Interesting Relic of Old Ryde

Isle of Wight Observer December 25 1886

More 1880s snippets

During the past week an interesting relic of Old Ryde has been demolished, Baskett’s Cottage, adjoining Union-road. This little model of old-fashioned unpretending comfort is said to be over 100 years old. At all events it was built by old Mr Baskett, who had the garden there. He built the house himself. The walls were made of clay (which was kept together with straw, after the fashion noted in Biblical history), with a coating of plaster, and the roof was thatched with straw. It had two rooms, a similar hut opposite furnishing another room. This little place always had the peculiarity of being warm in winter, and cool in the summer, and there the good old gardener lived for many years, and brought up a large family. At his death, his daughters, the three Misses Baskett, resided there for many years, dropping off one by one, after attaining more than the allotted span of years. When they died the place was sold, and the old-fashioned cottage, which sheltered people so honest, amiable and full of old world simplicity, is now gone. but, strange to say, the walls, though formed of mere ordinary clay, were as hard as stone, and had to be picked down, while the straw which kept them together looked as fresh as if it had just been used. This was doubtless due to the coating of plaster inside and out, which kept out all damp. As one witnessed this place, one could not help reflecting on the change which has come over Ryde and its people, as it grew from a mere hamlet to the town as it is now. This part of the town, now somewhat squalid and neglected looking, was once a garden. A nice garden was attached to Baskett’s Cottage, and the inmates knew how to grow splendid apples, gooseberries and currants.

Tied up in knots- 1887

Isle of Wight Observer August 23 1887

TIGHT KNOTS – During the last few days considerable interest has been aroused by a gymnast who performs in the street, and who allows himself to be tied with robes, out of which he manages to wriggle with considerable celerity. While performing on Tuesday evening, however, a mariner named Bevis, came up and said, “Let me have a try, mate.” The operator could not very well refuse, and Bevis, thereupon tied him up so artistically that the gymnast became black in the face from his fruitless efforts to escape, and finally had to call on the sailor to release him.

The Isle of – What?

Isle of Wight Observer June 2, 1888

THE ISLE OF – WHAT? – The Lighthouse, a journal devoted to shipping, &c., thus discourses: When overhearing a conversation touching upon the beauties, etc, of the Isle of Wight, an irate listener, who had frequently visited the Island, asked, “The Isle of What?” Nobody ever knew what he was driving at, but that matters not. There is an old saying to the effect that there is no pleasure without pain, and the pain so far as the Isle of Wight is concerned is certainly the scale of charges to which one has to submit here, there and everywhere. The enterprise of Ryde has often been a theme of comment on the part of journalistic scribes, and we are delighted to add our testimony in a case which has just come under our notice. Anxious to emulate the glorious example of their gifted town council, the local flymen have adopted a revised scale of charges of an exceptional character. One day last week a valued subscriber to the Lighthouse was driven from Ryde Pier gates to Morgan’s, the tailors, a distance of 117 yards 2 inches, for which luxury a charge of 2s 6d was made. We have been trying to calculate how much a foot this would be but have failed in the attempt, suffice to say that it is about on a par with early strawberries which are usually reckoned at 1s per bite. Whilst speaking of the Isle of Wight we would like to ask how it is that the hotels there do not publish a list of visitors? Can it be – away horrid suspicion! – that paterfamilias wearied of the lares and penates of home wings his flight to the southern isle, there to exchange ideas, etc., with strange goddesses, but desires no publicity of the fact?

The Isle of Wight Toll Gates

Isle of Wight Observer April 20 1889

The abolition of the turnpikes in the Isle of Wight has already borne fruit, the Binstead gate, and others in the neighbourhood of Ryde, having recently been removed. On Saturday afternoon Mr Francis Pittis, jun., sold by auction a number of toll gates and posts and those toll houses which had not been taken to by adjacent owners. The gates, bars, posts and rails were disposed of in 23 lots, and realised £18 7s. Parkhurst, Carisbrooke, Castle-road, and Bellcroft toll houses which were sold subject to their removal before the 31st of May, fetched £11, £9 9s., £7 10s., and £9 respectively, while Mr Johnson purchased the Marvel-road house, standing on his own land, for 26 guineas. A spirited competition took place for the freehold cottage at Chale, the property being started at £30 and knocked down to Mr Way Buckell at £126.