Postcard Fair

The Annual Isle of Wight Postcard Fair is taking place on Thursday 13th August

Where: Parish Centre, Town Lane, Newport

Time: 1 to 5 pm

Free Entry and Refreshments

Local and mainland dealers in postcards, stamps and ephemera

Come and enjoy and find that bargin

Cowes Week 2015

There’s nothing quite like Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week; the oldest and largest annual sailing regatta in the World and an iconic feature of the British sporting calendar.

The event boasts an 8-day schedule combining competitive racing and great fun for the 8,000 competitors racing and 100,000 spectators who enjoy a fantastic line up of shore-side entertainment day and night. Visitors can watch the sailing action from the shore or opt to get out on the water aboard a spectator boat.

The famous fireworks take place on the final Friday of the event. With so much to see and do, keep track of the event plans as they develop in the build-up to 8th – 15th August via the official site:

Wootton Station.

Starting in the early 1860s the island saw a rapid expansion of the railway network, in 1862 the line between Cowes and Newport was opened and followed in 1864 by the Ryde to Shanklin [Editors note;- This line is still operating to this day and known as the Island Line]. In 1872 the Ryde to Newport [R&N] railway gained its Act of Parliament and was formally opened on the 20th December 1875, the two town’s being linked by around 9 miles of line. The opening of small railway companies continued until the island boosted some 55 miles of track, these small railway companies were not economically viable and the Isle of Wight Central Railway was formed in 1887.

The Ryde to Newport line ran on the combined network with the Shanklin line to Smallbook, then branched off across the island to feed Ashey, Havenstreet, Wootton Whippingham ending at Newport [station and goods yard now form part of the retail complex containing Curry’s etc].

Havenstreet had a single line serving the village and in 1886 a local benefactor by the name of John Rylands built a gasworks by the side of the track, [now used by volunteers as accommodation]  allowing the delivery of coal for the gasworks [Editors note;- It is also reported that gas was piped to Wootton]. In 1926 Havenstreet station was rebuilt to incorporate a loop to allow trains to pass and an unusual feature of the station was access to the platforms was by foot crossing [this feature still exists on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.

Gas works building today [with new extension]

Site of Havenstreet gasworks [including railway alterations]

Prior to the closure 0f the line from W00tt0n to Newport, for a detailed article about that final day see [] the station was on the Newport side of the then three arch road bridge, and was approached by a zig-zag path leading down the slope, from path lading to the station masters house [built in 1907]. The booking was located at the Havenstreet end of the platform under a small arch, there was only one platform again on the village side of the line.

In 1910 George Henry Edwards was transferred from Havenstreet to take up the duties as station master at Wootton before being transferred to Whippingham Station [near the current Crematorium]. His daughter Marjorie Smith recalls how the porters would greet the incoming train shouting “Wootton for Woodside”. Dorothy Marey took over the station masters duties during the First World War and later married Cecil William Miller. Around 1920 a Mr Spinks took over as station master at Wootton having lost an arm during the great war.

The 1908 Ordinance Survey map shows a railway siding on the Havenstreet side of the bridge and it is reported the ‘Osborne’ coal merchants used this. The area around the station only had a fewhouses and the Methodist Church [built 1899 see separate article on the main website], the village its self was about half a mile way. Older members of the village community remember using the train to go to school in Newport.

This picture is looking towards Havenstreet and shows the booking office built into one of the bridge’s arches

sWootton Station  [looking towards Havenstreet]


In 1923 the island railways became part of Southern Railways and improvements were made across the island rail network. In 1948 the country wide railway network was nationalized and the Island Lines became part of British Railways [Southern Region], an overall view of the lines viability was stated and in 1953 both Wootton and Whippingham stations we closed to passenger traffic though trains were still using the lines.

An extract from the Wootton parish magazine dated May 1953 reads “In according to present decision it will be possible to go from Wootton Station by rail, it was decided to take a last fond farewell by going of the annual Sunday School trip by rail”.

The end for the line from Ryde, Newport and Cowes came on the 20th February 1966 when all passenger services ceased, the line was then left to freight and engineer working trains only, January 1967 saw the end of steam trains operating of the island network. With the closure of the island lines a small group of railway enthusiasts began planning how they could resurrect the glorious age of steam. Using the old Havenstreet station as a base the enthusiasts began to assembly bits of the now redundant rolling stock, and they acquired the freehold of the track bed from Havensteet to Wootton. On the 24th January 1971 using the locomotive Calbourne, the items of rolling stock that had been acquired and were still at Newport were moved to their new home at Havenstreet. The track bed at Wootton station was in very bad condition due to ground movement in the clay subsoil, and it was touch and go if the locomotive and rolling stock would through [Editor;- I was there].

In 1973 the Wight Locomotive Group carried out a survey to check the viability of bring the old Wootton station back into use, however the unstable ground and slippage of the southern banking  and engineering cost needed to stabilize the area was beyond the groups resources, the station was abandoned to nature [Editors note;-the old track bed down to, and beyond Whippingham station is now a cycle path].

Below is a copyright photograph by John Goss dated 1974, and shows the work in progress on the far side of the bridge.

Landslip at Wootton Station

All that remained of the old Wootton platform prior to the line being converted into a cycle path.


Having abandoned the old station the group were now face with the prospect of building and funding a new station on the Havenstreet side of the bridge. There was a considerable amount of excavation and building work required, but on the 7th August 1986 the new Wootton station was opened.

Information supplied by Roy Richardson and written by Roy Murphy.


The Captain’s Cabin.

The Captains Cabin-The Sloop-Wootton

This picture above is how we believe the inn looked around the period 1945/50.

The landlady Mrs Golding told me many years ago, that during the 1939-45 war, Canadian troops were stationed in the village and they use to come into the inn and they behaved like gentlemen. The Inn was also considered to be a little up market because of the clientele, and there was never any trouble.

1 Menu from the Sloop Inn c 1950


Views of Newport harbour.

Three different views of Newport harbour from pre. 1900 to about 1970.

1. Looking down the river c 1900

Newport Quay turn of the century


2. Looking towards Newport c 1920

Newport Key c1910


3. Looking toward Newport c 1970 with a load of timber on the dockside, more likely for the nearby wood merchants Sharpe’s

Newport Quay by DixonNewport Quay turn of the century

Alum Bay postcard

Alum Bay 1907


In this postcard dated 1907 the coloured sands at Alum Bay do not show up well at all. Note the refreshment facilities!.

Events at the Roman Villa, Newport

Saturday 25th July – 11am – 3pm – Free Entry Day at Newport Roman Villa 

To celebrate the Festival of Archaeology Newport Roman Villa will be open FREE of charge.

Come along with your archaeological finds, these will be identified by Frank Basford, the Finds Identification Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

There will be craft activities and a treasure hunt for families.

No booking required – please just drop in between 11am – 3pm Newport Roman Villa, Cypress Rd, Newport, PO301HA, 01983 529720,


Wednesday 12th August – 11am – 3pm – Clay Day at Newport Roman Villa 

Drop into Newport Roman Villa on Wednesday 12th August and make a Roman shrine to take home.

Entry to the Villa to include all activities will be just £1 per person on this special day.

Have a go at the Roman treasure hunt.

No booking required – please just drop in between 11am – 3pm

Newport Roman Villa, Cypress Rd, Newport, PO301HA, 01983 529720,


Wednesday 26th August – Oil Lamp Workshops at Newport Roman Villa 

Make your very own clay oil lamp to take home.

Suitable for ages 8 to adult. All children to be accompanied by an adult please.

Morning and afternoon workshops available 10am – 11.30 or 1pm – 2.30pm

Adults £6, Children £5 (includes entry to the Villa, guided tour and oil lamp to take home)

Booking essential. (01983 529720)

Newport Roman Villa, Cypress Rd, Newport, PO301HA, 01983 529720,

Development plans Wootton High Street

Plans have been submitted for the redevelopment of the old Minghella ice cream factory sit in Wootton High Street [behind Majestic Wine Shop].

The plans call for the redevelopment and modernization of the ice cream factory and conversion into an open plan office building.

To the rear [was vehicle parking] the plans show outline proposed for 8 residential units, these will consist of 3 set of 3 bedroom semi-detached houses and a pair of 2 bedroom semi detached houses, with car parking for a single vehicle.

Any objection to the proposals have to be submitted by the 31st July.

St Mary’s Hospital financial & quality accounts for 2014/15

Press Release

15th July 2015

Trust publishes reports at AGM

Annual Report, Financial Accounts and Quality Account for 2014/15 show challenges and successes for NHS

The Annual Report and Accounts and Quality Account for Isle of Wight NHS Trust have been published.  

Speaking after the Trust’s Annual General Meeting held at the Riverside Centre, Newport on Wednesday 1st July Company Secretary and Foundation Trust Programme Director Mark Price said: “The Annual Report and Accounts and the Quality Account are important records of the progress the Trust has made over the last year and they set out some of the challenges we and the NHS on the Island face in 2015/16 and the future.   In addition to the main documents – the Annual Report and Accounts which is 124 pages and the Quality Account which is 54 pages – and following feedback from staff, stakeholders and Trust Members we now publish more accessible summary versions as A5 size magazines.

“Publishing these documents is an important part of the NHS on the Island being open and transparent.   As the largest employer on the Island with over 3,000 staff, over 500 volunteers and with a turnover of £174m in 2014/15 it is important that we are accountable to Islanders and our own people.   As a Membership organisation we encourage individuals to become involved in the Trust and we would encourage anyone aged 11 and over who hasn’t signed up to become a member to do so.   When we become a Foundation Trust it will give individuals a vote and an opportunity to stand as a Governor if they area aged 18 and over.”

All versions of the documents are available on line to reduce the costs of printing.  The documents can be found at:

·       Annual Report 2014/15 and the Summary:

·       Quality Account 2014/15 and the Summary:

The Trust is seeking feedback on the documents and would welcome this via the questionnaire available at

Under the Health Act 2009 all Providers are required to produce an annual Quality Account.

This is the Isle of Wight NHS Trust’s 4th Quality Account and has been produced in consultation with key stakeholders.  It was approved at Trust Board on 3 June 2015.

Speaking about the Quality Account Alan Sheward, Executive Director of Nursing at Isle of Wight NHS Trust said: “Our Quality Account for 2014/15 details our successes in 2014/15 and some of the challenges we have faced.  It also sets out our Quality Priorities for 2015/16.   During 2014/15 the statistics and feedback shows that we:

·       Reduce mortality rates

·       Had no ‘Never Events’ – incidents which are categorised as very serious by the NHS

·       Had fewer incidents categorised as catastrophic

·       Met all cancer standards apart from one

·       Achieved access to mental health crisis resolution and home treatment for individuals

·       Met the target for the transfer of 111 calls to a clinical advisor where required

·       Achieved the 8 and 19 minute ambulance response times

Mr Sheward continued: “We achieved all but one of our Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) goals and achieved all our objectives for improving communication with patients. We have continued to use innovative ways of working to improve the quality of care. During the year we:

·       Opened for winter the 13 bed Poppy Unit – a step down facility in the Community

·       Heard patient and staff stories at the Trust Board meetings

·       Continued developing the role of ‘Quality Champions’

·       Recognised the exceptional work and dedication of staff and volunteers at Trust Board meetings

·       Worked closely with Healthwatch IW, the Patients Council and IW Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on the on-going review of services.

“Whilst our Quality Account is positive in a number of areas we want to go further, faster, to deliver

quality care for everyone, every time, as we move towards creating a clinically sustainable organisation which delivers quality care. I look forward to delivering a quality Improvement Framework in 2015 that will describe in more detail how we aim to continuously improve the quality of the services we deliver. We will also continue to work with mainland providers to make sure our Island patients receive the best care when this cannot be delivered here on the island. 

The Trust’s Quality Improvement Priorities for 2015/16 are:

1.      Reducing Incidence of Patient Harm (Patient Safety)

2.      Improve the Discharge Planning Process (Clinical Effectiveness)

3.      Improving End of Life Care (Patient Experience)

Speaking about the Trust’s Accounts Chris Palmer, Executive Director of Finance at Isle of Wight NHS Trust said: “For 2014/15 we achieved our duty to breakeven with a small surplus of £15,000.   However this is very different from the £1.7m surplus we had planned for in April 2014.    For 2015/16 we have for the first time set a deficit budget of £4.6m and need to achieve savings this year of at least £8.5m to achieve this.   On a brighter note we also achieved our other statutory duties in meeting our External Financing Limit of £6.08m and achieving a capital spend of £7.46m which was ‘spot on’ the budgeted amount, enabling us to improve the facilities in which our services are delivered.  Under the ‘Better Payment Practice Code’ we achieved our duty to pay invoices within 30 days and at the end of the year we had more cash in the bank – £8.799m compared to the plan of £5.748m.

“I am really pleased that we achieved an unqualified auditor’s report on the financial statements particularly because with only a £15k surplus every transaction over £15k was very carefully scrutinised because it could have had a material effect on the outcome.   The auditor’s opinion was qualified in respect of Value for Money based on whether our forecast position in the longer term is sustainable.   We know that we have a huge challenge facing us to ensure that the Trust is both financially and clinically sustainable for the future.”   

The AGM was held at the Riverside Centre Newport.   The audience were able to view stands from various Trust services, hear about the 10 years of the Patient Council and the Award winning Wave Project as well as hear the NHS Nightingales sing.

News bulletin from St Mary’s Hospital

Press Release 

16 July 2015 

Going the extra mile for local cancer care.

Cheque presentation by Garry Sharp


Hospital Porter, Garry Sharp, has gone the extra mile for Island patients by running his first marathon in support of cancer services at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Despite having an injury, Garry managed to complete the Brighton Marathon in good time and raised £1070, which he has chosen to donate to the Chemotherapy Unit and the Cancer Nurse Specialists at St. Mary’s Hospital where Garry works.

A presentation was held in the Chemotherapy Garden on Thursday 16th July. Anne Snow, Lead Cancer Nurse and Natasha Luscombe, Chemotherapy Unit Sister each received a cheque for £535.

Anne Snow said: “We really appreciate the money raised by Garry for the Cancer Nurse Specialists and the Chemotherapy Unit. The money will be used for the benefit of our patients and for staff education.”  Natasha Luscombe added: “We’re very grateful for Garry’s amazing achievement and would like to thank him for his efforts.”

Garry, who is hoping to run the London Marathon in future, would like to thank his family, friends and work colleagues for all their support.

The majority of services provided by Isle of Wight NHS Trust are commissioned and funded by Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS England and Isle of Wight Council.