Fanny Oglander, of the Nunwell family, was a prolific letter-writer. In 1835, she had written to her brother, at the time serving in India, to tell him of plans to build an arcade in Union Street. ‘There is one in Southampton, which has obviously put it into Mr Banks’ head’. Mr Banks was William Houghton Banks, who founded the Arcade, and laid out Vernon Square. This is a scan of the letter she wrote to her brother telling him of the opening ceremony. (Image courtesy of Isle of Wight County Record Office)
The Arcade here was opened on the first of this month, it was a beautiful day and multitudes of People came to see the sight, as Lord Yarborough could not come himself, he deputed Mr Blachford, of the Newport Bank, who is a Freemason, to act for him – Mr Banks’ friends gave him a Dinner afterwards at the Pier Hotel, Sir Richard Simeon, and Richard [Oglander] were of the number and attended few other Gentlemen, but a good many of the chief Tradespeople of the Town. Sir Robert Peel has taken Norris Castle for two Months.