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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Features & Stories

Alan Clarke, grandson of Andrew Midlane, contacted us recently and was happy to share some of his memories of visiting Ryde in the 1940s and 50s.

What a variety of Christmas gifts there were in1899. From a Pompadour jewel case or a skunk fur necklet to scent and handkerchiefs. News also of gifts from Councillor Whittaker and the Queen.

Silks, satins and wispy shawls were very popular in the mid to late 1830s, where better to buy them than at S. Stephens' in Union Street, Ryde. Their range of Parisian goods were particularly desirable.

A newspaper advert from 180 years ago praises Arenean Soap, which is the result of chemical and geological research in the Isle of Wight, among whose enchanting cliffs a substance of a saponaceous nature has recently been discovered.

Quack medicines and their advertising were big business in Victorian times. Squire Knight's eye ointment claimed to cure all diseases of the eye, approaching even to blindness.

The Victorian cook looked upon the kitchen as her especial domain, a spot where she was "monarch of all she surveyed," and into which no lady "as is a lady" would intrude.