Photograph 1980, the chemist on the corner of George Street and Cross Street. It was built c1850
Mr. Percy Lewis Blakely was born in Norwich, but a few years afterwards moved to Bournemouth, where he was educated and later apprenticed to a pharmaceutical company. After qualifying he gained experience in Twickenham and Kensington before coming to the Isle of Wight in 1906, when he purchased the George-Street pharmacy and built up one of the largest dispensing businesses in the Island. He retired in 1938.
He was keenly interested in chess, a game he played competently, representing the Island, and in postal games. He founded the I.W. Chess Club in 1923 and was honorary secretary up to the outbreak of war. In 1934 he was appointed a prison visitor by the Home Office and almost every week for a period of 13 years made the journey to Parkhurst Prison, where he was instrumental in organising chess matches.
Since 1922 he had worshipped at the Baptist Church, of which he was for many years a deacon and was later appointed an elder. He was a regular attender, both on Sunday and in the week, and took a keen interest in the work of foreign missions. He attended twice on Sunday immediately before his death in 1958. He married in 1907 Muriel Eleanor Munt, of Royden, Essex, and they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on May 1st 1957. He was survived by a widow and three sons, his only daughter having died in 1950.
Source: IW County Press & RSHG Archive
Image: Roy Brinton Collection
Article: Ann Barrett