Historic Ryde Society

‘Giving Ryde’s Past to the Future’

Historic Ryde Society Quiz Night Thursday 28 September 2023 at Yelf's Hotel, at 7p.m. for 7.30pm.

Funny names

Isle of Wight Observer – June 23 1894

Life in 1890s Ryde continues…

How amusing it is to go through the announcements in some of the fashionable papers, and note the eccentric combinations of names. Evidently some people accentuate any singularity of this kind because it tickles the fancy and it is not easily forgotten. At a recent fashionable wedding the bride’s name was Pine Coffin. In the same paper we picked out Mrs Bigge Gosling, and Mrs Rocke Limpette!

NB – We think the Editor is playing games, as these names do not appear in Census Records, or on the FreeBMD website…….

Bird Life in the Town

Isle of Wight Observer October 26, 1895

On Tuesday a couple of martins were seen flying very near the ground up and down Union Street. A carriage, or something of the sort, suddenly diverted the birds from their course, and they flew straight into the establishment of Mr Richard Colenutt, the well-known wine merchant. Their struggles to get through the window excited some little alarm, for it was feared they would knock down some of the bottles, which might, easily in their fall, break the glass. At the expense of no small amount of trouble the intruders were caught, and again set free in their native element. It is not often these birds are seen flying in the main street of this town so low that when turned in their flight they fly into a shop. Doubtless, however, they were picking up the few stray house flies that still remain, and will soon be starting again to a southern region. Their rendezvous, before finally going south, is St Thomas’ Church Spire. Last year about this time, large numbers of these birds were seen on or around this spire, from which they seemed to start in a body. Although not the fastest of the swallow tribe they are endowed with very considerable powers of flight. Some years ago a gentleman caught a martin as she was entering her nest, and, by way of experiment, carried her by rail a distance of 15 miles and set her free. She was carefully timed, and was said to have got back to her nest in less than 13 minutes! It is evident, therefore, to a bird that can fly at the rate of a hundred miles an hour, a journey to Africa is soon accomplished. The tower of St Thomas’ has also been colonised by a number of Jackdaws, who during the summer have deserted it, finding plenty of food in the surrounding fields and woods. These have now returned, and have resumed their winter quarters. They collect contributions of food from the neighbouring houses, the inhabitants of which are always glad to see the friendly birds again. There are a few starlings which also go around and pick up food in the same neighbourhood. By the way, as a contrast between the powers of flight of various birds, we may state that a starling liberated like the martin above referred to took an hour and a half to cover the same distance.

Singular Accident

Isle of Wight Observer May 25, 1895

SINGULAR ACCIDENT – On Wednesday a singular accident occurred in Nelson Street. A man named Hunt, who resides at Oakfield, was employed by Mr T Butcher, painter, of Simeon Street, to paint the front of Belgrave Terrace, Nelson Street. He was working nearly at the top of a ladder of 29 rongs (sic) (9 inches apart) when the ladder suddenly broke in three pieces, and the poor fellow was precipitated to the ground with great violence. Part of the broken ladder struck a man named Dyer, who was working on another ladder near, but fortunately he was very little hurt. Hunt was, however, picked up insensible and conveyed to Dr Greening, who found that the man had broken his wrist, and believed he had also sustained internal injuries. He was conveyed home, and subsequently to the Infirmary. The collapse of the ladder excited some surprise as it was new only 18 months ago, and no flaw could be found in it. A man named Richard Fraser worked on it from 6 till 8 o’clock the same morning. Hunt has been extremely unfortunate as he had been 13 or 14 weeks in the Infirmary previous to the accident, suffering from rheumatic fever, and this was his first start at work after about two years. He has a wife and several children.