Historic Ryde Society

‘Giving Ryde’s Past to the Future’

Historic Ryde Society Quiz Night Thursday 28 December 2023 at Yelf's Hotel, at 7p.m. for 7.30pm.   The Museum of Ryde will be closed from 24th December 2023 to 4th February 2024. We are opening Monday, 5th February 2024. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Isle of Wight Observer November 22, 1862

Music and mischief in 1860s Ryde
HARMONY – The Eagle harmonic still attracts numbers of the “lovers of song” on the appointed evening.

MUSICAL SOCIETY – Several of the young hands at “the heavenly art” in this town have formed themselves into a society, for the purpose of practising and attaining a high standing in the profession. Upon reaching anything like a respectable altitude in the musical standard, they intend giving a few concerts at a cheap rate to furnish amusement to the public, and also to themselves. Mr J Jenkins is the conductor.

QUADRILLE PARTY – Owing to the lack of success this party met with on Monday evening last, they have decided upon discontinuing their exertions for the winter, so there will be no regular “footing it” for those who love to do so.

A DESIDERATUM – Pedestrians can now pass from one side of the Esplanade to the other without soiling their “Day and Martin” by sinking ankle-deep in the mud, as a crossing has been laid near the bottom of George-street.

The uses of museums….

Isle of Wight Observer February 28, 1863

LECTURE: A lecture on “The geology of the Isle of Wight” was delivered at the Museum of the Isle of Wight Philosophical and Scientific Society, on Monday evening, by Mr Ernest P Wilkins. There was an attendance of about 50. The first portion of the lecture was devoted to a description of the uses of museums in general – they did not educate men, but taught learned men; and created a praiseworthy thirst for knowledge, which superseded the taste for beer and other things. He then went on to deliver what he termed a little geological talk, which consisted of an outline of general geology, with a concise descriptive account of the geology of this Island, in which he was aided by numerous diagrams, maps and fossils, to which he had frequent recourse. He was awarded a vote of thanks at its conclusion.

DARING ROBBERY – A very daring robbery was committed about 8 o’clock on Monday evening in Warwick-street. It being washing-day at one of the houses in the street, the clothing of the family was suspended on a line in the yard to dry; the man occupying the house being at work in a little shop at one end of the yard, whilst the mistress was pursuing her avocation over the washing-pan in the wash-house at the other end; notwithstanding this, the robber completely stripped one line of the clothes, kindly placing the pegs down in a heap, and was evidently proceeding with the spoliation of the remaining line, when he, or she was to all appearances disturbed in this nefarious occupation. No clue has yet been obtained of the clothes or thief.

Malicious Damage

Isle of Wight Observer January 9 1864

Our Commissioners have offered a reward of £5 for such information as may lead to the conviction of the scoundrels who damaged the public chairs on the Esplanade, and we hope that such information will be forthcoming; indeed it is the bounden duty of any citizen, possessing evidence, to come forward and give it, to punish delinquents of this character. It is the fashion for Englishmen to praise themselves as “a law-loving people”; yet they are the only people in Europe who cannot be trusted with unprotected property without either wantonly or maliciously damaging it, and it is a disgraceful blot upon their character. The lower classes have often complained to us because the higher classes do not throw open their grounds for fetes, &c., and we have been requested “to show such churlishness up”; but we will frankly say, if we possessed a park, we should require a much better guarantee then people’s good behaviour, as generally shown, before we threw it open. Was it not disgraceful to see the stripping of the avenue of trees planted above the Infirmary? Is it not disgraceful to the people that the cemetery cannot be thrown open, without the walks being disfigured with “caution” boards, to save the flowers and shrubs? Is it not disgraceful that seats, which are such a comfort to invalids, cannot escape destruction from Goths and Vandals? It was against such detestable and cowardly practices as these that Rev W H Girdlestone quietly levelled a reproof, by saying every man must be his own policeman in protecting the property of the Working Men’s Club; and the sentiment was applauded, but we very much doubt if it was thoroughly understood. If working men wish to rise in the social scale, and to be respected, they must show respect for public and private property that is unavoidably unprotected, and consequently entrusted to their honour.

The Police

Isle of Wight Observer March 19 1864

It was for a long time our unpleasant duty to animadvert upon the conduct of the police, because the principal portion of their cases were beerhouse imformations; whilst the place was overrun by vagabonds who were too lazy to work, yet by means of extortion lived on the fat of the land. As we blamed, so we will praise, for the police have lately discharged their proper functions more effectively; and backed by the magistrates, who have made a few salutary examples, the immigration of vagabonds has been partially stopped, for, be it known, they do not belong to the Island. Things got so bad, that gentlemen were obliged, in self-defence, to resort to the mean looking expedient of locking their back-doors; otherwise, plate would be stolen from trays if left unattended for a moment. Though great improvement in this respect has taken place through police vigilance and magisterial co-operation, still more requires to be done; which is the reason for writing this paragraph.  Whilst we abhor undue severity, especially when it affects the peccadillos of honest men, we have no sympathy whatever for the idle, the dissolute, or the depraved.