Historic Ryde Society

‘Giving Ryde’s Past to the Future’

Historic Ryde Society Quiz Night Thursday 30 November 2023 at Yelf's Hotel, at 7p.m. for 7.30pm.

The American Circus

Isle of Wight Observer August 25 1860

By dint of puffing on an extensive scale, the public were led to believe that the equestrian troupe of Messrs Howes and Cushing, introduced into the Island during the past week, would be of surpassing excellence; and further, a fac simile of a Spanish procession to a bull fight was to parade the streets in order to enliven the natives. Well, the thing turned out as genuine a piece of “Yankee cram” as can well be conceived. As to the out-of-door pageant, it was calculated to elicit feelings of pity, rather than of pleasure, for bipeds and quadrupeds all appeared fairly “used up”; and the tawdry “properties” with which they were bedecked ought not to have been submitted to the vulgar gaze of daylight, while the semi-nudity of many of the females had anything but a pleasing effect. The horses, too, looked sadly in need of grooming; and, in a town like Ryde where there are such numerous good turn-outs that point of itself would have stamped the concern as poverty-stricken. The entertainment in the circus was of the most ordinary, not to say mean, kind; and may be classed amongst the failures. The veritable Mr Rarey also failed to redeem the affair, as there was no vicious animal to be obtained for him to illustrate his powers of taming; but we guess he would have had practise in another direction had he stopped for one more night, that is, in subduing the vox populi which was becoming rather loud from disappointment in the equestrian performances.


Isle of Wight Observer November 3 1860

A meeting of the Ryde cricket club will take place at the Thatched-house Tavern (which was in Cross Street) on Monday evening to conclude the arrangements for taking and preparing a play ground. The rules are now published, and we extract that relating to subscriptions, as it may induce some to become members:- “That members pay 1s (5p) entrance and 2d (1p) per week, or an annual subscription of 10s 6d. (52p) Subscribers to the amount of 5s (25p) to be entitled to the use of the booth only”.

Ryde Volunteers’ Band 1860

21 JULY 1860

To the Editor of the Isle of Wight Observer
Sir, – I did myself the honour of attending this concert last evening, and permit me to say, as a stranger, that I was more than gratified – I was enchanted. The Ryde Band, under the able superintendence of Mr Jones, will certainly not be surpassed by any in the kingdom. They played in a manner which does them the greatest credit. Miss Cicily Nott sang and played admirably, as also did Miss Jones. “My beautiful Rhine” and “Home sweet Home”, by Miss Nott certainly surpassed anything I have ever heard. Altogether the entertainment was delightful, and I hope some day I shall again have the great pleasure and satisfaction of witnessing another concert at Ryde of a similar description. What with the beauty of the ladies and the beauty of the music, I was entranced.
If I, as a despairing old bachelor, went away with the heart ache by the one, I certainly went away with my heart full of the other. I could not help inwardly exclaiming “GOD BLESS OUR VOLUNTEERS!”.
Yours faithfully,
Victoria, Monkton-street, Ryde.

Ryde Cricket Club

Isle of Wight Observer July 13 1861

Sixteen of this club, eight married and eight single, played a match at Binstead on Wednesday afternoon. The following figures are the totals: single – 1st innings 64; married 41; single – 2nd innings 14; married – 38, with four wickets to go down. Another match was afterwards played, one innings each. The result was: single – 57; married – 30. The party partook afterwards of a first-rate supper at the Thatched House tavern, catered by Host Parsons, and spent a merry evening afterwards together.

The Thatched House Tavern, was between numbers 8 and 11, Cross Street, Ryde, run by Frederick and Mary Parsons.

BLONDIN – On Wednesday next the only man who ever “did the Falls of Niagara” will go through his unrivalled performance on the “tight rope” at Porchester Castle. The enterprising manager of the Theatre Royal, Landport, having engaged him for one exhibition. A better opportunity for people in this part of the world witnessing the renowned Blondin’s feats will not be offered. Special trains will run.

Ryde Cricket Club needs a field

Isle of Wight Observer June 8 1861 

A meeting of the members of this club was held at the Thatched House Tavern on Monday evening, when it was decided that the practice nights for the present should be those of Mondays and Thursdays. A field kindly lent by Mr Young is made use of for play until a regular ground can be procured, which will doubtlessly be some time first, to judge from experience. Ground has been advertised for, solicited personally, and promised – but never actually offered, without it happened to be two or three miles out of the town – and still Ryde has no cricket ground. We heartily wish some person would offer a piece of land on reasonable terms, so that now we have what is likely to be a durable club, we may also have a place for its members to play the national and healthy game just alluded to.

Times, May 1864 – Social Refinement

MR RUSSELL THOMAS respectfully informs the Nobility and Gentry of Ryde and its Vicinity that his CLASS FOR INSTRUCTION in the above necessary accomplishments is held at the TOWN HALL every WEDNESDAY and SATURDAY. His exercises are highly recommended by the faculty.
Sandhill Cottage, High-street, Ryde

MRS HUBERT J SMITH having studied in London, Paris and Germany: continues to give PRIVATE LESSONS IN SINGING AND MUSIC to families residing in Ryde or its immediate vicinity.
Vienna Villa, Strand.

A YOUNG LADY, accustomed to TUITION, wishes an ENGAGEMENT as MORNING or DAILY GOVERNESS, with the usual accomplishments.
Address, A M D, H Mason’s Library, 7, Cross-street, Ryde.

THE EXHIBITIONS for 1864  will take place on Wednesday, June 22, in the grounds of Sir William Martins, Westmount; on Wednesday, August 17, in the grounds of George Young, Esq., Apley Towers
President: Col Vernon Harcourt
Vice-Presidents: Sir A Clifford, bart, Sir W Martins, Sir Henry Oglander, bart, Sir John Simeon, bart, Le Marchant Thomas, Esq., George Young, Esq.
Treasurer: Dr Turner
Committee: W H Anderson, Esq., J B Daubuz, Esq., Capt Katon, RN, A F Leeds, Esq., D McLachlan, Esq., W E Ratcliffe, Esq., Major Verner.
Hon Secretary: Gordon Watson, Esq.
Subscribers of £1 1s will receive twelve tickets; subscribers of 10s 6d will receive six tickets; subscribers of 5s 6d will receive three tickets. Non-subscribers will be admitted on payment of 2s 6d at the entrance to the grounds. Subscribers will have the privilege of using all their tickets at one or both exhibitions.
Subscription will be thankfully received by Mr J Williams, corn-factor, 16, High Street, Ryde; Mr N B Smith, 7 Melville-street, Ryde; and Mr T A Raynes, High-street, Ventnor.

LADIES and GENTLEMEN can have PRIVATE INSTRUCTION in this elegant NEW DANCE, just introduced from Paris by Mr RUSSELL THOMAS (a pupil of Madame Taglioni).
For terms, apply to Mr Thomas, Sandhill Cottage, High-street, Ryde.
NB All parts of the Isle of Wight visited.

Mr Oakeshott in Deep Water!

Isle of Wight Observer July 23 1864

CAUTION TO AMATEUR BOATMEN – Mr Oakeshott, of Pier-street, was about to take two ladies out in his cockle-shell on Monday evening; but they, in stepping in, instead of treading in the centre of the boat, trod on the gunwale, so the boat capsized and plunged the whole party in the water. Fortunately, a waterman, named Barton, was close at hand, and rescued them from their perilous position, and he was rewarded with five shillings, which is rather a low estimate of the value of a life.

Crown Assembly Room December 2, 1867

Although the date of the above concert is December 2, 1867, a similar concert must have taken place the following March, as this critique appears in the Isle of Wight Observer, of March 12, 1868.

NATIVE MINSTRELS’ CONCERT – The above concert took place on Monday evening, at the Victoria Rooms. Judging from the well-filled room, the Native Minstrels must have been gratified and well remunerated for their expenses and trouble. Of the performances itself we cannot but speak highly. The jokes, though sometimes sustained “usque ad nauseam”, were generally speaking original, and afforded very good amusement to the audience. We compliment the minstrels on their programme, and in part one we would especially mention the comic songs, which seemed to us better performed and much more popular than the ballads, although Messrs Wellington and B Williams sand their songs with much feeling. We cannot help remarking that there seemed to us a great want of power in the choruses, and would suggest the addition of two or three more members to their present number. The whole of part II was very amusing indeed, the Military Gorilla was original, and with the Four Black Crows kept the audience in very good humour. The solos on the bones and banjo were, in fact, superior to amateur performances in general, and were both deservedly encored. In the Troublesome Servant our friend the Bones was very droll. We were hardly so much gratified at the Silver Belt Jig, and the ballad which preceeded it. The performance was brought to a close by the favourite Skedaddle, and we compliment the minstrels on their success. One very great drawback during the entertainment was the noise from the gallery, accompanied by the breaking of windows, and we have no doubt, that should the minstrels be prompted to favour us with another concert, they will see the necessity of placing some person in hte gallery to ckeck the somewhat uncivilised system of applauding peculiar to Ryde boys. It would be very creditable to our Native Minstrels if they would give a fashionable entertainment or two during the season in aid of our new church, and we have no doubt that the elite of Ryde would ensure for the occasions a very select and numerous audience.

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