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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August 1969

Isle of Wight Times:

Aug 7th 1969:  ROUND THE ISLAND SWIM – Kevin MURPHY, a 20-year-old journalist of Wembley, will attempt the 60-mile swim on an anti-clockwise route around the Island coastline.  He sets out at 6.45 a.m. on Friday.  The company Bovril, who had a support programme organised within hours, is supplying a launch and dinghy, and—to prevent that sinking feeling—a constant supply of hot Bovril for Kevin, his navigator, and the crew of the launch during their 30-hour vigil.

Aug 7th 1969:  BLAZE DESTROYS BUILDING – Exploding propane gas cylinders provided Ryde firemen with one of their most hazardous jobs late on Thursday night.  A mobile food firm’s headquarters at Bullen Cross was completely destroyed, and with it eight ice cream and fish and chip vans.  What caused the blaze at the converted 80 ft. by 20 ft. farm building, used as a garage coachbuilding plant and store by I.S.W. Mobile Sales, is a mystery.  Estimated damage was in excess of £10,000.

Aug 7th 1969:  TAKING TO THE RAFTS – Ryde Life Guards Corps and Ryde Buccaneers held their second annual raft race at Appley on Sunday.  Five teams entered and the G.P.O. engineers were the winners.  The 2nd Ryde Sea Scouts won the junior division.

Aug 14th 1969:  PLAN FOR WHAT ALES US – There’s trouble brewing at the old Isle of Wight pub in Ryde High Street.  One of England’s oldest licensees, 85 years-old Mrs. Elizabeth PINE, is preparing for a battle to save her home, The Prince of Wales.  The brewers, Messrs. W. B. Mew Langton Ltd., though sympathetic, are selling the rambling old building, once a haunt for smugglers, to a national chain store.  It is believed that demolition will follow, then a supermarket will be built on the site.

Aug 14th 1969:  DODDY COMING – Tickling stick at the ready, and the dust of Notty Ash on his boots, Ken DODD will scamper over to Ryde on September 4 to open the town’s annual carnival, oldest in England.  Ken is appearing in a show at Bournemouth that week but, as he often does, immediately agreed to make the trip when he heard that charities would benefit.

Aug 14th 1969:  RESCUE – A young Ryde police officer leapt from the B.R. ferry “Shanklin” at the pierhead late on Wednesday night to rescue a man who had gone overboard.  The drama happened soon after 10 p.m. when police were called to the ferry, which was being used for a Solent cruise.  P.C. Barry NEWNHAM was questioning a man in connection with an alleged theft when the man jumped overboard.  The officer, a strong swimmer, went straight in after him.

Aug 14th 1969:  JUST A BIT OF WATER – Another chapter in the story of misfortunes which have dogged the Ryde-Portsmouth BR “Seaspeed” service was added on Monday.  The familiar “Service Suspended” notice went up after the HM 11 hover vehicle sprang a leak in mid-Solent and had to be taken to Hovermarine’s Southampton works for repairs.

Aug 14th 1969: RYDE’S OLD BUILDINGS – I wonder how many saw the Official Notice recently saying application had been made for approval to alter and extend the Royal squadron Hotel in Union Street.  It is hoped that the upper windows and the beautiful balcony will not be changed; and that any alterations to the facade will be in keeping with this hotel, built in 1812.  It was chilling to read that at a Council meeting a councillor was reported as saying: “I cannot see any part of Union Street which is worth preserving……”

Aug 14th 1969:  IW COULD JOIN SOUTH HANTS – The future of local government for the Island might best be as part of a fourth metropolitan area, embracing all or part of South Hampshire. The Island County Council are being asked to convene an all-Island meeting to discuss this possibility.

Aug 14th 1969:  SEA CADETS – Pending negotiations for a permanent headquarters the Ryde Unit of the Sea Cadet Corps have been offered the temporary use of the ballroom at the Commodore by permission of Mr. A. PETERS, Manager.  He has made the premises available on a rent-free basis.