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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Travel to and fro

This early 20th century photograph (left) shows cars being loaded onto one of the Joint Railway Company’s tow-boats at Portsmouth, en route to the Isle of Wight, which was the only way of getting the vehicles to the Island.

The photograph (right), also early 20th century, shows vehicles being pushed off the boat onto George-street slipway at Ryde Esplanade.

Automobiles were not very well accepted by the inhabitants of Ryde in the early days, who said they were dangerous, smelly, spoiling the ozone and frightened the horses.  They disrupted the general business of the town, and they travelled too fast. Five miles an hour was considered too fast!  The local newspapers always displayed letters of complaints, of one sort or another from local residents, as to why these abominable motor vehicles should not be allowed in the town.

It was only when the gentry of the borough began to acquire such modes of transport and enjoying being seen about town in them, that the trend for the motor vehicle seemed to take off.  The carrier’s  and posting proprietors began to change their coach and horses for charabancs with a vision of their businesses becoming more profitable, although there was a great deal of trepidation in the first year of trading.

Images source: RSHG Archive Roy Brinton Collection