‘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.

Singular Accident

Isle of Wight Observer April 30, 1870

More 1870s snippets

SINGULAR ACCIDENT – On Saturday morning a man was trolling a wash-tub down the High-street at rather a rapid pace, a little boy seven years of age being at the time in the tub, when suddenly one of the wheels came off, the machine turned over, and the tub, with the boy in it, set rolling down the hill at a remarkably rapid pace. however, it was sson stopped by the bystanders, and the little fellow extricated from his perilous and unpleasant position. He was much frightened, though not seriously injured. He declares he will never ride in a tub again.

THE BOROUGH POLICE – We are pleased to hear that the Treasury Order has been received for the repayment of one-fourth per annum of the salaries and expenses of clothing our borough police.

Isle of Wight Times August 20, 1871


….was witnessed on the Ryde Beach on Tuesday. A horse-boat arrived with three fine fat bullocks, and on trying to land them, the three “gentlemen” became unruly, fell overboard, and struck off seaward. The boat was immediately in pursuit, and after an exciting chase, one was hauled on board, and the other two were lashed to the stern of the boat, and with great difficulty brought to land. The beach was lined with spectators who appeared to enjoy the event as a capital spree.

The Town Hall Gas Lamps

Isle of Wight Observer December 20 1873

Henry Knight, of the Arcade, is the EDM referred to in this report.

On Monday morning we were greatly interested in witnessing the unloading of a number of the new lamp columns at the Town-hall, and certainly cannot say that they at all come up to the laudations bestowed upon them by the ex-deputy-mayor. The old lamps are infinitely better, some of them being considerably more ornamental than these new and unpaid-for columns, which have been already honoured with the euphonious title of the “(K)night-light pillars”. It is to be deplored that some arrangements were not made with the Gas Company for the purchase of their columns, which could easily have been converted for the reception of meters, notwithstanding the opinion of the talented and wonderfully wise Borough Surveyor, whose notions appear to be law to the Council, and according to His Worship the Mayor, “disposes” of the gas-lamp question. We have been requested to put one or two queries requesting these lamps to the ex-deputy-mayor, and we shall feel particularly obliged to “that man” if he will return a courteous and civil answer, if such be possible. Is it true that he (the EDM) is agent to the company supplying the columns and lanterns, and receives a large commission on the present purchase? And is it also correct that the lamps, columns, &c., were ordered by the Council three months ago? We have heard on reliable authority that such are the facts of the case, but should wish to be made acquainted with the truth of the matter by so brilliant and shining a (Knight)-light as the EDM. We have heard, but cannot vouch for the accuracy of the rumour, that one of these handsome new columns is to be shown as a work of art at the forthcoming School of Art Exhibition, and that the same will be enclosed in a wonderfully elaborate glass case, expressly made and presented for the purpose by the directors of the Ryde Gas-light Company. Apropos of gas lights, may we also be permitted to ask the EDM the reason for the illumination of one of the Town-hall lamps by means of parafine on Friday evening last? Possibly the EDM is agent for some oil-lamp company and wishes to reap a goodly harvest by supplying a number of such lamps, in case the Gas Company do not succeed in illuminating the new lamps with gas by the 1st proximo.

Isle of Wight Observer – May 13 1876


We are pleased to say that our ingenious townsman, Mr Edward Harris, has just patented a new contrivance for securing envelopes in such a manner as to render it absolutely impossible to open them, when once sealed, without breaking the envelope. The contrivance is extremely simple: a hole is made in the envelope into which the point of that part which folds over is inserted, and a small piece of gum secures it inside, as well as in the ordinary way. It is quite impossible to open the envelope without tearing it. Mr Harris is now manufacturing a number of these envelopes for His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and we should imagine they would be generally adopted by all who desire to secure privacy in their correspondence.


An official return issued within the last few days gives a statement of the cost of the forts around the Island. From this document we find that the total amount expended on Horse Sand Fort, Spit Bank, and No Man’s Land Forts, up to the time when the return was made, was £929,557; Puckpool and St Helen’s, £108,042; Gillkicker Battery, £58,703. The total sum for the forts of the Portsmouth station was £2,373,900.