Ventnor Heritage Centre

"To Collect, Record and preserve the rich heritage and history of Ventnor and surrounding villages, and share it with local and wider communities"

Ventnor and District Local History Society |

Ventnor and District Local History Society

Researcher Jeff Mazo in the archive room

Ventnor and District Local History Society covers Ventnor and the Undercliff, from Luccombe in the East to Chale in the west, including the inland villages of Whitwell, Wroxall and Godshill.  The Society is based in the Ventnor Heritage Centre.

Covid-19: the Heritage Centre and Museum are closed at the moment, and our monthly meetings and talks are suspended. For more information click here: Covid-19 update.

Monthly meetings and talks (currently suspended):
The Society holds popular monthly meetings, which are open to the public,  with guest speakers covering a wide range of local history subjects.

Membership:
We welcome new members, so please get in touch if you are interested in the local history of our area, and would like to get involved, or simply support us. Annual membership runs from January to December and costs £12.  Click here for information about becoming a member.

Our Collection:
Our collection contains photographs, prints, documents and artefacts, which are used to create displays and exhibitions in the museum. We also hold the Local History Indexes compiled over many years by the late Fay Brown.

Research:
The database listing items in our collection is available to search in the Heritage Centre, and our volunteers are happy to undertake research enquiries for visitors. There is no charge for this, but donations are very welcome, and are used for our conservation programme and to help us to preserve our collection.

Publications:
We publish  newsletters for members and provide a weekly local history page in the local paper, the ‘South Wight Chronicle’.  Back copies of the articles 2015-2020 are available here. Local history publications, many of them written by Society members, are available for sale in our museum shop and online.

Photographs and prints:
We have now embarked on a programme of digitising our collection to prints to preserve it for future generations. Some of the digital images have been used on this website, and we are adding more material all the time. If you would like higher resolution copies of any of the images here for publishing purposes please contact us. We can also provide prints for personal use for a small fee to cover admin costs.

Donations:
We are entirely managed and run by volunteers, and welcome donations to  help us to collect, record and preserve the rich heritage and history of Ventnor and surrounding villages and share it with local and wider communities.





Exhibitions, stories, images . . .

Paddle Steamers

In 1863 the PS (Paddle Steamer) Chancellor was wrecked attempting a landing a Ventnor Harbour pier, holed on the Lion Rock. In 1887 Southsea-Ventnor-Sandown  & Shanklin Steamboat Co started services, and in 1888: P S Dandie Dinmont , 'Ventnor's own steamer', was brought down from Scotland.  Despite a chequered career, including sinking in Portsmouth Harbour, she lasted until 1899. By 1900 there were many fine paddle steamers in Solent waters, and  most, if not all, called at Ventnor Pier, including Balmoral, Lorna Doone, and the Solent Queen. Between 1940 and 1945 many steamers had an heroic war. A lot were lost or returned in run down condition and had to be scrapped, and the 1960s saw the end of 'paddlers' although the PS Waverley can still be seen passing on her annual visits to the South coast.  

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