Boats and the Tide
The photograph (right) of cargo being unloaded from Chaplin’s boat, shows how high the tide came up against the wall close to the Esplanade. Iron rings were set into the wall to secure any vessels. Some of those rings can still be seen behind the wall in the Esplanade Rose Garden.
In the photo (right) can also be seen the Esplanade Hotel after the extension had been added.
The photograph (left) is an earlier one, which also shows the high-water mark, and because the water receded a long way, making it only possible for the boats to unload at certain times during the day according to the tide.
This photo (left) was before the Esplanade Hotel extension was built and shows the Esplanade Brewery on the site before it’s demolition.
In November 1862 the Ryde Esplanade Hotel Company (Limited) were inviting applications for Shares of £5 each in the company. A large number of Shares would be taken by the owner of the land. The Company who had various hotels planned for other resorts on the south coast, had put forward extensive plans for the one in Ryde.
A site had been secured facing the Esplanade, at the small ground rent of £100 per annum, for 970 years. It contained nearly an acre and a half of land, thus giving plenty of space not only for a fine building, but also for pleasure grounds, which would adjoin the breakfast-rooms of the hotel and would extend to the edge of the public road known as the Esplanade.
The bathing ground immediately opposite this site being the best and most sheltered along the whole coast, and the warm baths within a distance of 50 yards, whilst the walks in its immediate vicinity were as delightfully sheltered as any in the Island and would be reached without passing through the town and was only three minutes walk from the pier.
In December 1862 it was related by advertisement that the Esplanade Hotel project had been withdrawn altogether.
Joseph Kemp, owner of the land, had decided to have a hotel built himself. The new hotel was to be called “Esplanade Hotel” and was to be built by local builder, Messrs. Parsons & Saunders. It finally opened in 1867. The hotel was an immediate success and by 1873 Joseph Kemp had acquired the site next door, and to the west of the hotel, which had originally been the Esplanade Brewery run by a Mr. Clements. The brewery was demolished and an extension to the hotel was built.
Joseph Kemp died in April 1892. The license of the Esplanade Hotel was transferred in October that year to a Mr. Arthur Stanley (aka Knott), who had purchased the hotel. In October 1894 Mr. Stanley made several applications to change the name of the hotel to “Hotel Metropole” as he said that letters and parcels for him were often sent to the Esplanade Hotel at Ventnor and vice versa. The applications were not granted, the magistrates not giving a reason.
In 1898 The hotel was under the management of Mr. Henry Sirkett, he was there until 1904. After that details of the hotel become rather sketchy and the hotel appeared to have been closed for several years. The Stanley family were living in Argyle Street and relocated to Emsworth about 1911. Mr. Frank Band took over the Esplanade Hotel 1910 and he was still listed as the proprietor upon his death in May 1930.
sources: Registrars records, Isle of Wight Observer, Census & Probate
photos: RSHG Archive & Roy Brinton Collection