Historic Ryde Society

Giving Ryde's past to the future

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Opening Times

Opening Hours

Monday - Saturday
11am - 4pm

Ryde District Heritage Centre is entirely run by volunteers.

Stair Lift Facility

Mayor-Milburn-on-the-stairlift

The new stairlift officially opened on 23rd of May 2014 by Ryde’s Mayor at the time, Cllr Roi Milburn.
Ring the bell for help!

Easy Fund Raising Logo

The Brigstocke China

The Brigstocke China

All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful.

Brigstoke Terrace China Group front view

The Brigstocke China comprises pieces collected by the family over many years, reflecting catholic tastes.

Brigstoke Terrace China Group side view

Brigstoke Terrace China Group reverse view

Brigstoke Terrace China Hare

Brigstoke Terrace China Horse
2013-06-02T23:46:00+01:00
The Brigstocke China All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful. The Brigstocke China comprises pieces collected by the family over many years, reflecting catholic tastes.

The Royal Victoria Arcade

The Royal Victoria Arcade

The Royal Victoria Arcade - Victorian Timeline, the first 70 years of the Royal Victoria Arcade from the laying of the foundation stone to 1903

An etching of the original arcade frontage

1835 -May - Foundation Stone Ceremony
1836 - July - Opening Ceremony
1856 - July - Henry Knight buys the arcade for £3000
1856 - October - frontage altered
1857 - October - William Lacy the first Arcade photographer moves into a workshop in the basement
1862 -  March - Cornelius Jabez Hughes takes over Number 6 after Lacy's death, in November 1861
1864 -  Henry Knight's Fairy Fountain in the rotunda

An etching of the 1840s arcade interior

1880 - Henry patents tin opener and sells it to Crosse and Blackwell
1890 - Henry Knight goes bankrupt and hands over the arcade to his daughters
1895 - Death of Henry Knight
1903 - Arcade up for sale
2013-06-03T00:23:37+01:00
The Royal Victoria Arcade The Royal Victoria Arcade - Victorian Timeline, the first 70 years of the Royal Victoria Arcade from the laying of the foundation stone to 1903 1835 -May - Foundation Stone Ceremony 1836 - July - Opening Ceremony 1856 - July - Henry Knight buys the arcade for £3000 1856 - October - frontage altered 1857 - October - William Lacy the first Arcade photographer moves into a workshop in the basement 1862 -  March - Cornelius Jabez Hughes takes over Number 6 after Lacy's death, in November 1861 1864 -  Henry Knight's Fairy Fountain in the rotunda 1880 - Henry patents tin opener and sells it to Crosse and Blackwell 1890 - Henry Knight goes bankrupt and hands over the arcade to his daughters 1895 - Death of Henry Knight 1903 - Arcade up for sale

Original Logo

Original Logo

The original artwork for the logo was drawn by Lynne Phillips from a design on two shelters on Ryde Pier, and adapted by Depth.

Historic Ryde Society Logo

The original logo copyright Lynne Phillips

Cyril the Sea Serpent on Ryde Pier

 
2013-06-03T00:26:48+01:00
Original Logo The original artwork for the logo was drawn by Lynne Phillips from a design on two shelters on Ryde Pier, and adapted by Depth.  

Royal Ryde

Royal Ryde

Royal Ryde, the link to Queen Victoria.

The Duchess of Kent, mother of Queen Victoria, first brought her to stay at Norris Castle on the Isle of Wight in 1831. When it was decided to build the arcade in Ryde, Princess Victoria was asked whether she would agree to it being named for her. This is why, at the rear of the arcade, there is a window with a monogram PV - Princess Victoria.

The Princess Victoria Window Royal Victoria Arcade

The crest on the front of the arcade is that of Princess Victoria. A similar crest can be seen in Bath, much smaller and less colourful than the one in Ryde. The lion and the unicorn are also facing different directions.

Etching from 1874 of Crown Prince and Princess

 
2013-06-03T00:31:46+01:00
Royal Ryde Royal Ryde, the link to Queen Victoria. The Duchess of Kent, mother of Queen Victoria, first brought her to stay at Norris Castle on the Isle of Wight in 1831. When it was decided to build the arcade in Ryde, Princess Victoria was asked whether she would agree to it being named for her. This is why, at the rear of the arcade, there is a window with a monogram PV - Princess Victoria. The crest on the front of the arcade is that of Princess Victoria. A similar crest can be seen in Bath, much smaller and less colourful than the one in Ryde. The lion and the unicorn are also facing different directions.  

Royal visitors

Royal Visitors in Ryde


It is said that the Duchess of Kent first brought her daughter to the Isle of Wight so that she did not attend the coronation of her Uncle, William IV. On this, and subsequent occasions, they stayed at Norris Castle, in East Cowes.

It is also known that Victoria used rooms in The Royal Kent Hotel, now the Royal Squadron, on at least one occasion.

Etching of the Royal Kent Hotel, Union Street, Ryde
2013-06-03T00:40:11+01:00
Royal Visitors in Ryde It is said that the Duchess of Kent first brought her daughter to the Isle of Wight so that she did not attend the coronation of her Uncle, William IV. On this, and subsequent occasions, they stayed at Norris Castle, in East Cowes. It is also known that Victoria used rooms in The Royal Kent Hotel, now the Royal Squadron, on at least one occasion.

RYDE TREASURES

RYDE TREASURES


All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful.

A gown worn by a recent Mayor of the Borough of Ryde.

Ryde Borough Mayor's Robe

Ryde Town Sergeant's Hat.

Ryde Town Sargent Top Hat

 
2013-06-03T00:47:20+01:00
RYDE TREASURES All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful. A gown worn by a recent Mayor of the Borough of Ryde. Ryde Town Sergeant's Hat.  

Ryde Entertainment

Ryde Entertainment

Fine Art Exhibition at Ryde 1881

The inhabitants of 19th century Ryde enjoyed entertainment............... Bands played on the pier every evening, There were plays in the Theatre, concerts in the Town Hall, lectures and exhibitions in the Victoria Rooms and circuses on the Strand from the 1850s onwards. Local gentry also held balls and soirees in their homes - descriptions of which appeared in the local press the following week. Celebrities came from Paris and London to appear in Ryde - Mrs Jordan, Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, General Tom Thumb, The Christy Minstrels all appeared in Ryde following successful runs in London and over seas........Ryde was the place to be after London, Paris, New York! Hairdressers and other businessmen also followed the same route.
2013-06-03T00:57:12+01:00
Ryde Entertainment The inhabitants of 19th century Ryde enjoyed entertainment............... Bands played on the pier every evening, There were plays in the Theatre, concerts in the Town Hall, lectures and exhibitions in the Victoria Rooms and circuses on the Strand from the 1850s onwards. Local gentry also held balls and soirees in their homes - descriptions of which appeared in the local press the following week. Celebrities came from Paris and London to appear in Ryde - Mrs Jordan, Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, General Tom Thumb, The Christy Minstrels all appeared in Ryde following successful runs in London and over seas........Ryde was the place to be after London, Paris, New York! Hairdressers and other businessmen also followed the same route.

Railings

Railings

Cyril the sea Serpent on Ryde Pier

The railings on the pier were installed in 1895. It is believed the shelters were built at the same time, by Isaac Barton, a Mayor of Ryde, to a design by local architect Thomas Hellyer. Cyril the sea serpent is the guide for the Children's Page of the website.
2013-06-03T01:02:06+01:00
Railings The railings on the pier were installed in 1895. It is believed the shelters were built at the same time, by Isaac Barton, a Mayor of Ryde, to a design by local architect Thomas Hellyer. Cyril the sea serpent is the guide for the Children's Page of the website.

Local Newspapers

Local Newspapers

Ventilator Royals visit July 19 1873

Ryde and the Isle of Wight have a long history of local newspaper printing. The Isle of Wight Observer was begun in 1846, although not established until 1852.  It was printed at The Colonnade, Ryde by George and subsequently, Hannah Butler. From the first issue, Fashionable Lists were printed weekly to show residents and visitors who was in town. The Isle of Wight Times, Ventilator, Mercury, Isle of Wight Advertiser, and County Press followed at later dates. These newspapers, or images of them, can be consulted at the Isle of Wight County Record Office, Newport.

There are also newspapers with Isle of Wight articles which can be viewed on the British Library website British Newspapers Online
2013-06-03T01:04:32+01:00
Local Newspapers Ryde and the Isle of Wight have a long history of local newspaper printing. The Isle of Wight Observer was begun in 1846, although not established until 1852.  It was printed at The Colonnade, Ryde by George and subsequently, Hannah Butler. From the first issue, Fashionable Lists were printed weekly to show residents and visitors who was in town. The Isle of Wight Times, Ventilator, Mercury, Isle of Wight Advertiser, and County Press followed at later dates. These newspapers, or images of them, can be consulted at the Isle of Wight County Record Office, Newport. There are also newspapers with Isle of Wight articles which can be viewed on the British Library website British Newspapers Online

Historic Photographs

Historic Photographs

Young Boy by Matthews

Child photographed by Matthews
Child photographed by Matthews

Child on a horse Photographed by Knight

More  historic photographs appear in the  Galleries.

Child photographed by Knight
2013-06-02T23:28:06+01:00
Historic Photographs More  historic photographs appear in the  Galleries.

Contact Us

Tel: (00)44 01983 717435 Web: www.historicrydesociety.com eMail: admin@historicrydesociety.com
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The Ice Well fund moves to Ryde Pier!

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 admin@historicrydesociety.com for further details. Return to homepage.

pier starfish snails and flower-1814

pier starfish snails and flower-1814

Historic Ryde Society photoboards – a bit of free fun!

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.

galaphotoboard-8289

 

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!

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Volunteers’ soirée 2013 in Ryde District Heritage Centre

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.
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Ryde District Heritage Centre

Ryde District Heritage Centre

Arts and Heritage Category at the Community Action Awards

Winner of the Arts and Heritage Category at the Community Action Awards 2013

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 Ice Well

The Door of the Ice well from the bottom of the well

The door of the Ice well from the bottom of the 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…..

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Upcoming Events

Sep
26
Thu
7:00 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Sep 26 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm
7:30 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Sep 26 @ 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm.
Oct
31
Thu
7:00 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Oct 31 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm
7:30 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Oct 31 @ 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm.
Nov
28
Thu
7:00 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Nov 28 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm
7:30 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Nov 28 @ 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm.

Centre Opening

HRH Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester opened the first extension of Ryde District Heritage Centre on Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Andrew and Brian chat to HRH The Duke of Gloucester and the Lord Lieutenant

The logo was drawn by Lynne Phillips from a design on the two shelters on Ryde Pier, and digitised by Depth.

Historic Ryde Society Logo

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