Isle of Wight Observer December 20, 1890
Sir, May I relate an incident in connection with the Cabmen’s Shelter on the Esplanade? A week or ten days ago, it occurred to me that the men using this shelter must have rather a dull time of it during this cold weather, so one day I went in and asked them if they had any thing there to read? The men replied – there were six or seven present – that they had nothing, but would much like to have, so I said that if one of them would call at my house I would be glad to give them some books and magazines. Accordingly one of them did come up, on Tuesday evening last, and I gave him a large bound volume of “Our own Fireside” magazine, a book about Stanley’s travels, “The voyage of the Sunbeam”, and some six or eight miscellaneous magazines. I said the books were to remain in the shelter permanently, and wrote to the effect inside them. The magazines were to remain there a month, at the end of which they might divide them between them, and I would supply a fresh lot from time to time. This morning one of the cabmen came to me as I was passing to say it was no use my giving books to the shelter as the men would not allow them to remain, and that everything I had sent had been taken away! Can you tell me under what regulations the men enjoy the use of this shelter, to whom it belongs, and to whom they are responsible, if to any one? Is there any means by which books, &c., given to the shelter, for the use of the men there, can be secured? One would like to do something to render the hours these poor fellows ahve to spend there a little more cheeful, but if this is to be the way the first effort is received by them what is to be done?
I am, Sir, yours truly,
The shelter can be seen behind the fountain in the middle of Ryde Esplanade.