Historic Ryde Society is delighted to announce an innovative new fundraising idea to boost the Ice Well fund, the Ice Well fund moves to Ryde Pier!. Thanks to Wightlink, residents are now able to ‘adopt’ a starfish, snail and flowers on the upright posts supporting the railings along the eastern side of the pier. Brian will count the posts, and counting will begin from the dry end. Would you like to stroll along Ryde Pier to say ‘hello’ to ‘your post’? There won’t be anything to identify the post as yours, but names will be recorded in the Heritage Centre. Please contact email@example.com for further details. Return to homepage.
Two years ago, when Historic Ryde Society hosted a Royal Victorian Ryde weekend over the anniversary of the opening of the Royal Victoria Arcade, in July 1836, Ryde was presented with three photoboards. These boards – a bit of free fun on the seafront – were inspired by the saucy seaside postcards of Donald McGill, now forming a museum in The Orrery, 15 Union Street, an iconic building dating from the 1860s. Many thanks to James for allowing HRS to use these images.
Artist and HRS founder member Lynne Gregory Phillips designed the boards, which were then assembled by HRS Vice Chair Brian Harris. A fourth board has been commissioned for another seafront café, and is now, July 2013, in the process of being created. Over the last two years, these boards have brought in nearly £600 for funds! Very popular with visitors and locals alike, and providing some free advertising for both Ryde District Heritage Centre and the Donald McGill Postcard Museum, the boards are now worth their weight in gold!
Volunteers’ Soirée 2013 – On Wednesday, June 5, as part of the national celebration , Volunteers’ Week 2013, the committee organised a social soirée for the volunteers in the Heritage Centre. Unfortunately, due to ill health, Historic Ryde Society Gloria Minghella, was unable to be present.
Over twenty volunteers, old and brand new, arrived for a glass of fizzy and some nibbles. This was also a chance to catch up with other volunteers and meet some new volunteers for the first time.
Ryde District Heritage Centre
HRS has gone one better than last year and is the winner of the Arts and Heritage Category at the Community Action Awards 2013! Kerry Jackson, of CAA sponsors, Wightlink, presented HRS Chair Liz Jones with the certificate and a cheque for £250 at the ceremony at Riverside on Wednesday, May 23. The Isle of Wight’s Lord Lieutenant, Major General Martin White, and Deputy Lieutenants David Longford and Patricia Partridge, and Robin Freeman of the Isle of Wight County Press, all came to congratulate the team. They said how much they’d enjoyed visiting the Centre, and how blown away they all were by the Ice Well. The next move is to try and establish whether or not the well is unique in the British Isles, as it would seem to be, following recent research into the subject. A good day financially, HRS was delighted to receive £150 from Cllr Roger Whitby Smith as his contribution from his recent historic walks around Ryde.
The Ice Well Fund is now in full swing! Over £850 has come in, but there are still plenty of opportunities to raise funds. £10 will see your name on a brick, or will sponsor a foot’s length of the recycled pier planks forming part of the floor. A generous £200 will see your name, or that of a loved one, on the risers on the stairs leading down to the Centre. Temporary cards will be in place until all the sponsorship is in place. These cards will then be replaced by a permanent fixture. Spread the word!
If you know of a Youth or School group which may be interested in a visit to the Centre, please get in touch with Judith, our School/Youth Liaison Officer via the Centre. Although Judith is not in the Centre on a daily basis, messages can be left for her. Telephone 01983 717435 between 11am and 4pm on Tuesdays to Thursdays, and Saturdays for further information. Risk assessment forms and worksheets are available. Organisers are welcome to visit the Centre free of charge to discuss their requirements.
The Ice Well
The Newchurch Poor Rate Books, which are held in the County Record Office at Hillside, Newport, list the owners and tenants, rates, etc., of buildings and businesses from the early 1830s. The Arcade is rated as 14 separate retail units, a Large Room (now The Lanes), a Gas House, Wine vaults and Ice Well. This ice well served Charles Dixon in 1836, who ran The Soup Room from Number 8. (Turtle soup sold at 15 shillings (75p) a quart.) Another Union Street fishmonger leased the well for several years. The well later became an opportunity for Henry Knight and his family to attend to the increasingly popular demand for confectionery in early Victorian Ryde. In October 2012, the ice well was revealed in all its glory, having been bricked up and forgotten for the last fifty or so years. In remarkable condition, and with amazing brickwork, the well has been cleared of over 10000 litres of PH 7, so long-standing, stagnant water. A large pile of wood, rubbish and silt has been removed, as well as a large amount of metalwork. So far parts belonging to a Victorian range, tools and pipes have been identified. More images on the Ryde District Heritage Centre Gallery page.
Recent research on ice wells has revealed the exciting fact that this well could be unique in the British Isles! Of 2099 ice houses and wells listed in The Ice Houses of Britain, Beamon and Roaf, 1990, only two are integral to a building. One is in a house near Northallerton, of a completely different design, and the other was destroyed during WWII. A rare find indeed and worthy of public support! Watch this space…..