A municipal library in the offing?

Rumours of a library for Ryde – 1878

Isle of Wight Observer December 7, 1878

Ryde Town Council – a meeting of the Council will be held on Tuesday afternoon. The following is the agenda: To receive reports from the Finance committee with bills for payment; the Public Works committee, the Water committee and the Cemetery committee, and to affix the seal to mortgages to the Alliance Assurance Company for £3750 and £1190 and any other document requiring the common seal; Mr Councillor Spencer to move – That in the opinion of this council it is desirable to establish a library and free reading room for the Borough, and that the Mayor is required to call a public meeting for the purpose of adopting the Public Libraries Act. (In the event, the Observer of Saturday, December 28th, states: ‘A motion made by Mr Spencer that the town should take advantage of the Free Libraries Act was negatived by the Council at a recent meeting.’)

The Result of Strikes – We were talking to Mr Austin, sen., at the Pier Gate the other day, when a nautical-looking man came up, and asked for certain information. He would have delighted the heart of Thomas Carlyle, for he evidently believed in the golden nature of silence, and did not waste a word. He had just brought in his vessel off the sands, and the following is something like the conversation that occurred: “What are you loaded with?” “Iron.” “What for?” “Railway bridge here.” “Where have you brought it from?” “Atwerp.” “You don’t mean to say you have brought all that iron from Anwerp! What does this mean?” Captain, more laconically than ever: “Strikes.” The latter monosyllable gave a key to the whole mystery. The continued strikes in England have sent the price of iron up such an extent that those carrying out the railway improvements here actually find it is cheaper for them to actually find their iron from Antwerp than of their own countrymen in England! We hear that they are making over in Antwerp cheaper than can be obtained from any English firm. £75 can be saved on each engine by having them from abroad.

A chance for the charitable – We are sorry to find that a very old tradesman of the town, Mr Knight, stationer, of Pier-street, is sadly in need of assistance. He has attained a very great age, and recently falling ill, he was compelled to close his shop. He has since been obliged to keep to his bed, and is greatly in need of assistance. We believe that kind-hearted gentleman, the Rev W M Harrison, is ready to received subscriptions towards aiding Mr Knight, who is one of our oldest tradesmen.

ASHEY MISSION CHAPEL – The first service at this little chapel took place on Thursday evening.

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