Permanent Displays in the Museum:
Permanent displays in the Museum include Ventnor’s development as a Victorian resort, the story of some of the shipwrecks off our coast including the loss of HMS Eurydice in 1878, an exhibition on Steephill Castle, and working models of Ventnor’s two railways – Ventnor Station (closed in 1966) and Ventnor West (closed in 1952). Each year we mount new exhibitions, some of which are now available digitally on our Ventnor & District Local History Society YouTube .
Before they were famous – the story of the performers who tried out their acts at Ventnor’s Winter Gardens before becoming stars of popular music and of light entertainment. Comedian Dick Emery stole the show in the 1950 summer season, while in the summer of 1965, it was the rock band ‘The Who’, along with the strangely-named ‘Davy Jones and the Lower Third’. The Who went on to become a legend of the rock music scene, while Davy Jones turned into David Bowie.
New accessions from the Wearing Collection – Jill Wearing has made regular gifts of photos and documents to the Society. Among the latest are some fine images from Ventnor’s early development, some of which are displayed here, including the Ventnor Local Board’s water cart spraying the streets to lay the dust in summer.
75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War – an examination of the way the war intruded upon local lives over almost six years. The Undercliff suffered serious aerial bombardment at different stages of the war, while few ordinary people: men, women and children, escaped being touched by the exigencies of wartime. Food and clothing and many other things were rationed, some schools were evacuated, men were called up to fight, while many others found themselves drafted in to work on the Home Front. There is a video of the display on the main page.