitchen floor was done with hexagonal (six sided) brown tiles, just laid on the earth - very uneven. The front of the house was covered with Virginia creeper and in this the starlings built their nests. They made such a noise, whistling and clucking about in the mornings. Swallows built their nests in the sheds andwould swoop in the window with half a pane of glass gone as easy as you liked, from the rooftops - they never missed. It was only a small half diamond shaped pane.

The garden on two sides was enclosed by woods as I have said before, so was very rural. Pheasants came in the garden at times. The little boy next door would run to mummy to get some salt to put on its tail, supposedly to catch them. By the time he got back they were gone.

When, after twenty years orso, because ofthe houses atPointbeing bombed during the War, our house was taken over by the farmer at Alverstone who had the Point cottages for his workers. We were offered a cottage in Old Road, East Cowes, which had been built on Prince Albert's design. The windows opened inwards, in German style and the panes are oblong though much easier to clean than the diamond shaped small panes. Here, too, we have large gardens. The sheds and lavatories are all situated on our side of the gardens, too and this is very awkward as our garden is not so private to us as it should be. There is a wash house shed in the middle with a copper, also a sink with a pump which draws water from the well in our part of the garden. The well has been covered now and we don't know just where it is as it was done before we moved here, 42 years ago. The water people have been several times to try and find it but they cannot do so. The overflow pipe is there, that is all. Till the year 1954 (when the properties which belonged to the Crown were taken over by the Council) we had to go half way up the garden to go to the lavatory (which then had flush lavatory, but in the beginning also had earth closets). In 1954 a piece was built on to our house with bathroom and lavatory attached so we have been in clover as the saying goes, since then. The gardens are lovely to grow all our food in so helping our money go round. Some people had chickens, too, but we never have, nor did we keep pigs, but there was a pigsty at the top of our garden when we came here, so some one must have done so earlier on.

The Queen's Estate ended at Palmers Brook where the path goes through to Brocks Copse. A house stands inside the large gates there.

King George and Queen Mary gave up Barton Manor in 1921. Then Barton Manor and Barton Farm were put up for sale together. The late Mr. Frederick Tillet, a retired ship owner from Penarth in Wales bought both places. He had the Manor renovated by Hampton of London. He and his family came there to live in September 1922. He didn't live many years there. He died in November 1926 at the age of 48. His son Ivor was not old enough to take over just then, so he went to learn farming at a college on the mainland till he became of age. Mr. Frank Andrews took over the farm. Mrs. Tillet went away to live and Sir Peter MacDonald, the Island M.P. came to live at Barton Manor. He lived at Bouldner near Yarmouth till then. His chauffeur was my cousin, so they moved to Dairymead Cottages (now called King's Cottages) the home latterly of my husbands' parents.

During the Second World War, German prisoners were billeted at Barton as they also were at Osborne.

Then after the war, Mr. Ivor Tillet married and came back to live at the Manor fora few more years. Ivor's sister Mary married Captain Edward Collins. He was killed in the war, sadly.

In 1953, Mrs. Ivor Tillet gave up the estate, it was sold in 28 lots. Farms and houses were sold off separately which was about 700 acres.. So Barton Manor Estate, a part of Queen Victoria's Osborne Estate, has never been the same since. The Manor too has changed hands several times since then and is now a vineyard owned by a Mr. Goddard. The Barton Manor Wine too has become renowned for its quality.

Chapter 9

So many places in our Island have changed and also elsewhere in the country. The pace of life has quickened. All is rush and hurry today. So much traffic on the roads and in the sky. So much machinery in the fields and gardens making a noise and the buildings with diggers going and electric saws etc.

One can only look back and remember how nice it was years ago, when it was safer to walk along the roads. To remember too all the happy times at Barton Hard and Osborne Bay and lovely peaceful walks and well kept roads there, which we wouldn't have known if Queen Victoria had not come to live at Osborne Palace on the Isle of Wight.

One Rector of Whippingham, spoke from the pulpit about the year 1947, " I can't help what Mrs. Rose says", he said, "Queen Victoria is dead". However she may be dead, but she won't he down, as it says.

This year is the 150th year of her Reign which is to be celebrated and made much of. In the church the visitors are all going to see and hear all about her and the things she did. Also what she gave the church and what her family did, and also what they gave in her memory. So she is still very much in the minds of her people today.

One wonders what it would have been like if Prince Albert had still been alive to be with her at Osborne. She would have been much happier, as Albert was such a family man. A very resourceful man too and such a great help and guide to the Queen.

The Island too would have had the benefit of his knowledge for much longer. The whole family would have been able to join in Islarid events much more. Where as much of the time after his death the life at Osborne was so mournful. The children too must have been affected by it.

When we see some of the pictures of the Prince with all the members of their family we visualize how lovely it all was. The girls with their picturesque dresses and summer bonnets. The boys too looking smart in their sailor suits. Osborne a wonderful place fora family. The estate being Improved by the Prince as every year passed.

The Queen in superlative joy about Prince Albert's ability and his culture must have felt herself to be on a very high plane of happiness and contentment. So when the dreaded blow fell, how great was the fall. No wonder it took the wind out of her sails and that it took such a long time for her to regain her composure. Most people have their ups and downs through life but ifwe are ordinary folkwc have our share of sorrow, though not so much in the way of all the pleasurable things in life, as she had.

When one looks over the Palace of Osborne one can see all these things and imagine just how much in material wealth they did have. Then one gazes from the windows and looks upon the lovely views of the undulating grounds of the Estate also the sea views and the lovely trees and walks. Just how much material wealth is there for the pleasure of the people who lived there. So in a way we of the public can go on any visiting day to see and enjoy this beautiful scenery and see all the lovely things in the Palace and admire the workmanship of our British people, which we would not know about if we didn't see it. Also things from other lands which the people of those countries make.

So then Osborne is a small part of our English heritage isn't it. Thanks to Queen Victoria and who at this particular time of waiting will be remembered on this part of the Island especially on her 150th Anniversary of her Ascension to the British Throne. So she still lives in the minds and memories of her people today. Though she is dead yet she lives.

Long live the Queen.

Osborne now belongs to the Heritage Trust.

Picture of Queen Victoria's Funeral leaving North Lodge


Regarding the Queens Clerks

I wrote about the Queens agent but never mentioned their names when Queen Victoria was at Osborne. In her earlier years, her agent (or clerk of the works) was Mr. Mann, he was there untill the Durbar Wing was built about 1889. Then he retired, his place was taken by Mr. W. Thomson a travelling foreman from London who the Queen thought very highly of. He lived at Newbam House, on the estate. He was there when Queen Victoria died. When he retired Mr. R Scott took his place. When King Edward was on the throne he gave Osborne House to the Nation and Mr. Scott was still there. When he retired a Mr. Cheater took his place, but lived in a house in the college grounds. Mr. Porteous succeeded him. Then a Mr. Jilks came, by that time English Heritage had taken over the House so the clerks were not needed.

Regarding the Church

In 1954 the beneficiaries of St. Mildreds, Whippingham and St. James, East Cowes were linked together. The Rev. E.F. King, who was Vicar of St. James at that time, also became Rector of St. Mildreds, papers were signed on June 20th, 1955 making it absolute. He was also inducted and we all went, but though the other things were recorded in my husbands diary he did not record that the 1955 March Church Magazine has Rev. E.F. King as Rector of St, Mildreds. When he retired in 1965, the Rev. E. Ayrest took over the parishes in 1966. He apparently thought Vicar and Rector was not needed so the Vicarage at East Cowes was changed to the Rectory about 1967 - 8. Also he was called Rector of St. James and St. Mildreds, thus giving him one title, of course he had to get permission to do this. We still had the Rectory at Whippingham and the Village was still separate having School, Post Office, Station and Church. Till a few years ago, when the Post Offices were changed and we had to put East Cowes on our address, then Barton Manor, Barton Manor Cottage, Brickfield Cottages and others only had to put Whippingham, Isle of Wight. We still have and still are named separately on the map. We are NOT part of East Cowes and never have been.


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