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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November 1861

Isle of Wight Observer

Nov 9th 1861: NEW SCHOOL AT SWANMORE – On Friday last, being the Feast of All Saints, the first stone of a new infant school, in connexion with the new church of St Michael and All Angels, Swanmore, was laid by Mrs. Edward CARTER of Upton. A large number of the neighbouring gentry, and many of the poor of the district, had assembled at the site.

Nov 16th 1861: LUNAR RAINBOW – A magnificent lunar rainbow was visible at Ryde on Sunday night, shortly after 10 o’clock. It lasted for several minutes, and stretched more in the centre of the heavens than solar rainbows usually do. The colours were defined with great clearness, and it was a beautiful phemomenon, the moon being half full at the time.

Nov 23rd 1861: GRAND DUKE CONSTANTINE – The London penny-a-liners have lately made a great flourish of trumpets in the daily papers about some “magnificent donations” of the Grand Duke to the local charities. In the Dukes case what he gave amounted to 20 guineas, the amount distributed in the Isle of Wight was five guineas each to the Isle of Wight Infirmary and for the building of the church at Swanmore.

Nov 23rd 1861: MINSTRELSY – We were, for a few days only during the past week, enlivened by the strains produced from the brazen throats of four instruments by performers whe seemed “well up to the mark,” and did in sooth “discourse most eloquent music.” Their appearance, as well as their performance, betokened that they were undoubtedly of a more eminent grade in the musical scale.

Nov 30th 1861: NEW CEMETERY WORKS – Mr. SIBLEY, builder, of Ryde, the successful contractor for these works, has reached the top of Hill-street at last, with the barrel drain he is laying down to carry off the water from the burial ground. A large quantity of stone and other building materials have arrived, and the contractor will very shortly commence draining the land, and laying the foundations of the chapels and walls.

Nov 30th 1861: LETTER TO THE EDITOR – When on a flying visit to the Isle of Wight, I determined on paying a visit to the Museums of the different towns; my chief impelling cause was, a knowledge of the extreme richness of the Island in natural products, whether as reptiles, insects, plants, or fossils. My surprise and disappointment on finding the pseudo-museums nothing but “Old Curiosity Shops;” filled with a lot of rubbish. Why should there not be a choice collection of our rich natural productions? ……An Oxford Student.

Nov 30th 1861: SEA WEED PAPER – “The Builder” says, “A specimen has been laid before us of paper made from common sea wrack, by Mr. HARTNELL of the Isle of Wight. The specimen is from the first trial made by Mr. HARTNELL, who is a papermaker; nevertheless, we have no hesitation in saying that, though resembling straw paper in colour and texture, it is far superior to the best straw paper that the writer of this notice has ever been able to obtain for writing purposes.”

Nov 30th 1861: EASTERN SECTION LINE – A reference to settle the compensation to be paid to the LIND family for land proposed to be taken by the Railway Company, will shortly be held.

Nov 30th 1861: COMING OF AGE – The good old English custom of celebrating the coming of age of the eldest son was well sustained on Tuesday last at the Royal Standard tavern, the occasion being the 21st birthday of Mr. Henry KEMP’s eldest son. The celebration was kept up in the most convivial and jovial manner until the “wee hours.”

Nov 30th 1861: RYDE PIER – Tenders are advertised for to construct a tramway with a double line of rails on the east side of the pier. We have not yet seen the plans, but still it must be obvious that the completion of a scheme, which shall rid the present promenade of the transit of luggage, must be an improvement.