NEWS FROM RYDE 150 YEARS AGO
February 1861 – 150 Years Ago
Isle of Wight Observer
Feb 2nd 1861: OPENING DINNER – On Tuesday week Mr. James KENDALL of the Pier Hotel-tap, gave an opening dinner to his friends. Upwards of 40 sat down to a most excellent repast; after the cloth was removed, the usual convivialities were gone through, and the happy party did not break up until the “wee hours” approached.
Feb 2nd 1861: ANNUAL HARMONIC – Mr. Matthew NEWMAN’s annual harmonic meeting will take place at the Eagle Hotel on Wednesday next. Mr. H. AUSTIN, the celebrated cornet player, will attend, accompanied by Mr. M. W. SALTER and other talented musicians.
Feb 9th 1861: BILLIARDS – On Thursday evening a game of billiards 1,000 up, was played at the Royal Eagle Hotel, between Mr. ROBERTS, the renown player and Mr. BOWLER. There were about 40 persons present to witness this game, which was probably, the most interesting one of the kind ever played in Ryde or in the Island.
Feb 9th 1861: THE MOTHERBANK – Our roadstead is very lively, being completely covered with wind-bound craft. Of course this gives a little impetus to trade.
Feb 9th 1861: RYDE PENNY SAVINGS BANK – It was resolved at a meeting that the Bank should be opened on Monday evening the 25th instant. Notices will be issued in due time announcing the time for receiving deposits, &c.
Feb 16th 1861: ADVERT – Charles KNIGHT, House and Estate Agent, 1 Pier-street, Ryde. Every information given respecting House and Apartments, by letter or personally, without charge. Maps, Guides, and Views of the Island, Stationary, etc. Agent for the Isle of Wight Observer, Fashionable Arrival List, published every Friday evening.
Feb 16th 1861: MOORINGS – The Pier Company have this week been laying down moorings for vessels that come in upon the sands to discharge their cargoes. The moorings are of such a stamp that after they are once layed down their hold will be so firm as to make them immoveable by the strain of the vessels, thereby doing away with the danger of colliers breaking adrift and being damaged and destroying the pier.
Feb 16th 1861: TOTAL DARKNESS – On Saturday evening about 6 o’clock, our tradespeople and others received a considerable shock to the nervous system, in consequence of the gas being suddenly shut off from their pipes. All business was suspended and the stock and valuables of the shopkeepers left at the mercy of the plunderers, and gentlemen with questionable fancies for overcoats, &c.
Feb 16th 1861: MUSIC – We are pleased to learn that Mr. A. G. FOWLES, the accomplished musician, has been appointed organist of St. Thomas’s church, Portsmouth.
Feb 23rd 1861: GAS COLUMN – At the Commissioners meeting on Tuesday last, the directors of the Gas Company, subject to the approval of the Board, intend erecting a gas column or drinking fountain in St. Thomas’s Square. This offer is a very desirable one, and will save the town something by making one or two lamps in the immediate neighbourhood unnecessary. We ask, how is this promised fountain to be supplied with water?
Feb 23rd 1861: PIER IMPROVEMENTS – The directors of this company, advancing with the times, are constructing an admirable and commodious suite of waiting and refreshment rooms at the sea-end of this unrivalled marine promenade, the roof of which (nearly as large as the old head) will be reserved as a select lounge and an orchestra for the summer months. The repairs of the extensive damages caused by the drifting through the pier of several colliers during the December storm, are rapidly progressing; so that the whole may be expected to be finished in a few weeks.