‘Giving Ryde’s Past to the Future’

Historic Ryde Society Quiz Night Thursday 29th June 2023 at Yelf's Hotel, at 7p.m. for 7.30pm.

Bank Holiday Entertainment

Isle of Wight Observer August 10, 1895

Quite a variety entertainment formed the attraction at the Pavilion on Bank Holiday. Miss Minnie Palmer sang “The Tin Gee-Gee” and a laughing song, both of which evidently greatly pleased the audience. Professor Etho’s performing dogs were also remarkably well trained. One of them danced on its hind legs on a large revolving wheel, while another turned a back somersault very cleverly. Master Campbell Goldsmid, who has a sweet soprano voice, also sang well, and was warmly encored for Wilfred Bendall’s song “The Pixies”. The gem of the entertainment was, however, Mr Charles Watkins’ humourous sketch. This gentleman is the most accomplished and remarkable whistler we have ever heard, and he seems to produce the sound in a totally different style and manner to that adopted by the ordinary whistler. In one part of the sketch he substituted a shrill little whistle for the letter “s” wherever it occurred, a feat we never heard anyone else accomplish. He sings well, too, but as regards his “patter” he made the mistake of pitching his voice a little too low, so that he was not very distinctly heard. A marvellous feature of his performance was playing a tune by rapping on the top of his head and modulating the sound to notes by opening and shutting his mouth. He also did this on his cheeks, on a knife between his teeth, on a walking stick, &c.

THE BANK HOLIDAY – Although the sky looked wild on Monday, the majority of people thought, as there was so much wind, the rain would keep off. Accordingly, a number of our townsmen might have been seen, early in the morning, laden with baskets and hampers, evidently bent on picnicing excursions. An unusual number of excursionists also came into the town, and had the weather remained fine there can be no doubt the fete which the Foresters arranged would have been a great success. Unfortunately, however, shortly after noon, the wind dropped a little, and then the heavy clouds, which had been lowering all day, steadily discharged the moisture with which they were laden. It was rather pitiable to see so many strangers going about under umbrellas or taking every opportunity for shelter. The Arcade was full all the afternoon, and the Pavilion at the end of the pier proved quite a God-send. A great number of visitors found shelter and amusement there in the afternoon, and in the evening over 1200 paid for admission. The number of visitors to the town may be judged from the fact that there have never been so many travellers by the Pier Electric Railway. We understand from a good authority there were over 7000. The trams and steamers were also crowded.

On Bank Holiday, when the streets were rather crowded with traffic, Colonel A Clarke, with Mrs Clarke and Miss Norah Clarke, were driving down Union Street in an open carriage. When near Mr Evans’ where the road suddenly shows a sharp gradient, the horse slipped and fell, and was unable to hold the carriage, which seemed very likely to be overturned. The occupants of the carriage were helped out at once, and by the promptitude of some watermen  standing near, the carriage was stopped and the horse restored to its feet.

Some poems by Mrs Florence Clarke, can be found here.

Colonel E Howard-Brooke

Colonel E Howard-Brooke, who was born at Castle Howard, Vale of Ovoca, co. Wicklow (of which property he is the heir), resides at Belvedere Lodge, Ryde, and for seven seasons has been the Master of the Isle of Wight Foxhounds. (Taken from a family scrapbook, written in 1898 – the Colonel and family also lived at Faircroft, Binstead Road, and his widow Mrs Howard-Brooke, died at The Lawn, Spencer Road.)

The subject of this sketch joined the army in 1865, and was appointed to the First Hampshire Regiment, in which he served for ten years in India. During this time he indulged in all kinds of sport, and on one occasion, with General Sir John Davis, bagged no fewer than seventeen tigers in seven days – a truly marvellous performance. He also had capital sport among other big game, and was very successful at pig-sticking. He now combines the duties of a MFH with the command of the Third Hampshire Regiment. The gallant officer is exceedingly popular with the followers of his pack in the Isle of Wight, and is on the most friendly terms with the farmers whose land he hunts. He has had an excellent cubbing season, thanks to the good feeling existing between himself and such big preservers of pheasants as Sir Barrington Simeon, MP, Sir Charles Seeley, and others, who have given strict orders to their gamekeepers that foxes, as well as pheasants, must be found in the coverts when wanted. The prospects, therefore, of hunting in the coming season in the Isle of Wight are very promising.

Photograph of Col E Howard-Brookes
Photograph of Col E Howard-Brookes

The late Sir Victor Brooke, who was first cousin of Colonel Brooke, was also an ardent sportsman, and was Master of the Pau Hounds. Colonel E Howard Brooke is well known in yachting circles, and is a member of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

A novel feature of the Isle of Wight Hunt this season is the riding astride of the ladies. There are few among the younger members of the hunt who do not adopt this method of riding when exercising their horses. But the method is by no means common, for the reason, perhaps, that when out with the hounds it probably attracts too much attention to the fair riders. It is said, however, that when riding astride, longer distances can be covered and more difficult districts ridden over with less fatigue to both rider and hunter. The country in the Isle of Wight is very different from that in the Midlands or many counties further south, and it is necessary, therefore, for ladies to take this into consideration when they have a long day’s run in front of them. Among those who favour the new style are Mrs Forster, who, attired in a dark-coloured habit, with a perfectly fitting long coat, makes a charming figure astride. Mrs Davenport and Mrs Thornton look uncommonly well and very businesslike, while the children, who during the holidays are present in numbers, universally adopt this means of riding. Among the popular followers, none receives a warmer welcome at meets than Mrs Howard-Brooke, the wife of the enthusiastic master. Although this lady is not quite such a keen follower as some other members, she looks exceptionally well seated on her first-class mount, and speaks with spirit of some delightful runs in which she has participated.

This report is not indicative of any support for hunting by Historic Ryde Society, but merely a transcript of a family scrapbook cutting, reflecting the different standards of yesteryear.

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