MOUNT HOUSE & HALL (George Street)
Mount House and the hall adjoining, were used by many organisations over the years, including the British Women’s Temperance Association who used it as their headquarters. In 1924 the building, Mount House, was found to require extensive repairs. In December that year a bazaar was held at the Town-hall in aid of the Ryde branch of the British Women’s Temperance Association, to defray the cost of the underpinning, etc., amounting to nearly £1000. At the bazaar opening ceremony Sir Edgar Chatfield-Clarke spoke about the excellent work of the organisation and the outstanding connection with that work of the secretary, Miss Henry, and the highest moral and spiritual welfare of the community. The expenditure on their house had been quite unforeseen, but they now had an excellent home.
Other examples of the house’s use were, in February 1931 the Liberal Association held their annual meeting there.
In December 1934 the Post Office used Mount House Hall for inward parcels, to ease the situation of the Christmas post at the sorting office. The transfer work for the whole Island that year was particularly heavy, and the permanent staff were augmented by 65 auxiliary postmen.
In November 1937, it was reported that progress was being made with Mr. Brigstocke’s solicitors, as to the proposed sale of the freehold of Mount House and Sudbury Villa to the Council. The acquisition of these two properties were an essential part of the Council’s proposed scheme for a large car-park close to the town of Ryde, and would be for the benefit of people in outlying districts. The tradespeople of the town thought it would be a fine asset. Charges for the parking of cars had already been fixed. The surveyor to be authorised to commence the work of demolition as soon as possible.
However, it wasn’t until March 1960, and after much criticism of the Council for its lack of drive and for being long-winded, that it was agreed to place the work in connection with the Ryde Borough Council’s central car park in the hands of private contractors, and the demolition of Mount House could begin.
The British Women’s Temperance Association (BWTA) was founded in 1876, becoming the foremost women’s temperance movement in Britain. It was later known as the White Ribbon Association. The Temperance Movement was at its height in the 19th Century, campaigning against the consumption of alcohol and actively trying to get the government to pass legislation to restrict the sale of alcohol. Advocates of temperance were concerned about the social impact of drunkenness to society, families and industry. The White Ribbon Association was instrumental in bringing women into the public sphere and contributed significantly to society over the years.
Sources: IW County Press & RSHG Archive
Image: Roy Brinton Collection
Article: Ann Barrett