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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Ryde Residents Presented at Newchurch

Westfield, Ryde

On Monday 3 December, RSHG offered the Island Interest Group an opportunity to ‘Meet the Residents’ rather than be given a talk on Ryde’s history.

Kate MacDonell, the Narrator, first introduced Mrs. Young (played by Ann Barrett), wife of George Young of Appley Towers, who explained about the Jacobean architecture of ‘The Towers’ that her husband so admired as well as their extensive collection of modern art. Next up was Lady Clifford (played by Hilary Lloyd), wife of Sir Augustus Clifford of Westfield, who wished to remind the audience of her aristocratic family heritage, being descended from the Spencer’s, Churchill’s, Dukes of Devonshire, Cavendish etc. Her Ladyship also related some scandalous tales. Finally Mrs. Ellen Gawn (played by Barbara Hunt in her debut performance), related a different point of view as she had spent her life in service to Lord and Lady Lees of Beachlands. Mrs. Gawn was also the widow of John Gawn, a mariner who died when relatively young, in a tragic accident at sea.

The Island Interest Group meet at the Newchurch Pavilion and RSHG performed to a full house. The audience was very interested, laughing and expressing sympathy in all the right places and Kate didn’t notice anyone dozing off! Afterwards there were many questions and much further discussion as everyone enjoyed tea and cake.

Beachlands, Ryde

Images source: RSHG Archive