Isle of Wight Observer September 19, 1885
London shops versus Union Street 1885
To the Editor of the Isle of Wight Observer
Sir – I am an occasional visitor to Ryde, and was lately quite shocked to see some well-known shops in Union-street closed. Upon enquiry as to the cause, I was informed by the inhabitants that bad business made the proprietors close up their places, as it was no longer profitable to keep them open, and those who could afford it, went out of business rather than lose their all; and the main cause of all this was that the resident inhabitants, or at least, many of the richer ones dealt alone with the London stores, although the Ryde shops were quite ready to deal for cash at, of very near the same rates. How sad it is to see the wealthier inhabitants of a place making it a ruin, for really it has that effect if the middle class be wiped out and you only have the rich and the poor. Who are to help the clergy and ministers of religion, pay poor rates, school rates &c.; the assistance of the middle class is very necessary, as well as that of the rich. Now that Ryde has beautified itself in its extended sea board and in other points, and is by the last return one of the healthiest, as it is one of the prettiest of our watering places, it does seem a pity, nay more, a sin, that the trade of the town should not be supported.
I am, Sir, you obedient servant,
A VISITOR OF MANY YEARS’ STANDING.
London, Sept. 1885