Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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The Big Draw 18 & 19 October 2008

An enthusiastic crowd enjoyed bright sunshine in Ryde Cemetery for The Big Draw weekend, 18 – 19 October 2008. Many children brought their parents and, armed with clipboards and pencils, drew inspiration from the memorials and produced some fantastic pictures of the cemetery. Others coloured flowers, birds and insects or the chapel buildings on the pre-printed colouring sheets designed by members of Ryde Social Heritage Group.

Promoted nationally by The Campaign for Drawing, The Big Draw invites everyone to join in using drawing to engage with the past, present and future. Events are taking place during October around the country with the message, “Everyone can draw”.

This year RSHG took part for the first time encouraging people to visit the cemetery and be inspired by ‘The Art of Remembrance’. The event, held in support of the IW Council’s Lottery funded Ryde Cemetery Restoration Project, proved very popular, especially with the children, some of whom had already enjoyed creative writing classes in the cemetery with their schools.


To compliment the ‘Big’ theme, two large-scale pictures were prepared by members of our Publications Team, the first ‘An Interpretation of Ryde Cemetery’ and the second ‘An Interpretation of Ryde’. The cemetery picture with four large panels outlined some of the memorials, buildings and wildlife found in Ryde Cemetery and the Ryde picture, with 12 large panels, interpreted the view approaching Ryde coastline from Puckpool to Quarr detailing the skyline, some of the significant buildings past and present and the seashore. Both pictures left plenty of white space for visitors to add their own drawings to complete the views.

Both pictures were very popular and for those who came saying ‘but I can’t draw’, (mainly the mums and dads!), coloured pencils were handed out and they set to work colouring the pictures bringing them to life. Not wanting to be outdone by their children, soon new buildings and people began to appear in the picture.

Our local policeman drew Ryde Police Station as his contribution to the community effort and one young boy, Angus, drew an outstanding panel all by himself that included buildings, trees, trains, boats and swimmers.

The pictures are not finished so there is still time for you to add your mark. The town panels will next be available at The Big Draw event at St Thomas’ Heritage Centre, Ryde, organised by Ryde Arts Festival, between 23 – 25 October 10am – 4pm. We look forward to seeing you there.