Isle of Wight Observer August 10, 1895
Bank Holiday in Ryde 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.