Local History Articles

Mac Fisheries

Mac Fisheries was a national chain of shops that had become commonplace across much of the country by the 1930s. Ventnor’s shop was at 27, High Street and in the 1930s was managed by Alf Farrant. Read PDF version here: Mac Fisheries

F.J.J. Macey of Albert Street School

Frederick Joseph James Macey was Headmaster at Albert Street School for 33 years, from 1898 to 1931. With a starting salary of just £125 p.a. with house, coal and gas provided, he arrived in Ventnor after vacating the post of Headmaster of St. Luke’s Boy’s School in Southampton. His first allotted task from the School… read more »

Poplar Cottage, Church Street

Poplar Cottage is the building that once stood on the site of Ventnor’s former main Post Office. It was for some fifty-five years the home of John Thomas who was a common carrier operating between Ventnor and Newport. Read PDF version here: Poplar Cottage, Church Street

Running Races

In the early years of the 20th Century, running races always drew a large crowd in Ventnor, regardless of the distance and the number of competitors. In 1910 there were just 10 young men preparing to sprint up the High Street. Read PDF version here: Running Races

Air pageant at St. Lawrence, 1911

On 6th July 1911, hundreds of spectators assembled in the evening in a meadow at Home Farm, St. Lawrence, to watch a Bristol bi-plane, piloted by Mr Pixie and Mr. England, land there. The pair had left Shoreham airport at 7.15 p.m. and it took just an hour to reach the south coast of the… read more »

The White Lion, Niton

The White Lion has a history that goes back at least to the first half of the 18th Century and has always been a favourite among Island visitors as well as local clubs and societies. Charabanc tours from Ventnor would always stop there for refreshments, whilst soldiers acting as messengers for the Revenue Department were… read more »

Lowtherville Shops – part two

Continuing the story of the large selection of retail shops that provided for Upper Ventnor – or as it was known in the early days, Lowtherville. The only establishments and premises that remain today are The Fish & Chip Shop, The Social Club, The Convenience Store and the Ladies Hairdressers, all the others have either… read more »

Lowtherville Shops – part one

Upper Ventnor – or as it was known in the early days, Lowtherville, has changed beyond all recognition in the last 70 or 80 years, not least of all the shopping habits of the residents and the shops they would regularly use. In the early years after WW2 most people did not have cars which meant… read more »

Steephill from the air

During the late Victorian period, Steephill Castle was renowned for the luxuriance of its gardens and often hosted Royalty. However, by the late 1930s the gardens had become shadows of what they once were, the estate was no longer in the ownership of wealthy entrepreneurs and after use as a school during the Second World… read more »

Air Crashes on Saint Boniface Down

There are few events as shocking as air crashes, especially when they result in fatalities. Two such crashes occurred on St. Boniface Down in 1947 and 1962, and whilst they were separated by fifteen years, they both shared the same common causes – low cloud, dense fog and pilot error. Read PDF version here: Air… read more »


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