A NOVEL LAUNCH

Isle of Wight Observer October 22 1864

On Tuesday morning one of Mr Oakley’s large vans, weighing about three-and-a-half tons, filled with furniture belonging to Mr Ellison, was about to be embarked on board one of the United Company’s tow-boats, from the slipway near the end of the pier which has a gradient of 1 in 12. Now any one with the least mechanical knowledge will see that a counteracting force greater than the united strength of four men would be necessary to accomplish that job successfully. But, like all of the traffic arrangements on the pier during the present year, no precaution beyond skidding one of the wheels was taken; consequently the van overpowered the conductors, and was launched into the deep. The damage must be considerable, and is variously estimated from £10 to £500; and considering that amongst the damaged articles were a valuable library of antiquarian books, a sixty-guinea clock supported by dolphins which got into their native element at last, &c., the latter seems nearer the amount than the former. Which of those grossly mismanaged companies will be the victim? We should advise that this slipway should be locked up, like the crane, until a proper superintendent be chosen.

Henry Ellison was an author and poet, who was born in Flintshire, in 1811, and died in Kensington in 1880. At the time of the 1861 census, he was living on Appley Rise, Ryde. Some of his work can be read here.

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