‘Giving Ryde’s Past to the Future’

Historic Ryde Society Quiz Night Thursday 29th June 2023 at Yelf's Hotel, at 7p.m. for 7.30pm.
The last rotunda image is installed – January 2011

Historic Ryde Society –
Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2015

Formed in October 2009, the Society was created to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the opening of the Royal Victoria Arcade, in July 2011. It was decided to raise funds for a dedicated heritage centre in Ryde.

After the arcade basement was chosen, 12 local artists were commissioned to each create an image reflecting the months of the year. These are the images which appear at the bottom of this page throughout the year, and they are available as notelets or cards via the shop page here.

You can support Historic Ryde Society and raise funds through the easyfundraising website here, or donate via the localgiving website here.

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Ryde District Heritage Centre

The Centre is opened by (L) Lady Lucinda Lambton and (2nd R) IW MP Andrew Turner – July 1, 2011, with Andrew Laitt, Tony Packer, and Rhea Campbell-Smith.

A three day celebration marked the Royal Victorian Ryde 2011 weekend, when the empty basement was officially opened by Andrew Turner, MP, and Lady Lucinda Lambton, three x great grand-daughter of Lord Lambton, Radical Jack! – who laid the foundation stone of the building in May 1835. A wonderful connection! The refurbishment of the basement was made possible thanks to a grant from the Ryde Townscape Heritage Initiative, funded jointly by the IW Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.The creation of Ryde District Heritage Centre was funded initially by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is now funded by a series of events throughout the year, and a £2000 grant from Ryde Town Council. The Centre opened to the public on Monday, August 15, 2011. Run entirely by an ever increasing body of volunteers, the Centre won awards from the Isle of Wight Community Action group in 2012 and 2013.

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Donald McGill Postcard Museum

Donald McGill Logo & Signature

The ‘King of the Seaside Postcard’, Donald created over 12,000 cards between 1904 and 1962, covering life throughout the 20th century – from the Suffragette Movement, through two World Wars – in fact everything he observed throughout a career which spanned nearly six decades.

In 1953, police raided 5 shops in Ryde and seized over 5000 McGill postcards. Donald was prosecuted under the 1857 Obscene Publications Act. His amazing talent is showcased in this exhibition – one of the finest collections of McGill’s artefacts to be found anywhere.

In these times of political correctness, please accept that Donald’s time was a different era, now gone, in which different values were upheld. Donald’s humour is a product of the 20th century. Please recommend this museum to family and friends.

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Historic Ryde Society hosts fundraising activities on a rolling basis throughout the year. The last Thursday of every month is the pub quiz in Yelf’s hotel, Union Street. £3 a head – people are encouraged to come on their own or to bring a team. There is always a raffle to raise extra funds. The monthly quiz will take place in Yelf’s.  Details about Night Quizzes and other Events, such as Talks and Presentations on the diary page.


How you can Help

Historic Ryde Society is always looking for more volunteers, particularly to help with administration tasks. The Society is dependent on people bringing items for copying, photographing, or loan. Please look in attics and sheds to find anything relating to Ryde in the past. It doesn’t matter how old or unimportant you think things are, everything has a story to tell, which we can share with a wider audience! We can copy or photograph items, or they can be loaned or donated for future display. All items brought into the Centre for display are catalogued and given a unique number, a note is made as to whether a loan or donation, and details of the donor or owner recorded. Items are then put on immediate display, or stored safely for a future project.

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Tony Packer’s Room – Shopwatch Meeting 03.07.2018
Ron McGill visiting Museum of Ryde
Ron McGill visiting the Museum of Ryde