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"

Local History Articles 2019 |

Local History Articles 2019

Browse Local History History Articles published in 2019
(work in progress – not all articles are yet available here)

A – E

Aratrum Villa (first published June 2019)
Aratrum Villa, located on the north side of the High Street near junction with Madeira Road, is one of Ventnor’s earliest buildings, dating from early 1840s Names mentioned include Mr and Mrs Bolland, Mr and Mrs James Hunt, Mr and Mrs Hamilton. By Michael Freeman
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Before the railways – coming to Ventnor by stagecoach (first published 15 August 2019)
The arduous journey from Ryde to Ventnor by stagecoach in winter before the railway reached Ventnor in 1866.  Extensive quotes from William Mew Judd, owner of The Royal Marine Hotel. By Lesley Telford.
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The Commercial Tap and Stables: Charles Farrow and family (first published 28 Nov 2019)
Charles Alfred Farrow and his family ran the Commercial Tap and Stables in Market Street, behind the Commercial Hotel. A photograph from about 1895 shows Charles Farrow and his wife Annie (nee Groves) surrounded by their eleven children.  By Lesley Telford.
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Charles Dickens in Bonchurch in 1849 (first published 18 July 2019)
An account of Charles Dickens’ stay in Bonchurch with his wife Catherine and her sister Georgina when he was writing David Copperfield.
Mentions Winterbourne, East Dene, James and Rosa White, John Leech, William Thackeray, Lady Swinburne.  By Lesley Telford.
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F – O

Montpellier House (first published )
he story of Montpellier house which stood at the corner of Mill Street (now Pier Street) and the High Street from as early as 1832. Residents mentioned include Whiskard family, Mary McKean, Louisa Yates, George Butcher, Edward Russell Woodford, Jane Matthews, Isaac Cavellm and Dr. Tuttiett and wife Louisa (youngest daughter of the Hon. Hugh Percy). By Michael Freeman
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Morris Dancing at Bonchurch School (first published 10 Jan 2019)
Morris dancing at Bonchurch School. By Lesley Telford. Thomas Stears was headmaster of Bonchurch Village School from 1883 until his death in 1903. The family had an interest in folk music and in the Esperance movement. Members of the family mentioned, or pictured, include his wife Susanna, uncle Joshua, daughters Annie and Elizabeth, Sheila Anderson (great granddaughter), Ian Armstrong (great great grandson), Emily Agnes Stears (granddaughter).
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P – U

Pietro (Pete) Cortesi (first published 18 April 2019)
Pietro Cortesi joined the Italian army in WW2, was captured by Allies and sent to the Isle of Wight, to Strathwell Park. A leather worker by trade, Pietro married a local girl in 1947 and set up a shoe shop in Ventnor.  By Colin Beavis
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Reverend James White’s ‘Hospitable Abode’ (first published 11 July 2019)
Reverend James White’s ‘Hospitable Abode’. An account of Rev James White and family whobrought a lot of literary figures to Bonchurch where they lived at Woodlynch. He wrote 15 books and contributed regularly to Punch. Writers who were friends of his included Tennyson, Thackeray, Carlyle and Dickens. By Lesley Telford.
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V – Z

Victoria Street Bible Christian Chapel (originally published as Ventnor Central – Bible Christian Chapel)
Ventnor Central: once the Bible Christian Chapel. A brief history of the Bible Christian Church, mentioning Mary Toms. In 1879 the Victoria Street Chapel opened, designed by Edgar Harvey. Basement contained a schoolroom and two tenement rooms. In the early 1900s the Bible Christian and Methodist churches united, moving to the Methodist church in the High Street. The Victoria Street Chapel later became the Ventnor Youth Centre.   By Lesley Telford
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Wally Zuber:  Part 1 – Café Suisse is born (first published 17 October 2019)
Walter Zuber established the Cafe Suisse in 1925 at the bottom of Spring Hill. During WW2 he acted as ARP in Spring Hill and bought 54 acres in St Lawrence for volunteers to grow vegetables. By Colin Beavis.
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Wally Zuber:  Part 2 – the 1950s and 60s (first published 24 October 2019)
Wally Zuber, a Swiss pastry maker, owned the Continental Cafe on the Esplanade and the Cafe Suisse on Spring Hill/High Street. He was involved with the commercial side of the town and was President of the Ventnor Chamber of Trade as well as a founder member of the Rotary Club. By Colin Beavis
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A Wartime Homecoming (first published June 2019)
Mrs. Mabel Norris’s account of her returning to the Island in the later years of the Second World War with her young children. She was the daughter of Sydney and Mabel Allistone who lived in Ventnor for thirty years and, for much of that time, ran the Palmerston Hotel on Hambrough Road, and were among the founder members of the dramatic society known as the Ventnor Players. By Michael Freeman.
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