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2021 Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held online over Zoom on 24 September 2021 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. To attend the meeting you must be a member in good standing and register before noon on Wednesday 22 September. To register, click here. You will receive a confirmation email containing information about… read more »

‘Ventnor, Cradle of the Russian Revolution’

We’re delighted to announce that on 10 October 2021 we are repeating this intriguingly titled local history walk which was first presented during Ventnor Fringe in July this year, and fully sold out then. The walk follows in the footsteps of the Russian political radicals, writers and poets who visited Ventnor in the 1850s and… read more »

Tiger Tea – Part One

Situated at 15 & 17, Pier Street, part of Regent Parade, the Tiger Tea Stores was established in the mid-1880s by Joseph Sanders. Mr. Sanders was an expert tea taster and blender. Tiger Tea was a choice blend of rich Indian and Ceylon teas, sold at one shilling and ten pence per pound weight (a… read more »

Marjorie Mackett

During the Second World War, the Undercliff area played host to women from all over the country, not just the Island, serving in the armed forces. Indeed, some Island-born women who served in the forces were posted to establishments at different places on the mainland. One such individual was Marjorie Mackett, born in Ventnor and… read more »

Ron Bunnett, Bank Clerk

Ron Bunnett was just 15 years old when he joined the National Provincial Bank in September 1939, straight from leaving school. His first role was as a temporary clerk at the Taunton branch on a wage of £1 a week, but in February 1951 at the age of 26, he was assigned to Ventnor on… read more »

James Rousell & Son Building Contractors

The town of Ventnor grew very rapidly over the second half of the nineteenth century and the building trades grew likewise. One successful business was that of James Rousell & Son, established around 1880 and continuing until mid-way through the Second World War. Rousell were responsible for the construction of the new St Alban’s Church… read more »

A Cat That Caused a Fire – Gibbs & Son

On Friday 29th January 1954, during the lunchtime closing hour, a fire was started on the premises at 53 High Street, Ventnor, when the cat knocked over a small electric fire behind the shop counter. There was nobody in the shop at the time and few people in the street, so it was a while… read more »

The Rex: the Island’s first ‘super cinema’

In May 1938 the Rex Cinema opened. The Art Deco building was out of character with its surroundings.  An advertisement from 1940 showed what films they were showing. It remained an eyesore for many people. Click on the title below to view the  article as a PDF. The island’s first ‘super cinema’  

Green with sea-sickness on the ‘Dandie Dinmont’

Green with sea-sickness on the ‘Dandie Dinmont’. By Michael Freeman. Begins with an account from the Ventnor newspaper, The Gnat, regarding the departure, on Friday 20 Sept 1889, of the Dandie Dinmont from Ventnor Pier. They then landed at Alum Bay where some took a coach back to Ventnor.  The paddle steamer then returned to… read more »

Wyatt’s Stores: the village shop that survived

The story of Wyatt’s Stores on Newport Road in Lowtherville, established by William Wyatt in the mid-1890s, run by the family until 1943, and still a convenience store today.  Click on the title below to view the  article as a PDF Wyatt’s Stores: the village shop that survived