Motor Cycle Show

The Isle of Wight British & Classic Motor Cycle Club, will be holding a Motorcycle Show at the Riverside Centre, Newport on Sunday 3rd May from 10am until 3pm.

In addition to displays there will be a bike jumble and film show.

Cost £2.50 [children free if accompanied by an adult], free entrance for exhibitors.

For information contact John on 079800 48488.

Isle of Arts Festival

From the 1st to the 4th of May there will festival in Ventnor covering a wide selection of events which will include music, drama, comedy, visual art etc.

Artists will include Robin Cousins [Olympic gold medalist], Elio Pace and his band Mark Thompson [Star Gazer] and various other artists.

More details can be obtained by contacting 01983 475277 [10am-4pm Monday to Saturday] or web site

Picking up “PLUTO”

As a follow-up to the article under Island – PLUTO. The Island’s County Press published the following in its issue dated August 24, 1946.

The pipeline codenamed ‘Pluto’ which was to transfer oil to Cherbourg only lasted just 10 months in service before the pipeline went out of action. Five of the pipelines only saw an average life of 56 days. Of the 5 million tons of oil products eventually delivered to Europe. Pluto was responsible for just 380,000 tons, just over half the contents of a modern supertanker.

Empire Taw
Empire Taw

Two cable ships, the Empire Taw and the Empire Ridley, are engaged in salvaging the Isle of Wight to Cherbourg section of the “Pluto” pipeline which was laid on the seabed to supply petrol to our invasion armies. The job is expected to last to the end of the year, and, it is hoped, to yield a rich harvest of about 4000 tons of wire and lead, which will be a valuable addition to our housing materials, and is worth about £200,000 at present prices.

Empire Ridley
Empire Ridley

The Empire Taw put into Southampton during the weekend for repair damage caused by a fire on her fore-peak, which was caused by petrol remaining in the pipe igniting when the pipe was cut with acetylene welding apparatus! It was not expected to find petrol in the pipe*, but the fore-peak was drenched with it when the pipe was cut, and the crew had a desperate fight before the flames were subdued. Since then they have used hack-saws.

*75,000 gallons of petrol were eventually recovered from the cable.

Closed railway bridge, Park Road, Wootton Common

The following letter was published in the County Press in January 1899 and signed by the  H. Eldridge Statton, Clerk to the Rural District Council.

“Notice is hereby given that in consequence of the unsafe condition of the bridge over the railway at Fatting Park, the road between Palmers Brook and Wootton Common will be closed temporarily, while the necessary repairs are carried out.

PS. Does anyone have a picture of the bridge or information?

Announcement from Island Roads

The announcement is listed herewith because it effects the journeys to and from Newport.

From 0900 hours on Monday 13th April until Friday until 06:00 6th May or when ever the work is completed, no vehicle is to proceed along Staplers Road from its junction with Snooks Hill to its junction with Long Lane, the road will be closed for approximate 6 days and nights during theses dates.

Alternate route will be A3054 Fairlee Road, Racecourse, Lushington Hill, High Street Wootton, Station Road, Whiterails Road and Staplers Road.

Details of work can be found on Island Roads web site or telephone 01983 822440

Newport Jazz Weekend

For the enthusiasts there will be a weekend of jazz from the 28th -31st May 2015, tickets and detailed information can be obtained at

A selection of the artists appearing will include, Sax Appeal, Bobby Wellins quartet, “Roots & Herbs”, The Art Blakey project, Back to Basie and Alan Barnes & Tony Kofi Quintet etc .

A Slice of History

Looking back to the beginning of the 20th Century where history was made. Gone were the days of candlelight to be replaced by electricity, horse-drawn replaced by the motor car, aircraft took to the air and many other inventions.

Wages were as if time had stood still, for the average wage for labourers and shop workers was between 20 and 30 shillings (£1 – £1.50) per week.

One could purchase a small cottage for £250, a housemaid could be hired to run it for £20 a year all found, if she used a sewing machine it would cost just over £3. A third-class rail ticket to London was 12s for those without a car costing £250.

A young woman teacher in a village school would expect a salary of £50 a year, while the more experienced teacher could earn up to £100 under a head teacher of £140.

Newport’s Town clerk received a generous allowance of £250, just behind the Boroughs Surveyor who earned £300. A police constable on the Island received up-to £80 while the superintendent could receive an annual salary of £400, and a judge £5,000 or more.

Isle of Wight Rifles

FRIDAY 17th APRIL, 7pm at Carisbrooke Castle Museum

A fundraising evening will be held in the Lower Gallery at the Museum on April 17th. Lt. Col. David Langford, MBE, DL, will be speaking on ‘Island Men Who Served at Gallipoli’, at 7 pm. The Castle Gates will be open from 6.30, and drinks will be served after David’s talk.

David’s talk will complement our new exhibition, ‘Brothers in Arms – Isle of Wight Men and Boys who Fought at Gallipoli in August 1915’, which will be open for viewing during the evening.
The Isle of Wight Rifles were a Volunteer Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment founded in the nineteenth century who, during their history, were also known as Princess Beatrice’s Rifles. Honorary Colonels included HRH Prince Henry of Battenberg, HRH The Duke of York, (later King George V), and HRH The Princess Beatrice. The battalion served during World War I in Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine and during World War II as part of the coastal defence force.

The museum has a significant collection of material relating to the Isle of Wight Rifles including social history, arms and armour, uniforms, badges, silver and metalwork, musical instruments, archives and ephemera, personal correspondence, and correspondence from Princess Beatrice. Items of interest in the collections include objects relating to Lieutenant Colonel Brannon and a commemorative sword given by officers of the Isle of Wight Rifles to Prince Henry of Battenberg to celebrate his marriage to Princess Beatrice. Other significant items include an Isle of Wight Rifles uniform worn by the Duke of York, and a photograph of him wearing the uniform.

Sword presented by Isle of Wight Rifles to Prince Henry of Battenberg to commemorate his wedding to Princess Beatrice

A special attraction for the evening, and for one night only, is that items from this collection will be on display. Much of this significant and precious collection has never been on display before.

Tickets, at £10, are available from 884198 or

Further information on the Isle of Wight Rifles can be found on the Official site 

Download Gallipoli Poster