Isle of Wight Observer March 17, 1855
Many minor improvements are going on in the town in the widening of streets. The new Congregational Church is set back two feet at the western end, thus much improving George and Melville streets. The ugly wall projecting near the eastern gate of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club is pulled down and put in a line with the street; – ‘ a very desirable improvement; – and the front of it is to be paved. The corner of the Sun Tea Gardens, too, is rounded – much improving the road to the Infirmary, Cemetery, & besides rending the road less dangerous. These improvements are, of course, attended with a little cost, but they are worth it all.
THE ESPLANADE: the last day for receiving tenders for this much desired improvement will be Monday next. Should either tender be satisfactory, it will be immediately accepted, and a special meeting of the Commissioners be convened to give orders for it to be signed and sealed on or before the 25th inst., the day on which the election of 12 new Commissioners will take place. The acts of the reactionary party to prevent this improvement, by electing 12 men hostile to it, will be nugatory; at which we heartily rejoice, as the state of the shore is disgraceful and has been for a long time. Should the bathing be brought under any decent rules, (from which hitherto it has been exempt), we understand that it is the intention of Mr Joseph Kemp to erect an enormous swimming bath, which we hope he will, as public convenience and decency will thus be made subservient to his profit. We have heard, but cannot believe it to be true, that Capt Brigstocke, the lord of the manor, is opposing obstacles to the carrying out of the Esplanade by demanding a heavy ground rent for the beach to be enclosed. Surely this statement, which has received general credence, cannot be correct, as whose interest will be served by the project equal to that of Capt Brigstocke and Dr Lind? It is pleasing to find, at the same time, that the scheme has met the hearty approval of Sir John Simeon, the owner of St John’s estate, who has contributed £50, also of Colonel Harcourt, MP, of St Clare, £25. Subscriptions are coming in liberally from other parties; a list of whom probably will next week be advertised.