Campaigners call for restoration of plaques
Last month RSHG we were able to add our support to a campaign to restore the plaques in the memorial gardens on the corner of The Strand and East Hill Road. They commemorate the disaster of the sinking of HMS Royal George 1756-1782 off Spithead in the Solent, where bodies were washed up at Ryde and buried locally. One of our members Peter Gruner, was the instigator of the campaign and with our group’s help, and the help of Councillor Wayne Whittle, we highlighted the poor condition of these superb stainless steel plaques. Unfortunately the black lettering has deteriorated to an extent that it is no longer legible, as it is now 5 years since the plaques were in-stalled on behalf of Southern Water during flood prevention works. There is so much historic information on these plaques and without them the history would not be carried on to the next generation, and be preserved for the people of the island or its visitors.
They are in a very appropriate position where many hundreds of people on board were washed up on the shore at Ryde. The ship sank when it was intentionally “rolled” during routine maintenance and there were 820 crew on board and a further 400 visitors.
There were a lot of bodies also interred in a pit in the churchyard of St Thomas’s Church in Ryde. RSHG wholeheartedly support the restoration of the important plaques and await a report back from Southern Water.
Image: by Peter Gruner, of Cllr Wayne Whittle, Ann Barrett & Barbara Hunt, in front of the memorial plaques.