NEWS FROM RYDE 150 YEARS AGO
Isle of Wight Observer
Mar 2nd 1861: TEMPERANCE – The annual tea meeting of the Ryde society will take place at the Victoria-rooms on Monday, when Mr. CAMPBELL will address the audience. This gentleman’s advocacy of temperance on a former occasion struck us as singularly devoid of the fallacies often found surrounding the subject.
Mar 2nd 1861: BUCKLER’S SERENADERS – On Monday and Tuesday next this celebrated American Opera Group will give two entertainments in the Theatre. The immediate success which has hitherto accompanied them during their tour in England, foreshadows the reception they will meet with in Ryde.
Mar 9th 1861: RYDE COMMISSIONERS – A meeting of the Burial Board was held on Friday evening the 1st, last, for the undermentioned purposes; To receive the Secretary of States approval to the sandpit being appropriated for burial purposes; to authorise the application to Her Majesty’s Treasury for power to borrow a sum not exceeding £3,000; to consider the surveyors plans and estimates for laying out the ground; to pass such resolutions as may be deemed expedient.
Mar 9th 1861: NAVY – Quacks of the kinds are again prescribing nostrums for that chronic complaint—non-manning of the Navy. In the Isle of Wight there are hundreds of the finest seamen in the world, who are unemployed except during the yachting season; why, then, do they not embrace the Coast Volunteer Scheme? Simply because they will not submit to being flayed alive. So long as flogging is considered necessary for discipline, so long will the Navy be manned as now, by the scum of the earth.
Mar 23rd 1861: ENSIGN – On Monday last the ensign on the Coastguard semaphore was hoisted “half mast” as a mark of respect to the memory of Her Royal Highness the late Duchess of Kent. The burgee of the R.V.Y.C. and the different flags of the numerous ships lying at the Motherbank were likewise flying at half mast.
Mar 23rd 1861: AWFUL STATE OF THINGS – It is well known that things are at present very dull in Ryde. On enquiring of several respectable tradespeople in two of the busiest streets in Ryde, as to what their daily receipts amounted to, at neither of the two shops alluded to, were they taking more than a trumpery half-a-crown a day, and at one shop they sometimes took perhaps ninepence one day and fourpence three farthings the next, and so on.
Mar 23rd 1861: ACCIDENT – On Monday last as Mr. John BALLARD, a servant in the employ of the Ferry Company, was attending to his duties on the wharf, he met with a severe accident. It appears that he was turning the windlass of one of the cranes on the quay to raise the goods out of a vessel, when the handle slipped from his hand and revolved rapidly in an opposite direction, hitting Mr. BALLARD with great force on one of his knees, fracturing the bone of his leg. He is, we believe, progressing as favourably as can be expected.
Mar 30th 1861: REPAIRS OF THE PIER – The damage done to the Pier last December by three coal vessels drifting through, have been repaired by Messrs, LANGDON, the builders of Ryde. This restoration was completed this week, and now this beautiful marine promenade is once more sound and perfect, and we hope that unruly elements may never again demolish, and that from henceforth, it may escape such disasters. The very commodious refreshment &c. rooms at the pier head in course of construction by the same builders are rapidly progressing and doubtless will be completed in another month.
Mar 30th 1861: WEIGH BRIDGE – Mr. DENHAM, builder, has commenced excavating during the week for making a pit to receive machinery of the weigh bridge, which arrived during last week. It will be placed at the south east corner of the Market-house, and will probably be ready for use in a fortnight’s time. The machine cost, we believe, £48, and at least another £15 will be expended in fixing, &c.
Mar 30th 1861: NEW CHURCH AT SWANMORE – The foundations of the new church of St. Michael’s and All the Angels, Swanmore, are now being dug in the piece of land immediately adjoining the present temporary church. The foundation stone is to be laid next week.