Giving Ryde's past to the future

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Opening Times

Opening Hours

Monday - Saturday
11am - 4pm

The Museum will be closed on Friday 3rd May, due to the funeral of our Vice President, Ron Watts.

Ryde District Heritage Centre is entirely run by volunteers.

Stair Lift Facility

Mayor-Milburn-on-the-stairlift

The new stairlift officially opened on 23rd of May 2014 by Ryde’s Mayor at the time, Cllr Roi Milburn.
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Royal Ryde

Royal Ryde

Royal Ryde, the link to Queen Victoria.

The Duchess of Kent, mother of Queen Victoria, first brought her to stay at Norris Castle on the Isle of Wight in 1831. When it was decided to build the arcade in Ryde, Princess Victoria was asked whether she would agree to it being named for her. This is why, at the rear of the arcade, there is a window with a monogram PV - Princess Victoria.

The Princess Victoria Window Royal Victoria Arcade

The crest on the front of the arcade is that of Princess Victoria. A similar crest can be seen in Bath, much smaller and less colourful than the one in Ryde. The lion and the unicorn are also facing different directions.

Etching from 1874 of Crown Prince and Princess

 
2013-06-03T00:31:46+01:00
Royal Ryde Royal Ryde, the link to Queen Victoria. The Duchess of Kent, mother of Queen Victoria, first brought her to stay at Norris Castle on the Isle of Wight in 1831. When it was decided to build the arcade in Ryde, Princess Victoria was asked whether she would agree to it being named for her. This is why, at the rear of the arcade, there is a window with a monogram PV - Princess Victoria. The crest on the front of the arcade is that of Princess Victoria. A similar crest can be seen in Bath, much smaller and less colourful than the one in Ryde. The lion and the unicorn are also facing different directions.  

Royal visitors

Royal Visitors in Ryde


It is said that the Duchess of Kent first brought her daughter to the Isle of Wight so that she did not attend the coronation of her Uncle, William IV. On this, and subsequent occasions, they stayed at Norris Castle, in East Cowes.

It is also known that Victoria used rooms in The Royal Kent Hotel, now the Royal Squadron, on at least one occasion.

Etching of the Royal Kent Hotel, Union Street, Ryde
2013-06-03T00:40:11+01:00
Royal Visitors in Ryde It is said that the Duchess of Kent first brought her daughter to the Isle of Wight so that she did not attend the coronation of her Uncle, William IV. On this, and subsequent occasions, they stayed at Norris Castle, in East Cowes. It is also known that Victoria used rooms in The Royal Kent Hotel, now the Royal Squadron, on at least one occasion.

RYDE TREASURES

RYDE TREASURES


All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful.

A gown worn by a recent Mayor of the Borough of Ryde.

Ryde Borough Mayor's Robe

Ryde Town Sergeant's Hat.

Ryde Town Sargent Top Hat

 
2013-06-03T00:47:20+01:00
RYDE TREASURES All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful. A gown worn by a recent Mayor of the Borough of Ryde. Ryde Town Sergeant's Hat.  

Ryde Entertainment

Ryde Entertainment

Fine Art Exhibition at Ryde 1881

The inhabitants of 19th century Ryde enjoyed entertainment............... Bands played on the pier every evening, There were plays in the Theatre, concerts in the Town Hall, lectures and exhibitions in the Victoria Rooms and circuses on the Strand from the 1850s onwards. Local gentry also held balls and soirees in their homes - descriptions of which appeared in the local press the following week. Celebrities came from Paris and London to appear in Ryde - Mrs Jordan, Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, General Tom Thumb, The Christy Minstrels all appeared in Ryde following successful runs in London and over seas........Ryde was the place to be after London, Paris, New York! Hairdressers and other businessmen also followed the same route.
2013-06-03T00:57:12+01:00
Ryde Entertainment The inhabitants of 19th century Ryde enjoyed entertainment............... Bands played on the pier every evening, There were plays in the Theatre, concerts in the Town Hall, lectures and exhibitions in the Victoria Rooms and circuses on the Strand from the 1850s onwards. Local gentry also held balls and soirees in their homes - descriptions of which appeared in the local press the following week. Celebrities came from Paris and London to appear in Ryde - Mrs Jordan, Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, General Tom Thumb, The Christy Minstrels all appeared in Ryde following successful runs in London and over seas........Ryde was the place to be after London, Paris, New York! Hairdressers and other businessmen also followed the same route.

Railings

Railings

Cyril the sea Serpent on Ryde Pier

The railings on the pier were installed in 1895. It is believed the shelters were built at the same time, by Isaac Barton, a Mayor of Ryde, to a design by local architect Thomas Hellyer. Cyril the sea serpent is the guide for the Children's Page of the website.
2013-06-03T01:02:06+01:00
Railings The railings on the pier were installed in 1895. It is believed the shelters were built at the same time, by Isaac Barton, a Mayor of Ryde, to a design by local architect Thomas Hellyer. Cyril the sea serpent is the guide for the Children's Page of the website.

Local Newspapers

Local Newspapers

Ventilator Royals visit July 19 1873

Ryde and the Isle of Wight have a long history of local newspaper printing. The Isle of Wight Observer was begun in 1846, although not established until 1852.  It was printed at The Colonnade, Ryde by George and subsequently, Hannah Butler. From the first issue, Fashionable Lists were printed weekly to show residents and visitors who was in town. The Isle of Wight Times, Ventilator, Mercury, Isle of Wight Advertiser, and County Press followed at later dates. These newspapers, or images of them, can be consulted at the Isle of Wight County Record Office, Newport.

There are also newspapers with Isle of Wight articles which can be viewed on the British Library website British Newspapers Online
2013-06-03T01:04:32+01:00
Local Newspapers Ryde and the Isle of Wight have a long history of local newspaper printing. The Isle of Wight Observer was begun in 1846, although not established until 1852.  It was printed at The Colonnade, Ryde by George and subsequently, Hannah Butler. From the first issue, Fashionable Lists were printed weekly to show residents and visitors who was in town. The Isle of Wight Times, Ventilator, Mercury, Isle of Wight Advertiser, and County Press followed at later dates. These newspapers, or images of them, can be consulted at the Isle of Wight County Record Office, Newport. There are also newspapers with Isle of Wight articles which can be viewed on the British Library website British Newspapers Online

Historic Photographs

Historic Photographs

Young Boy by Matthews

Child photographed by Matthews
Child photographed by Matthews

Child on a horse Photographed by Knight

More  historic photographs appear in the  Galleries.

Child photographed by Knight
2013-06-02T23:28:06+01:00
Historic Photographs More  historic photographs appear in the  Galleries.

The Brigstocke China

The Brigstocke China

All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful.

Brigstoke Terrace China Group front view

The Brigstocke China comprises pieces collected by the family over many years, reflecting catholic tastes.

Brigstoke Terrace China Group side view

Brigstoke Terrace China Group reverse view

Brigstoke Terrace China Hare

Brigstoke Terrace China Horse
2013-06-02T23:46:00+01:00
The Brigstocke China All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful. The Brigstocke China comprises pieces collected by the family over many years, reflecting catholic tastes.

The Royal Victoria Arcade

The Royal Victoria Arcade

The Royal Victoria Arcade - Victorian Timeline, the first 70 years of the Royal Victoria Arcade from the laying of the foundation stone to 1903

An etching of the original arcade frontage

1835 -May - Foundation Stone Ceremony
1836 - July - Opening Ceremony
1856 - July - Henry Knight buys the arcade for £3000
1856 - October - frontage altered
1857 - October - William Lacy the first Arcade photographer moves into a workshop in the basement
1862 -  March - Cornelius Jabez Hughes takes over Number 6 after Lacy's death, in November 1861
1864 -  Henry Knight's Fairy Fountain in the rotunda

An etching of the 1840s arcade interior

1880 - Henry patents tin opener and sells it to Crosse and Blackwell
1890 - Henry Knight goes bankrupt and hands over the arcade to his daughters
1895 - Death of Henry Knight
1903 - Arcade up for sale
2013-06-03T00:23:37+01:00
The Royal Victoria Arcade The Royal Victoria Arcade - Victorian Timeline, the first 70 years of the Royal Victoria Arcade from the laying of the foundation stone to 1903 1835 -May - Foundation Stone Ceremony 1836 - July - Opening Ceremony 1856 - July - Henry Knight buys the arcade for £3000 1856 - October - frontage altered 1857 - October - William Lacy the first Arcade photographer moves into a workshop in the basement 1862 -  March - Cornelius Jabez Hughes takes over Number 6 after Lacy's death, in November 1861 1864 -  Henry Knight's Fairy Fountain in the rotunda 1880 - Henry patents tin opener and sells it to Crosse and Blackwell 1890 - Henry Knight goes bankrupt and hands over the arcade to his daughters 1895 - Death of Henry Knight 1903 - Arcade up for sale

Original Logo

Original Logo

The original artwork for the logo was drawn by Lynne Phillips from a design on two shelters on Ryde Pier, and adapted by Depth.

Historic Ryde Society Logo

The original logo copyright Lynne Phillips

Cyril the Sea Serpent on Ryde Pier

 
2013-06-03T00:26:48+01:00
Original Logo The original artwork for the logo was drawn by Lynne Phillips from a design on two shelters on Ryde Pier, and adapted by Depth.  
Contact Us
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1890s Entertainment and Leisure in Ryde

Bank Holiday Entertainment

Isle of Wight Observer August 10, 1895

Quite a variety entertainment formed the attraction at the Pavilion on Bank Holiday. Miss Minnie Palmer sang “The Tin Gee-Gee” and a laughing song, both of which evidently greatly pleased the audience. Professor Etho’s performing dogs were also remarkably well trained. One of them danced on its hind legs on a large revolving wheel, while another turned a back somersault very cleverly. Master Campbell Goldsmid, who has a sweet soprano voice, also sang well, and was warmly encored for Wilfred Bendall’s song “The Pixies”. The gem of the entertainment was, however, Mr Charles Watkins’ humourous sketch. This gentleman is the most accomplished and remarkable whistler we have ever heard, and he seems to produce the sound in a totally different style and manner to that adopted by the ordinary whistler. In one part of the sketch he substituted a shrill little whistle for the letter “s” wherever it occurred, a feat we never heard anyone else accomplish. He sings well, too, but as regards his “patter” he made the mistake of pitching his voice a little too low, so that he was not very distinctly heard. A marvellous feature of his performance was playing a tune by rapping on the top of his head and modulating the sound to notes by opening and shutting his mouth. He also did this on his cheeks, on a knife between his teeth, on a walking stick, &c.

THE BANK HOLIDAY – Although the sky looked wild on Monday, the majority of people thought, as there was so much wind, the rain would keep off. Accordingly, a number of our townsmen might have been seen, early in the morning, laden with baskets and hampers, evidently bent on picnicing excursions. An unusual number of excursionists also came into the town, and had the weather remained fine there can be no doubt the fete which the Foresters arranged would have been a great success. Unfortunately, however, shortly after noon, the wind dropped a little, and then the heavy clouds, which had been lowering all day, steadily discharged the moisture with which they were laden. It was rather pitiable to see so many strangers going about under umbrellas or taking every opportunity for shelter. The Arcade was full all the afternoon, and the Pavilion at the end of the pier proved quite a God-send. A great number of visitors found shelter and amusement there in the afternoon, and in the evening over 1200 paid for admission. The number of visitors to the town may be judged from the fact that there have never been so many travellers by the Pier Electric Railway. We understand from a good authority there were over 7000. The trams and steamers were also crowded.

On Bank Holiday, when the streets were rather crowded with traffic, Colonel A Clarke, with Mrs Clarke and Miss Norah Clarke, were driving down Union Street in an open carriage. When near Mr Evans’ where the road suddenly shows a sharp gradient, the horse slipped and fell, and was unable to hold the carriage, which seemed very likely to be overturned. The occupants of the carriage were helped out at once, and by the promptitude of some watermen  standing near, the carriage was stopped and the horse restored to its feet.

Some poems by Mrs Florence Clarke, can be found here.

Colonel E Howard-Brooke

Colonel E Howard-Brooke, who was born at Castle Howard, Vale of Ovoca, co. Wicklow (of which property he is the heir), resides at Belvedere Lodge, Ryde, and for seven seasons has been the Master of the Isle of Wight Foxhounds. (Taken from a family scrapbook, written in 1898 – the Colonel and family also lived at Faircroft, Binstead Road, and his widow Mrs Howard-Brooke, died at The Lawn, Spencer Road.)

The subject of this sketch joined the army in 1865, and was appointed to the First Hampshire Regiment, in which he served for ten years in India. During this time he indulged in all kinds of sport, and on one occasion, with General Sir John Davis, bagged no fewer than seventeen tigers in seven days – a truly marvellous performance. He also had capital sport among other big game, and was very successful at pig-sticking. He now combines the duties of a MFH with the command of the Third Hampshire Regiment. The gallant officer is exceedingly popular with the followers of his pack in the Isle of Wight, and is on the most friendly terms with the farmers whose land he hunts. He has had an excellent cubbing season, thanks to the good feeling existing between himself and such big preservers of pheasants as Sir Barrington Simeon, MP, Sir Charles Seeley, and others, who have given strict orders to their gamekeepers that foxes, as well as pheasants, must be found in the coverts when wanted. The prospects, therefore, of hunting in the coming season in the Isle of Wight are very promising.

Photograph of Col E Howard-Brookes

Photograph of Col E Howard-Brookes

The late Sir Victor Brooke, who was first cousin of Colonel Brooke, was also an ardent sportsman, and was Master of the Pau Hounds. Colonel E Howard Brooke is well known in yachting circles, and is a member of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

A novel feature of the Isle of Wight Hunt this season is the riding astride of the ladies. There are few among the younger members of the hunt who do not adopt this method of riding when exercising their horses. But the method is by no means common, for the reason, perhaps, that when out with the hounds it probably attracts too much attention to the fair riders. It is said, however, that when riding astride, longer distances can be covered and more difficult districts ridden over with less fatigue to both rider and hunter. The country in the Isle of Wight is very different from that in the Midlands or many counties further south, and it is necessary, therefore, for ladies to take this into consideration when they have a long day’s run in front of them. Among those who favour the new style are Mrs Forster, who, attired in a dark-coloured habit, with a perfectly fitting long coat, makes a charming figure astride. Mrs Davenport and Mrs Thornton look uncommonly well and very businesslike, while the children, who during the holidays are present in numbers, universally adopt this means of riding. Among the popular followers, none receives a warmer welcome at meets than Mrs Howard-Brooke, the wife of the enthusiastic master. Although this lady is not quite such a keen follower as some other members, she looks exceptionally well seated on her first-class mount, and speaks with spirit of some delightful runs in which she has participated.

This report is not indicative of any support for hunting by Historic Ryde Society, but merely a transcript of a family scrapbook cutting, reflecting the different standards of yesteryear.

Return to Entertainment and Leisure in Ryde page

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Centre Opening
HRH Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester opened the first extension of Ryde District Heritage Centre on Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Andrew and Brian chat to HRH The Duke of Gloucester and the Lord Lieutenant

The logo was drawn by Lynne Phillips from a design on the two shelters on Ryde Pier, and digitised by Depth.

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