Isle of Wight Times:
Jan 4th 1968: OLD FLAMES – Ryde firemen quickly dealt with a chimney blaze at the old people’s homes, St. John’s Road, on Monday afternoon.
Jan 4th 1968: TOO LATE – It may well be too late to appeal for the preservation of the magnificent cedar trees in the grounds of the Mead Lawn Tennis Club—site clearance is well under way. But the felling of several other trees on the site has opened up a new view of the Victorian-style Sydney and Brigstocke Terraces.
Jan 11th 1968: OUT OF ACTION – Ryde sea rescue service is out of action. Members of the Vectis Boating and Fishing Club, who form the backbone of this voluntary organisation, manning rescue craft from their clubhouse on the pier, have been forced to put the slipway out of bounds to members. The committee reached this decision after hearing of the dangerous state of the slipway. They have informed British Rail, who own the pier.
Jan 11th 1968: RYDE PAVILION – With Ryde’s 40-year-old Esplanade Pavilion nearing the end of its life, should the Borough Council go ahead with an ambitious plan to replace it with an “entertainments centre”? There were mixed opinions when the matter was debated. The project was approved in principle.
Jan 11th 1968: O.A.P’s PARTY – About 1,330 “years’ worth” of old age pensioners enjoyed an after-Christmas treat at the Oakfield Inn. Bedecked in paper hats and waited on hand and foot, 19 O.A.P’s (average age 70) were given a free evening by the pub’s darts club. Mrs. E. SIVIER, wife of the landlord, with Mrs. M. VALVONA, was responsible for the catering, members of the darts team acted as waiters.
Jan 11th 1968: RE-NUMBERING – Plans are in preparation for re-numbering Ryde’s High Street and new estates. This resulted from a request by Ryde Professional and Business Men’s Association. Cllr. JOLLIFFE asked whether the committee had thought of all its implications and the great cost involved.
Jan 11th 1968: CHANGE OF ROBES – A once-familiar topic came out of moth-balls during Ryde’ Borough Council’s meeting—the members’ robes, once described by Prince Philip as “Rather like old dressing gowns.” This embarrassing subject was given an airing once again because 1968 marks the borough’s centenary and most members were horrified at the thought of donning these antique garments later this year on what is supposed to be an occasion for celebration.
Jan 11th 1968: SEASONAL ORCHESTRA – For the first time, a woman, Miss Freida HALL, of Keighley, will provide a seasonal orchestra for the borough, comprising herself and four other musicians, at an inclusive payment of £175 for the season, giving morning and afternoon performances on the sea front.
Jan 18th 1968: POST OFFICE PARTY – The Ryde Post Office Social and Sports Club held their Christmas Children’s Party at the London Hotel when 75 children attended. This year’s party was limited to children up to the age of 10, 35 of the older children having visited the pantomime at Kings Theatre, Southsea.
Jan 18th 1968: DOWN-GRADING – Plans to cut the number of head post offices by more than half during the next few years are announced in the January issue of “Courier”—the post office staff newspaper. It is expected that both Ryde and Cowes post offices will be re-graded and will work under Newport post office.
Jan 25th 1968: EAST UPTON HOUSE – One fireman was slightly injured, and others dived for their lives as tons of blazing timber and masonry cascaded down in a mystery blaze at Ryde early on Saturday. Twenty-four men manning two machines from the Ryde Brigade and a third from Newport, fought the flames for two hours before the outbreak was under control. By then, all that was left of East Upton House, in Victorian days one of the Island’s most prominent country homes, was a blackened ruin.