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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May 1861

Isle of Wight Observer

May 4th 1861: RYDE COMMISSIONERS – The first business of the meeting was to receive a reply from Sir Augustus CLIFFORD relative to him enclosing by a fence or rail the trees between the entrance to his grounds and Mrs. BECKFORD’s garden. The letter was read and a plan produced showing the exact line of the railing.

May 4th 1861; WATERING THE STREETS – A fertile topic of discontent is watering the streets. Every one wants the street he lives in watered, and bitterly wails if it be not daily swamped, whether the traffic warrants the process or not. Accordingly, if the Road Surveyor had the wisdom of Solomon and the patience of Job, we would defy him to please all and satisfy every complaint.

May 11th 1861: FASHIONABLE INTELLIGENCE – Mr. and Mrs. BLOXAM entertained a fashionable party at dinner on Wednesday evening; The Countess METAXA is expected to arrive at her residence, 1 Brigstocke-terrace in a few days; Sir James and Lady STIRLING left Ryde this day for Torquay; Mrs. MEREST returned to St. John’s Park on Tuesday from London.

May 11th 1861: ST. MARIE’s CHURCH – This elegant little fane is undergoing complete internal renovation, and receiving many improvements and ornamental additions, under the superintendence of Mr. JOLLIFFE, the builder. The niche too, has been filled up with a statue of the patron saint. All the improvements will be shortly completed, when the church will be as comfortable as yore.

May 11th 1861: LIGHTING THE SUBURBS – Workmen have been busy laying down mains for lighting the suburbs of our town. The new area to be lighted is rather extensive, namely, from the Infirmary to Week’s on the S.E., and to Swanmore on the S., besides all the footpath round Newport-road from Sir W. MARTIN’s entrance gate to Spencer-road. The public convenience will be much facilitated by these extra lights, the more especially as heretofore the latter excellent walk has been practically shut to females after dark.

May 11th 1861: THE “ROAD” – The reinforcement of our crack four-in-hands, styled the “Rocket,” is to take place early this season. Instead of the “glorious First of June,” the 13th of May is fixed on as the date to start.

May 18th 1861: THE MARKET – Our new Commissioners intend to enforce greater cleanliness in the market, for it has been in a most disgraceful condition of late years. Why do they not turn the south shops to account? It is perfectly ridiculous to prohibit the sale of fish or meat from that part of the building, as it is decidedly, the best part for business. Because old fogies in 1831made stupid rules, is it any reason why they should be followed in 1861?

May 18th 1861: THE WEIGHBRIDGE – As far as experience has gone in the use of this machine, lately set up by the Ryde Commissioners, every load of hay weighed has been light, and against the purchaser; even to the extent of 2cwt in 20. So the system of “rough guesses” hitherto in vogue by our farmers has been guessing in their favour. They don’t like this “new fangled concern,” which thus detects their malpractices.

May 18th 1861: SWANMORE CHURCH – The works of this edifice are rapidly proceeding under the builders, Messrs. DASHWOOD. The church when finished, will form a pretty object in the landscape. We perceive that the building is not set square with the land, and this circumstance is owing, we understand, to the fact that true “compass bearings,” east and west have been studied; so that the rubic shall be complied with to the letter.