Isle of Wight Times:
Dec 5th 1968: GAS FEDERATION – At the monthly meeting of the Women’s Gas Federation, held on Monday at the Southern Gas demonstration room, High Street, a Christmas party with games was enjoyed, with committee members serving the refreshments. Thirteen competition prizes were awarded and the charity box was opened and contained £6.10s., which has been sent to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
Dec 12th 1968: OPENER TOOK THE CAKE – Elmfield Congregational Church Women’s Guild on Tuesday held their Christmas sale, preceded by a short service. Mrs. G. C. PIKE from Seaview performed the opening. She was presented with a Christmas cake. Mrs. N. Dyer a Guild member made the cake. Proceeds from the sale amounted to £21 in aid of church funds.
Dec 12th 1968: SECOND BLAZE – In a mystery blaze on Wednesday night, one of the Island’s best-known riding stables lost its winter hay supply of twenty-five tons stored at the rear of a brick building at the Upton Riding Stables. Firemen managed to lead to safety a horse, “Milady,” which was tethered in an adjoining stall, before the slate and timber roof collapsed.
Dec 12th 1968: FIRE RISK – Ryde’s famous Royal Victorian Arcade, scheduled as being of outstanding historic interest, is such a serious fire risk that it may have to be sealed off from the general public. It is occupied by a bookmaker’s office and a night club. When the windows of empty shops were smashed by vandals, they were covered with hardboard, but that, too, has been broken in places.
Dec 12th 1968: ALL IN THE DARK – For parking without lights, Seven Ryde defendants were fined by the I.W. Magistrates. Five were fined £2 and two having had 2 summonses, were fined £3.
Dec 12th 1968: BY TELEPHONE – Advance bookings can now be made for International and Continental telephone calls during the Christmas and New Year periods. Demands for calls during the holiday to most overseas destinations is so great that some people are disappointed each year.
Dec 12th 1968: HEART UNIT – A small side ward at the Royal I.W. County Hospital in Ryde, is to be converted into a special coronary unit. The equipment used in these cases is already in existence at the hospital. This move means that coronary cases will be taken out of the general wards bringing the hospital into line with St. Mary’s Hospital, Newport.
Dec 12th 1968: TROUBLED REHEARSALS – Rehearsals for the Clarian Players production of “The Holly and the Ivy,” were dogged by illness, which made it impossible for the entire cast to appear together until “the” night. On Thursday night in the spartan surroundings of the Esplanade Pavilion, saw so polished a production was a creditable reflection of Barbara TURNER’s direction.
Dec 12th 1968: SLEEPY STAFF – Further to my note the other day about the sleepy staff in one of Ryde’s largest stores, and how two of them I spoke to did not know the name of their own manager. Word of this eventually filtered through to the said manager, I’m told. He held a census among staff to find out how many knew his name. Two thirds of them didn’t. Mind you, he’s been there only a couple of years.
Dec 24th 1968: FAMILIAR TUNES – A music hall show, and an orchestra under Miss Frieda HALL will again be part of Ryde’s sea front attractions next summer. The Borough Council has agreed to enter into a contract with Mr. Ken BARNES to stage the music hall and Miss HALL’s contract is for five musicians, including herself.
Dec 24th 1968: UNEMPLOYMENT – Little seasonal upward trend of unemployment occurred on the Isle of Wight during the past month and the December total of 1,301 out of work in July is only 20 higher than in November. The present situation is markedly better than a year ago.